Monday, March 20, 2017

Sammy Miller's Museum pt1

Out and about once again making use of my British Motorcycle Charitable Trust membership. Sammy's Museum is just up the road from me but it had been a while since I had last taken the time to have a good look around. A shame for me as it is a wonderful museum, there's something a lot more alive and vibrant about having a look around an individual's collection. Of course many of the bikes are static exhibits but also many are in use. The selection of machines is eclectic and Sammy in particular has an eye for the unusual and technically interesting which, personally, is what I want from a museum. If I wanted to see a fifties Triumph I would far rather see it in action and opportunities for that are fairly commonplace but you won't find a similar selection of 1920s scooters anywhere else and the selection of exotic off-road machinery is second to none.

The Museum is well worth taking the time to visit and travelling a good distance to do so. Do yourself a favour and drop by sometime soon. Here is the first installment of snaps of bikes and bits that turned my eye at the Museum....

Aspin sleeve valve motor developed in the
thirties for speedway racing.

350cc home built desmodromic motor built by
John Treen. Obviously a talented guy he even
home fabricated the carburettor.

Experimental Cross rotary valve engine.

Bob Collier 1000cc Norton parallel twin special.
Built in 1942 by banking up two vintage Model
18 motors together.

Close up on the Bob Collier Norton motor.

View of the Norton Hall. Wow!

Grindlay Peerless with Barr and Stroud sleeve valve v-twin

Closer up on the Grindlay Peerless.

Closer still and focussing on that Barr and Stroud lump.

Maico two wheel drive bike. Built in 1980 by
Dave Watts and tested by the British Army.

Another view of the Dave Watts Maico.

Rare dohc JAP engine from the seventies made
by George Greenwood and Mike Erskine. Some
50 units were made.

Close up on the DOHC JAP lump.

Talon Mickmar trials iron from 1973.

Another Bob Collier creation. The RCS (Robert
Collier Special)  built using an Austin 7 car
engine converted to air cooling.

And more ingenuity from Mr Collier. Another
RCS and once again with an air cooled conversion
on an Austin 7 motor in BSA M20 cycle parts.
Bob made six of these in total.

The Museum also houses a fine collection of automobilia.
Sammy is a regular face around autojumbles always on the
lookout for the bargain and the unusual. 

One of my personal favourites from the collection. The Duncan
from 1921 featuring a 980cc JAP v-twin transversely mounted
running through a two speed gearbox to a shaft drive.

The rear suspension on the Duncan is a swinging
arm with compressed air shocks. Well ahead of
its time for 1921.

Front 3/4 view on the Duncan. The transverse
layout makes good sense for cooling but those
exposed valves really were open to road muck.

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