Monday, October 2, 2023

Sam Oppie Cut-Down Frame

According to the auction posting, this was believed to be a Harley Davidson Model J-JD Sam Oppie Period Cut-Down Frame from the Jon Neuman Collection. Jon is a well known early Harley Davidson motor builder and owner of Sagebrush Cycle. These are from his personal collection. Sold March 27th, 2023. No indication of who bought it or what it sold for.

JD Cut-Down vs Stock

 I was just curious about comparing the two side-by-side, stock vs Oppie cut-down.

Sam Oppie a founding member of the Seattle Cossacks stunt riding team was to become one of the most prolific exponents of the two cam cutdown. Usually finished in Robins egg blue, Oppie maybe built as many as 20 of his uniquely modified specials. The front downtube was reshaped to bring the engine forward for better weight distribution. The seat post was lowered 2 inches, creating a shorter backbone, that then required the gas tanks to be shortened as well. 

Thursday, June 29, 2023

Edward Turner Hemi

 I was reading this Jalopnik article recently on the smallest displacement production V8's made. Of particular interest to me was the Daimler 2.5 liter hemi V8 that came in the Daimler SP250 (not to be confused with Daimler Benz).

I had never seen a Daimler SP250, that I recall, before seeing a single family owned one at a Pacific Raceways vintage racing event a few years ago. I recall just being smitten once I looked under the hood. What a perfectly beautiful little British engine.

The really interesting aspect was legendary Triumph motorcycles designer Edward Turner's involvement. From the Jaguar Heritage Trust Foundation:

Shortly after being appointed Managing Director (Chief Executive) of BSA’s Automotive Division in 1956, Edward Turner was asked to design a saloon car powered by a V8 engine.  Turner and his design engineer Jack Wickes began considering the initial concept of their new engine by examining the manual and spare parts list of a Cadillac V8 engine.  Using a pushrod overhead valve system kept down design, development and production costs and allowed Turner to base the design of the cylinder head on those he had developed for Triumph motorcycles – including the use of hemispherical combustion chambers.  Adapting the Triumph head design for use in a saloon car engine required much work in reducing friction and improving timing.

Much of the development of the prototype engine was carried out by Dr. J.N.H. Tait.  Tait had been involved with Donald Healey in the early post war years, working successfully on modified Riley 2½-litre Big Four engines, the final incarnation of which was used in 1953 Zethrin Rennsport prototype, delivering close to 200 bhp with surprising tractability.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Epidemic Motorcycle Corps - 1918

Members of the Epidemic Motorcycle Corps line up outside the AMP building in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, New Zealand  during the 1918 influenza pandemic.

 Epidemic Motorcycle Corps, 1918

Monday, June 26, 2023

Sunday, June 25, 2023

Evel - Moses Lake

Moses Lake, Wash., summer 1965: In an effort to draw attention to his Honda dealership, Knievel organized a stunt show featuring wheelies and motorcycle jumps. His first jump was over a wooden crate filled with rattlesnakes and a tethered mountain lion. Unfortunately, he fell short of the landing, shattering the crate and setting the slithering creatures free.

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Race Hauler

 Who doesn't use an Alpha Romeo touring car to hauler their Norton racer?

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Martha Jane Hindi

Martha Hindi was a friend of my Mom's.

The Horners lived around the corner from us when I was a kid. The Horners owned the primary taxi company in Albuquerque when I was young. Scott Horner, who was a bit older than I, used to organize impromptu BMX races in our back alley. I recall them using the trunk lid from a Checker cab as a jump.