Thursday, June 13, 2013
Hanging out, post-downpour, on the cliffs of Biarritz, under the lighthouse. The rabble are beginning to arrive, and it's estimated 4-500 bikes will be here by tomorrow...hard to imagine, as there have been plane and train strikes, cancelled flights, and scrambles to find transport. It was a planes trains and automobiles kind of week thus far, after my flight from London was cancelled and I was left sorting out the Eurostar to Paris, before the train strike shut down service!
at 7:25 AM
Wednesday, June 05, 2013
|Mike Hailwood aboard his Sports Motor Cycles Ducati 900SS at his big comeback race, the 1978 Isle of Man Formula One TT|
You might have caught motoring artist Paul Chenard at last year's Goodwood Revival marketplace; he typically specializes in sports/racing cars from the 1930s-60s. As with many 'car guys', he has a secret love of motorcycles too, and sent this pastel drawing of Mike Hailwood's legendary comeback win at the 1978 Isle of Man TT on his Ducati 900ss.
Behind the GT Class-winning N.A.R.T. Ferrari GTO, Luigi Chinetti chats strategy with Phil Hill. In the background is the race-winning 250 TRI/61 of Jo Bonnier and Lucien Bianchi.
Paul, how about an older racing motorcycle to test your motor-sketch skills? If you want to stick to Italian, the supercharged Gilera 'Rondine' winning the 1935 Tripoli GP would do nicely!
|Luigi Fagioli en route to winning the 1935 Monaco GP in his Mercedes W25|
Monday, June 03, 2013
|The remains of an AJS K7 350cc OHC. How do they look when finished? Check here.|
|A Norton International M30, awaiting rescue|
|King of the auction, the stunning and very rare British Anzani 8-valve 1098cc motor, ca.1924, waiting for a McEvoy chassis!|
|The AJS K7, loosely assembled, and all the more evocative for being so|
|The timing chest of the AJS K7, showing the Weller blade tensioner which made the simple chain-drive OHC system possible|
Thursday, May 30, 2013
|The IMZ M-35K supercharged sports racer took Best In Show, its Soviet inelegance mocking the delicate trophy girls in their picnic wear. This is perhaps the first time a major Concours d'Elegance has awarded their top prize to a Soviet-built machine. (photo courtesy Motociclismo magazine)|
Between 1947-62 IMZ built a range of road-racing 350, 500, and 750cc machines, some supercharged, for Soviet racing and record-breaking; a subject I'll certainly explore further.
Villa d'Este Concorso, it's a joke they can comfortably make, especially as 'their' boxers are still in production. Second and third place went to a very rare Austrian 1937 Puch 800 flat-four (from the Hockenheim Museum), and a Swiss 1947 Condor C580, both elegant and sophisticated machines. There were plenty of boxers in the wide world of motorcycling - and even a pair of Honda flat twins at Villa Erba; a Gold Wing of course, and a 1962 Honda 170cc flat-twin scooter, the Jumo M85. I've never seen one!
|A few of the 'other' flat twins (Boxers) at Villa Erba; in front is the test-bed Douglas used as the slave chassis for the very first BMW motorcycle engine, before they built whole motorcycles. The Victoria KR1 behind was among the first marques to buy the new BMW engine - a practice BMW stopped shortly after they launched the R32 in 1923.|
|The BMW R10 prototype with 125cc two-stroke flat twin engine. Installed in an R25 chassis, the little engine fails to adequately fill the frame...probably why only this example was built.|
|More flat twins! In front, a 1926 Indian Model O with sidevalve 262cc fore-and-aft twin, a 1923 ABC/Gnome-Rhone with 398cc OHV transverse twin, and a 1922 Harley Davidson Sport with 584cc for-and-aft sidevalve twin.|
|The exquisite BMW R7 prototype. Read my report on this machine here. BMW puts on a great display in the rotunda at Villa Erba; this year they celebrated '90 Years of BMW Motorcycles', with 35 machines showing the full development of BMW two-wheelers - excellent!|
|Close up of the ABC/Gnome Rhone OHV cylinder head. ABC was built from the post-WW1 remains of the British Sopwith aircraft works, and when they ran into financial trouble, the French aircraft builder Gnome et Rhone took over production. Lots of aircraft practice in this engine, from the rocker gears to the machined-from-solid-steel cylinder barrels.|
|All BMW-powered, none BMW itself! In front is the 1924 Bison, then a 1923 Helios, the Victoria KR1, and the Douglas test-bed. All powered by BMW's first motorcycle engine, the M2B33, a sidevalve flat twin of 494cc, producing 8.6hp @3200rpm|
|A closeup of the 1924 Bison's BMW engine with external flywheel and radial-finned cylinder.|
|We are living in Good Times for motorcycling: BMW teamed up with custom builder Roland Sands to create the 'Concept 90' custom, inspired by the original 'tangerine' R90S. Good work, Roland! The bike was unveiled at Villa d'Este...|
|The crazy simplicity of a Bugatti engine|
|As Lake Como is a favorite haunt of movie stars, this '54 Corvette looks right at home, with its chromium smile and carefully shielded eyes...|
|The unique BMW/Douglas hybrid test mule.|
|Shiny red boxes, stacked carefully above a flat single motor; the 1930 Moto Guzzi GT500 'Norge'|
|a better shot of the 1922 Harley Davidson Sport flat twin|
|Period gear for the original-paint 1924 Bison|
|The 1962 Honda Jumo M85 scooter with flat-twin motor of 169cc|
|1903 Humber in original paint|
|1917 Indian Model O, a 262cc sidevalve flat twin|
|Original-paint 1936 Indian Chief 1200cc, winner of the 'Touring' class.|
|1974 'John Player Special' Norton Commando 850, from the '1970s Heros' class|
|A mechanical landscape full of appeal|
|Lamborghini Miura on the lawn Sunday at Villa Erba, when everything is open to the public. I've always especially loved the knock-off wheels on this model...|
|A small reminder that BMW once built aircraft too...|
|The 1925 BMW R37; their first OHV sports motorcycle, basically an R32 with OHV cylinder heads. Not many of these around!|
|BMW R90S-based racer, with raised engine and interesting anti-dive fork brace|
|Steib built racing sidecars too...this one attached to a BMW RS54|
|1923 Victoria KR1|
|Jaguar XKSS reflects a lovely day to be in Como...|