Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sam Oppie Special

The folks over at The Machine Files are featuring the Sam Oppie Special in their most recent issue. The Machine Files distribution model is kind of unique. You can download the issue electronically right now for the price of a couple of iTunes songs. The photo spread is beautiful. It's incredibly comprehensive and detailed. The entire issue is this bike. If you spend much time searching the Internet for JD cut-downs you'll find almost every photo you can find is a relatively crappy snapshot. From that perspective buying the issue download is a total no brainer.

For any who may not know, in addition to being a JD two-cam cut-down hot rod building legend Sam Oppie was also Seattle Cossacks member #32. What a cool legacy for both Sam and the team.

Sunday, January 25, 2015


sleep·er noun \ˈslē-pər\ - Outwardly common looking item, that possesses something special or unique inside.

A 990HP 392 Hemi? Explain to me again why Richie never wanted to be seen driving Mr. Cunningham's DeSoto?

Ran When Parked

1940 UA Harley Davidson Flathead - This bike too I've seen around several times over the last few years. It's hard not to like a BT flatty. I've always thought it would be cool to build BT flathead to emulate a barely road legal WR. This bike isn't too far off from that. All the Parkerized bits are a nice touch on this particular bike.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

1930 Ford Model A Rural Mail Delivery Cabriolet Convertible Coupe

Most people think the monster truck (a standard passenger truck outfitted with oversize agricultural implement tires) was a relatively modern invention. Based on this listing it appears that's not the case. 

     This very special Model A Ford convertible coupe or cabriolet was originally manufactured around June of 1930. It is believed that this car was shipped new to eastern Montana by rail from the Ford assembly plant in Chicago. If you know how Model A's were distributed back then, please let me know. This car was modified in 1936 by Roman Chupp of Bloomfield Montana for Milton Hill, also of Bloomfield Montana. Milton used it to deliver rural mail around Bloomfield Montana which is in northeastern Montana. A Model T Ford truck rear axle assembly was installed along with four Goodyear 11.25 x 24 pneumatic tractor tires mounted on 24" tractor tire rims. These wide and tall tires let this car float over packed snow drifts as well as plow through deep loose snow due the increased ground clearance.  

     These tires were introduced in the mid 1930's and were Goodyear's first pneumatic farm tractor tires. They had a diamond with a hole in the center for the tread pattern. This distinctive tread design was not self-cleaning when running in mud so these tires were not as popular with some farmers as they might otherwise have been. Goodyear had thousands of various sizes of this type of tire in their warehouses in the late 1930's and found it hard to find homes for them. They eventually sold them for snow applications such as on  this car or for use on agricultural equipment such as grain combines that were normally only used in dry weather conditions.

There is much much more historical detail about the car in the eBay ad.

Perhaps binging the grandson of a rural mail carrier is to partially blame but I love this car (I've heard my grandpa was fond of second hand cars modified by and purchased from a local bootlegger). Yet another vehicle that makes me happy I don't have the financial resources to by vehicles on a whim.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Steam Powered Motorcycle

A passing discussion of the 1894 Roper Motorbike with a friend sent me down a steam bike rat hole this week. Just looking at a steam powered motorcycle it's clear risk was not much of a consideration. Open fire and a potential boiler explosion right between you legs? Who cares how much peril your 200+ HP your Hayabusa can put you in.

I can't fathom how Flathead Rob has not built one of these yet.

This Pete's Garage video of a 1896 Roper replica show something Rob would absolutely build if time and money (AKA going to work) was no object. An original is pictured below.

I didn't however realize the Roper was also publicly involved in the first documented motorcycle fatality.

Sylvester Roper routinely rode his creation around Boston. On June 1, 1896, he demonstrated it on the Charles River Park board-track velodrome in Cambridge. He averaged nearly 30 m.p.h. for two laps, outrunning the fastest bicycle riders. Later the track was cleared, and the 72-year-old Roper attempted to go even faster.  Spectators reported seeing a strange pallor in the face of the aged rider before he appeared to lose control of the machine. Roper was found dead after the crash, collapsed in the sand next to the track. An autopsy reportedly revealed that he had died from heart failure.

I can think of only one other person that has the same level of affinity for hopelessly antiquated vehicles as Rob, my son Vaughn.

When shown the photo above of the 1867 Roper Steam Velocipede Vaughn's only comment was "COOOL!" Sometimes I think that kid was delivered to the wrong house.

Panhead fit for the King

How could Nate NOT buy this bike?

Ran When Parked

1963 Panhead VL Hot Rod - I've seen this bike here and there loads of times over the years. I'm sort of a sucker for the VL framed Knucklehead hot rods and JD cutdowns built post WWII so maybe it's not surprising I like this bike. Using this late a Panhead motor might rub some the wrong way but I just see a cool rider. I hope it finds a good new home.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


There some serious undesirables creeping in to my local neighborhood gas station these days.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Classic Chrome

Buck Carson of Carson Classic Motors and Motorcycle Cannonball fame recently started a podcast Classic Chrome on the Road Hawgs Radio network. I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet but it seems cool. The shows are broadcast live too so listeners can call in for shows just like any other talk radio show.

The Seattle Cossacks are the guests for this week's show.  The show airs 1/21/2015 at 7 PM Central Time.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Ran When Parked

1938 Triumph Speed Twin - I'm not sure I've seen two 1938 Speed Twins for sale in the last 10 years. I was quite surprised to find two '38s Triumph's last night. If I won the lottery tonight I'd likely go with this one.
In case your pockets aren't quite that deep how about this one? OK, so it's not a Speed Twin but it's still kinda cool.

1938 Triumph 3SE Pre Unit Frame, Gas Tank, Oil Tank, Motor Mounts, Gearbox Mounts, Rear Brake Pedal and Rod assembly. 77 year old parts that are hard to find. 1st year of the 3SE (Exported to Australia). Pictures show the exact items for sale. Used, perfect for restoration. $2000. USD
  I'm saving my pennies for that 1939 T100 Tiger I'll find any day now.