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 Ford Thames 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.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Baruch Blaker and his BAT


Baruch Blaker with BAT motorcycle c 1902.

I have no more details about this superb postcard other than the caption. You've got to assume that the postcard was produced as a promotional tool for BAT motorcycles. BAT were named after the company's founder, Samuel Batson, and from the start were prominent in competition. Following competition success the company in 1903 adopted the logo, 'Best After Test'. The BAT in this image has a De Dion Bouton engine which should date it as 1901 or 1902.

I can't find much out about Baruch Blaker but he seems to have been quite a character. From what I can find he was a resident of Worthing in West Sussex and was a sporting cyclist from the earliest days. He was an early convert to motor bicycles and was a competition rider in the very first motor sport events. There is a record of him having competed at the first Brighton Speed Trials in 1905. He apparently ran a photography studio in Worthing from 1899 to 1904 and then later ran a shop selling bee keeping apparatus as well as wax and honey.