Saturday, January 16, 2021

Elefant Rally / Elefantentreffen 1966

In memoriam of rallies we have missed out on this winter here are some of the nicest events photos of yore that I have come across for a good while. They're amongst the favourites in my collection. Pictures from someone's album of days gone by of a trip to the Elefant Rally in 1966.

(tip - as with all photos on this blog click to enlarge. If you then want to see them in even better resolution right click and open in a new tab or view image. All pictures on the blog are scanned in high res.)

Top right a winterised BMW combo - check the
homemade muffs around the heads and barrels to
stop it getting too cold! As a testament to their
quality you still even now see BMWs like this doing
the rounds of the winter rallies.
Bottom left the Nurburgring pits and grandstand area.
Bottom right. Well done sir! A venerable plunger framed
Golden Flash BSA has made it along from the UK.

Top. Tents under the trees with a
Jawa combination.
Bottom a very smart Vincent Black
Prince combination. Note the Harro
Elefantenboy tank bag and five inch
Black Shadow rev counter. The Black
Knight was already out of production for
more than ten years by the time this picture
was taken but it would have still been the
most potent bike at the event.

Top left a pair of Harleys.
Top right, those Harleys again. The license plates
are US forces in Germany type.
Bottom left. A glamorous visitor from Britain -
Vincent Black Shadow with Watsonian chair.
Bottom right. A NSU 501T from the late twenties.

Top left a sweet cafe racer based on a DKW RT350
Bottom left a Beemer combo alongside another
DKW - an RT200(?) this time.
Bottom right. US visitors. A Harley Duo-Glide
to the fore.

Top right a Triumph hitched to a child-adult
chair leads a Royal Enfield with Wessex sidecar.
Bottom left, the pit area at the Nurburgring.
Bottom right another Brit bike, an Ariel Square
Four MkII.

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Harley Davidson Model J

 A wonderful picture this one. The bike is unmistakably a Harley, a Model J and there is some local interest for me as the picture is captioned 'Taken Sept 1919. Outside Sam's Office in Yeovil'. Anyone out there from Yeovil and recognise the building? Obviously a well to do family this one, looks like grandad is a bit behind the times with his top hat though.

Magnificent c1919 Harley Davidson Model J.

Saturday, January 9, 2021

1903/4 Lea Francis bicycle

Lea-Francis Light Roadster 1903 / 1904.

 Here's a recent purchase. I've been searching a while for a pre-1905 cycle within my budget that I could perhaps use to join in with the VCC London to Brighton Run. This Lea-Francis turned up in a South West London suburb and though it needs work it fits the bill rather perfectly. In the last few years the London to Brighton run has opened up to cycles and motorcycles of the correct age. Perhaps one day I shall be under motor power with my 1904 Quadrant.

The model is "Light Roadster" and it is a single speed job with a suitably large sized frame for my lanky stature. After some investigation I found that his particular Lea-Francis features on The Vintage Bicycle blog where there is a lengthy description of it and some good images. Rather strangely on the blog the Lea-Francis is judged by the author of the piece (who was not the owner) to be beyond repair due to rust around the bottom bracket. Personally I think that a bit harsh, it really doesn't seem so very bad to me and there is no evidence of the cycle having been dismantled at all for inspection so in my mind the verdict was rather premature.

The 'Leaf' shall be dismantled, thoroughly cleaned and preserved then returned to a rideable condition. It really is in rather remarkably original condition despite its generous covering of rust. This was probably the most expensive cycle one could buy in its time and as a comparison cost over a quarter more again than a Dursley Pedersen. Obviously I need to find a suitable saddle but everything else is there. The cork handlebar grips will have to have some remedial work and hopefully I can manage to replicate the celluloid upper to the chainguard.

Restoration will take a fair while what with other projects on the go but then again so will getting my fitness up to scratch to pedal the beast from central London down to Brighton seafront. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

The Coventry Victor Type N engine

 A bit diversionary from the usual theme of this blog but these Coventry Victor motors do often get confused for motorcycle engines. Coventry Victor did infact make motorcycles from 1919 to 1930 (as well as light cars) that were fitted with flat twin engines. However from 1930 onwards they specialised in engines for maritime and industrial use. This brochure is undated but I believe to be from the late forties.

Friday, January 1, 2021

Early Triumph combo

 Happy New Year 2021 to all!
A lovely photo and surely an interesting story behind it which, alas, we shall never know. The bike is unmistakably a Triumph and looks to date from just before WW1.

Veteran Triumph sidecar combination.