Sunday, September 17, 2023

1901 Minerva

A very early moto photo this one. Identification was thankfully easy as a close look will reveal. A pity that a family's personal album got broken up but if there are no relatives or those that are aren't bothered then what is to be done?

I'm not sure who this chap is, he seems rather distinguished and certainly wealthy. The building looks quite academic in style, I am wondering if it is in Cambridge? There was a prominent naturalist by the name of Charles Swinhoe in Cambridge but he would have been 62 or 63 when these images were taken. Perhaps his son (or sons - looks like the same chap in each photo to me but the initials are different..)

Either way, nice photos and an unusual early photo that uses the motorcycle and rider in the composition of the image rather than as the subject.

A C Swinhoe with his 1901 Minerva.

M C Swinhoe in 1901.

Monday, September 11, 2023

Beaulieu Autojumble 2023

My first time going to the Beaulieu Autojumble through the main gate as a regular paying customer. Every other year I've gone has been with a stall. It was a different experience but still highly enjoyable, in fact slightly liberating to know that there was no stall to look after and all time there was purely to browse and chat.

To add to the experience Dan kindly provided the event transport in the shape of his 1934 Crossley Torquay Saloon. A very classy way to turn up and a beautiful drive through the New Forest where it was in its element in the 40mph national park blanket speed limit.

The Autojumble seems to be picking up slightly after the post-covid and brexit doldrums. There were a good few more stalls than the last couple of years even if it's not quite back up to 2019 levels. It's great to see a lot more international visitors back even though there are still understandably very few overseas stallholders.

Our transportation for the event - Dan's
1934 Crossley Torquay Saloon.

This is what Beaulieu is all about. Stall with a grand
piano, it was well played too.

John Tickle frame kit for Manx Norton engine
on offer for £2500 seemed quite reasonable.

My favourite bike of the event. 1926 Rudge. I thought
I had gotten somewhere with the owner in persuading
him to part exchange it with me for one or more of my
machines but I haven't yet heard from him. Still
waiting.... go on, if you read this you know you want to!

Rudge detail showing the linked braking mechanism.

100mph Bonniksen speedo on the Rudge.
Very classy.

Bonniksen speedo drive on the Rudge's
rear wheel.

And sticker from the IOM Steam Packet.

Never seen one of these before in the flesh, a Brutsch
Mopetta. Yours for £24,000 sir.

1904 Humber forecar on the Veteran Car Club stand.

The Auburn Aero. A 1931 Auburn fitted
with a 1915 Sturtevant aero engine. For sale
and an impressive beast. I've since looked it
up online and it looks a lot nicer from a distance
than up close. It's a weird mix of eras of parts
but no doubt that makes it significantly better
to drive and no doubt it is exhilarating with 140bhp
available and 70mph cruising at just over 1000rpm.

The Sturtevant aero engine in the Auburn.

Gorgeous 1924 Coventry Eagle flying 8. Very impressive.
Currently on ebay for £75,000. I don't know the
history of this bike but I'd guess it was used for sidecar
racing at some point with its braced forks 

Coventry Eagle again. Beautiful.

Very nice Rover combination.

Full view of the Rover.

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Arbuthnot Trial 2023

The excellent Arbuthnot Trial organised by the Salisbury Motorcycle & Light Car Club was last Sunday and 2023 was the Centenary edition of the event. As such it was more popular than ever and was fully booked, this was found out when Matt and I tried to book a ride at late notice hoping for a repeat of our top combo prize of last year (after a war of attrition we were the only sidecarists of a very limited field to get to the end, so tenacity and luck rather than skill). My back took several weeks to recover but the memory of that had faded and it seemed like repeating it all over again would be a wonderful idea.

Entering wasn't to be but it's still a great event to spectate. I turned up at the lunch break at the Tollard Royal Golf Club to have a nose at the bikes entered and then followed the route on my BSA Bantam to spectate at sections 6 to 9 (of 12).

Below a series of pictures taken of entrants both static and in action, no captions really necessary. And if you really have time to kill I made a short clip of a few of the riders that's published on youtube.

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Veteran Triumph

Apparently there are more veteran Triumphs on the Sunbeam MCC's Pioneer Register of pre-1914 machines than there are of all other marques put together. That's got to go a long way to explaining just why there such a disproportionate number of photos of the era feature Triumph motorcycles.

This particular image of a veteran Triumph is however a very good one. Very sharply focussed and quite artfully composed. As ever if you want to see a larger resolution of it then right click and open in a new window and then enlarge to original size (1200dpi).

Neat features on this particular Triumph are an aftermarket clutch, a rather unusual mounting for the acetyline lighting generator on the top tube above the petrol tank. Also note the very long leather flap in front of the engine to keep the magneto dry and perhaps a little bit of mud away from the riders feet too.

veteran triumph motorcycle
Artfully shot veteran Triumph.

Monday, July 24, 2023

VMCC Founders Day 2023

Founders day this year looked for a little while like it might be a complete washout. I had booked camping for the Saturday night and even fitted my Norton Dommi with a set of Craven panniers for the trip. Come Saturday morning I got up in eager anticipation of the ride ahead, looked out of the window and then spent the rest of the day moping around inside contemplating the wisdom of preparing to build an ark... Sunday morning and the rain had gone, a quick check of the VMCC website to make sure that Stanford Hall hadn't been washed away overnight and I set off on the long suffering Himalayan for a motorway flog up to the Midlands.

Arriving at Stanford Hall I was so glad that I hadn't given in to sloth and had made the effort, the field was dry, the sun almost shone and a great day was had by all. It's been a few years since I was last at a Founders Day and I had nearly forgotten what a wonderful event it is. A great autojumble where you can still find proper vintage parts, old friends and the camaraderie of a shared passion made for a perfect day out. There follows a selection of pictures of machinery that tickled this now not so young man's fancy...

Bonhams were hawking this rather nice Harley J
at a 'honey trap' estimate price.

This Matchless Model X will also feature in the
October Stafford auction.

The Royal Enfield stand featured the
1901 Quadricycle from the company collection.

The driving force behind the Enfield Qaudricycle.

One more view of the Enfield Quadricycle.

Also brought along by Royal Enfield was this Flying
Flea in original  drop cage.

This Norton single looked like a proper old bike.

Novel use for a baccy tin lid on the Norton.

AJS big port awaiting some love.

The show at Founders Day is equally in the car park,
this is the end of the day so a little sparse with a cute
little, if rather lonely, LE Velocette.

This immaculate but very well used Matchless combo
was ridden up from Bath for the day.

My choice for bike of the show (and indeed it won the
best bike award at the end of the day), the 1914 TT Scott.

The '14 TT Scott features a rotary valve engine.

Here's the cheese to the TT Scott's chalk on the Scott
Owner's Club stand, a Cycauto.

Also on the SOC stand, this unusual Scott trials iron.

There was an ABC stand with a great turn out of the
marque, more than I have ever seen in one place before.

Cute little Ducati 50.

A Cymota on the NACC stand.

A lovely 1927 Raleigh Model 6, 350cc clubmans racer
 on the Raleigh stand.

Full view of the Raleigh.

Rare and unusual 500c Dunelt supercharged
two stroke. The owner was generous enough to
give us a full explanation of the machine's workings
and failings. A fascinating device but the low survival
rate is perhaps understandable now knowing the machines
various weaknesses and foibles!

Another ABC, this 1913 Brooklands racer.

Detail on an unrestored 1921 New Imperial.

The New Imperial's JAP power unit.

Saxon forks on the New Imperial.

One last view of the New Imp.

This beast was eye catching on the Ariel Owner's Club
stand. A very professionally executed 350 Red Hunter
based v-twin.

Full view of the Ariel V twin.

And a close up of the Ariel 'VNH' motor.

Gorgeous cammy Norton. A CS1 I believe.

Another equally desirable cammy Norton.

On the OHC theme, a KTT Velocette.

Villiers Services brilliant Bedford van.

Incredibly rare Dunkley S65 scooter on offer in the autojumble.

Also in the jumble this Excelsior Manxman.

Cushman scooter on offer. Awful and wonderful
at the same time.

1934 250 ohc Benelli. Very very nice.

Harley XR1000.