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  • 08/13/13--11:00: Sunbeam Ramsgate Sprint Pt.1

  • The Sunbeam Motorcycle Club in association with Ramsgate's Invicta Motorcycle Club ran quarter mile sprints along the Western Undercliff at Ramsgate at 60's

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    The de Havilland DH.110 Sea Vixen was a 1950s two-seat jet fighter of the Fleet Air Arm. The aircraft was originally known as the DH.110; an aircraft designed for both the Royal Air Force (RAF) and Fleet Air Arm as an all-weather, missile-armed, and high-speed jet fighter. The Admiralty had given a requirement for a Fleet defence fighter to eventually replace the de Havilland Sea Venom. However, the RAF chose the Gloster Javelin, a rival to the DH.110, after deciding the Javelin was a cheaper and simpler aeroplane. Despite this, de Havilland continued with the project, and by the late 1950s the Royal Navy had placed an order and the aircraft entered service with the Fleet Air Arm.

    The prototype took to the skies on 26 September 1951 piloted by John Cunningham. The following year tragedy struck. It had been breaking the sound barrier when it disintegrated at the Farnborough Air Show on 6 September 1952, killing 31 people, including the aircraft's two crew, test pilot and record breaker John Derry and Tony Richards. Due to this incident, modifications were made to the other prototype. In 1955, a further DH.110 was produced, a semi-navalised variant (no folding wings), as a prototype for the production version, with it making its first flight that same year.

    The following year, the aircraft made its first arrested deck landing on the fleet aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal. In 1957, the first true Sea Vixen, the Sea Vixen FAW.20 (fighter all-weather), flew. It was later redesignated the FAW.1. In July 1959, the first of over a hundred FAW.1's entered service with the Fleet Air Arm.The Sea Vixen had a twin-boom tail, as used on the de Havilland Sea Vampire and de Havilland Sea Venom, the latter for which the Sea Vixen was the replacement.

    The Sea Vixen became the first swept-wing aircraft and the first British aircraft to be solely armed with missiles, rockets and bombs. The FAW.1 was armed with four de Havilland Firestreak air-to-air missiles, two Microcell unguided 2 inch (51 mm) rocket packs and had a capacity for four 500 lb (230 kg) bombs or two 1000 lb bombs. It was powered by two 50.0 kN (11,230 lbf) thrust Rolls-Royce Avon 208 turbojet engines; had a speed of 690 mph (1110 km/h) and a range of 600 miles (1000 km).

    Interestingly the original DH.110 design did have the fitting of cannons in its prospectus. Experiments with ADEN cannons were carried out and it was found that their firing caused failure of the mountings due to the force of the recoil. All sorts of ideas were tried but the only solution that worked was to put a baulk of timber in place to absorb this recoil force. Thus the Vixen was also the last British fighter to use wood in its construction! The cannons were soon removed and an all missile armament was developed.

    A notable visual aspect of the Sea Vixen is that the pilot's canopy is offset to the left hand side. The other crew member (the navigator) was housed to the right completely within the fuselage, gaining access through a flush-fitting top hatch into his space (known in the service as the "coal hole") which had but a small window.

    The FAW.2 was the successor to the FAW.1 and included many improvements. As well as Firestreak it could carry the Red Top AAM, four SNEB rocket pods and the air-to-ground Bullpup missile. An enlarged tail boom allowed for additional fuel tanks, in the "pinion" extensions above and before the wing leading edge, and there was an improved escape system and additional room for more electronic counter-measures equipment. However, the changes in aerodynamics meant that the 1000 lb bomb was no longer usable.
    The FAW.2 first flew in 1962 and entered service with front-line squadrons in 1964, with twenty-nine being built and a further sixty-seven FAW.1s being upgraded to FAW.2 standard. The FAW.1 began phasing out in 1966.

    The Sea Vixen also took to the skies in the aerobatic role, performing in two display teams; the Simons Sircus (spelt with S) and Fred's Five.
    A single Sea Vixen (G-CVIX) continues to fly, putting on displays at numerous air shows. This aircraft is operated by De Havilland Aviation Ltd and can be viewed as a flying exhibit at Bournemouth Aviation Museum at Bournemouth Airport in Southern England. Many other Sea Vixens remain in good condition though do not fly, and are located in a variety of museums, most are based in the UK though a handful are located abroad

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  • 08/14/13--11:00: Anke Eve Goldmann

  • Anke Eve Goldmann was a journalist for Cycle World, Das Motorrad in Germany, Moto Revue in France and other motorcycle magazines internationally. In the 1950′s she competed in endurance and circuit racing, at the Nurburgring and Hockenheimring but being a woman, was barred from higher level competitions. As well as riding like a pro she was also a ground breaking style icon and designer.

    Anke Eve Goldmann was the first woman to ride a motorcycle with a one-piece leather racing suit, which she designed with German manufacturer Harro, developing one of the first ranges of protective motorcycling clothing suitably cut for women.

    She’s 6 feet tall, making the BMW look small. In 1958, she helped found the Women’s International Motorcycle Association in Europe. Anke Eve Goldmann was also friends with author André Pieyre de Mandiargues and the inspiration for the main character, ‘Rebecca’, in his most popular book ‘The Motorcycle’ written in 1963. The book was adapted for the 1968 film ’The Girl on a Motorcycle’ starring Marianne Faithful.

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    Looking at this stunning example of a 1981 Moto Guzzi V35 Imola you might think it's the work of a builder with a long history of custom building and motorcycle mechanics, but you'd be wrong...really wrong. The truth is that this bike was built by Marco Matteucci a graphic designer and photographer who, up until the start of this build, hadn't even performed an oil change on a bike...and he did it in 1 month! After seeing this build any excuse you've ever had for not starting your own has just gone out the window.

    Based in Italy Marco's education has led to him working in advertising but his passion for motorcycle has always been in the back of his mind. When an opportunity to buy a bulk lot of 4 Moto Guzzi's popped up Marco jumped at the opportunity without even thinking twice about his lack of experience. The Black Boot V35 Imola represents the first of the 4 bikes that he will be customising and he hasn't done anything in halves.

    The build started with a complete tear down for a ground up custom rebuild. Marco tore down the 346cc motor and gave it a refresh with fresh components, seals and a good clean and polish. A new wiring harness was designed and built to integrate the new dials, indicators and headlight. The bikes seat was hand covered in English leather and houses the stoplight at the rear. Low rise bars give a more responsive riding experience and for classic looks and solid road holding Dunlop K82 tires were wrapped around the freshly painted rims.

    Being a trained designer meant that the small details on Marco's Guzzi played a huge part in completing the look. The grips and brake callipers match the tone of the seats leather. The battery is held in place using a vintage look leather strap and the tank has been finished in a textured matte black that reflects very little light. Mounted on the tank are 2 brass eagles and a "Black Boot" badge sits on the gas cap all of which were designed and laser cut by Marco. If this is the first of four I'm dying to see what Marco has in store for the other 3.


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  • 08/16/13--11:00: Simply Joey

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    This charming young folk singer, a man of unpredictable habits, was a charismatic figure on his red-and-silver ’64 Tiger 100. He was often accompanied by a lovely young lady named Joan Baez, who was his early defender, lover, and co-performer, notably at the August 28, 1963 March on Washington, in which Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his ‘I have a Dream’ speech. Dylan’s music, implicitly political during this period, became anthemic to a generation seeking change.

    On July 29, 1966, it was announced that he had suffered injuries after ‘locking up the brakes’ on his Tiger 100, not far from his manager Alan Grossman’s house in Woodstock. Though no hospital data records an entry from Bob Dylan, he claimed to have suffered facial lacerations and ‘several broken vertebrae in his neck’. Quite an injury, yet no ambulance was summoned.

    Dylan had this to say about his crash: “When I had that motorcycle accident… I woke up and caught my senses, I realized that I was just workin’ for all these leeches. And I didn’t want to do that. Plus, I had a family and I just wanted to see my kids.”

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  • 08/18/13--10:00: Wayne

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  • 08/18/13--11:00: The Parasite

  • It all started in the winter of 1958 when John Melniczuk Sr., a Triumph Dealer and owner of Bauer Cycles of Salem, NJ, and Tommy Grazias, a fellow racer, first toyed with the idea of building a twin-engine dragster. Both had been racing T-I10 Triumphs and the thought of taking the engines from each and building one dragster was too tempting not to try. John would design and build it and Tommy would race it. The best place to showcase such a motorcycle was the upcoming Daytona Drags. The bike would have to be ready to contest Daytona by March of 1959.

    In the late 50s, the two-engine dragster concept was unheard of and John and Tommy spent hundreds of hours over a two month span designing, building, redesigning and rebuilding the motorcycle. Without the advantages of modern aftermarket and factory race parts, each part had to be fabricated by hand. The modified Triumph frame was hand built by John and included a girder fork front end brought back from England in a suitcase by Triumph Corporation’s Rod Coates. The half quart gas tank was made of two bicycle headlight shells and an empty can. The rear rim was reworked from an old Indian rim drilled out to save weight. Due to the horsepower created, most of the transmission gears were removed leaving only second and third. Finally, the drag slicks (not available at the time) were created from recapped Indian tires. But difficulties often follow the exhaust of innovation.

    The bike was first tested, running only one engine, on Jericho Road, an old backwoods road know for drag racing. Timing both engines had become increasingly difficult. John worked tirelessly at it, breaking chain after chain. His first thought was to run the engines as a single four cylinder. What he got was a four-cylinder slingshot snapping chains straight up into the air. Then one day it came to him– the engines had to be timed as one. During the frame modifications, John ran into difficulty with the rear section braking and had to add gussets to strengthen it under the load of two engines. After working through all of these setbacks the bike was starting to come together.

    But before heading to Daytona they needed to race the bike in some local competitions. So they loaded the bike into Tommy’s station wagon and set sights on Indiana where they claimed their first victory. The $100 prize money, however, went even faster. For all proceeds went to the Pennsylvania State Police who stopped them for driving over 100 mph on their way to Indiana.

    One evening in the old, rickety shop of Bauer Cycles, John, Tommy and a group of racing friends were sitting around trying to come up with a name for the bike. Each took turns rifling through an old dictionary searching for a single word to describe the unique, twin-engine monstrosity. Finally, around the letter P, someone said they had found it. The room grew silent as he read it aloud: “Parasite, an organism living in, with, or on another organism.” That was it, one engine living off of the other. The Parasite had been born.

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  • 08/19/13--11:00: Sunbeam Ramsgate Sprint Pt.2

  • The Sunbeam Motorcycle Club in association with Ramsgate's Invicta Motorcycle Club ran quarter mile sprints along the Western Undercliff at Ramsgate at 60's

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    Elvis driving a Messerschmitt, 1956

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  • 08/20/13--11:00: Maserati Tipo 61 "Birdcage"

  • In the late fifties, income from Maserati's successful 3500GT meant they could again develop racing cars like the Maserati Tipo 61. Design engineer, Giulio Alfieri drafted an intricate chassis design that was nicknamed the Birdcage. After only six cars, the complex design was upgraded to have a larger engine for American racing. In this Tipo 61 configuration it won many victories including the Nürburgring 1000km.

    Initially, the Maserati Tipo 60/61 was received with much criticism. Omer Orsi, the director of the Maserati, had many doubts about the car's unusual frame. Indeed the Tipo 60 really contrasted with idea of a classic Italian sports car, but it was a product of rapid transformation that started a new philosophy of race car engineering.

    Opting out of using a tub chassis made from sheet steel or aluminum, Alfieri's birdcage instead use small segmented tubes. Over 200 individual pieces were used in the design, having steel tubes with diameters ranging from 10 to 15 mm. The resulting chassis looked like a complex network, almost always described as a Birdcage.

    Two challenges arose from the Birdcage frame. These included maintaining a high level of welding throughout the design which had hundreds of connection points and calculating the required elasticity as not to break the welds during stress. Remarkably, the chassis only weighed 80 lbs (36 kgs).

    Suspension in the car, both front and rear, was similar to the successful 250F Grand Prix car. It had triangular arms with a coil-over-shock arrangement in the front and a de Dion Tube Axle in the rear. Other components included a rack and pinion steering box and specially built Girling disc brakes.

    The engine was placed well back in the chassis and was canted at 45 degrees. This mounting reduced the height of the body and offered a low center of gravity. It was connected to a an entirely new gearbox which was rear mounted and built as one unit with the differential.

    The most simple part of the Birdcage was probably the engine itself . It was an inline-4 which was an evolution of the type used in the 200S. The cylinder head was modified extensively to include actuation of the valves by rockers. Lubrication in the engine was by dry sump which included an unusual triangular oil sump.

    The exterior lines of the car were a direct result of the Tipo 60 chassis concept. The car featured a very small frontal area leading to a low engine cover that completely flips forward for easy access. Gentilini and Allegretti, both former employees of Maserati, were responsible to the body's design. They opted to hide the rear roll bar by covering it with a rather large headrest.

    The Three Liter

    A pressing request came from the United States which saw the potential and superiority of the Tipo 60's chassis. Specifically, many Americans wanted a three liter version to compete in SCCA events. Such a car would also be eligible to enter the World Sports Car in the under three liter class which was Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa territory. Due to the size of the engine block, the maximum geometric size available was 2.9 liters. Fortunately, this was enough to move ahead with the project and the Tipo 61 was born.

    The design of Tipo 61 chassis remained the close to preceding model's design. The braking system was enlarged to 14 inches with improved caliper mountings. A heavier crankshaft and connecting rods, along with the brakes, contributed to the 30kg that made the Tipo 61 a heavier car. Because of this weight, the Tipo 61 actually had a worse power to weight ratio than the Tipo 60.

    On The Track

    The Maserati Birdcage debuted in the hands of Stirling Moss who used the car's light fuel consumption and extremely low weight to win the 1959 Delamare-Deboutteville Cup, a support race for the Rouen GP. Tipo 60 cars went on that year to take many hillclimb and gentlemen-drivers victories.

    After the debut of the three liter car, the Tipo 61 really made its mark in America. Gus Audrey took the SCCA class championship in his Tipo 61, with Roger Penske doing the same in 1961. These victories made the car very popular in America which motivated some teams to try the car in International Motor Sport.

    Since Maserati's new management forced the elimination of officially sanctioned motor sport activities, the Tipo 60 and 61 were sold to private racing teams. Among them, the Casner Motor Racing Division (Camoradi), founded by Lloyd Casner, would be the most important. He negotiated a deal to take delivery of new Tipo 61s to run in the CSI's 1960 World Sports Car Championship.

    Unfortunately, the Camoradi team saw more retirements than finishes during the 1960 season. The Birdcage almost always set the lead pace for most of the rounds, but reliability issues plagued the effort. The Constructor's Championship went to Ferrari that year with their Testa Rossas. The highlight of the Camoradi season came when Stirling Moss and Dan Gurney won the Nurburgring in chassis 2461, despite bad weather and heavy competition from Porsche's 718 RS60, Ferrari's 250 TR59/60 and Aston Martin's DBR1. Moss described it as "my toughest victory ever in sports car racing." He had been soaked in oil at the begining at at the end multiple chassis tubed had broken.⁴

    For 1961, many manufacturers followed Porsche's lead and entered rear engined cars in the championship. While these cars were very much in the prototype stages, they showed much promise. Maserati debuted their rear engine Tipo 63 car at Sebring, to take second in class. During the next race, at Targa Florio, Ferrari's rear engine 246SP took the overall victory in just its second race.

    Again, the Nurburgring would highlight the Camoradi and Tipo 61's season. Almost unexpectedly, Masten Gregory and Lloyd Casner drove # 2472 to the overall victory. This once again proved how capable the Tipo was, and, if it had been more reliable, the 1961 Constructor's Championship could have been given to Maserati, remarkably in the hands of private entrants.

    Read more at 

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  • 08/21/13--09:00: Northrop YB-49

  • The Northrop YB-49 was a prototype jet-powered heavy bomber aircraft developed by Northrop shortly after World War II. Intended for service with the U.S. Air Force, the YB-49 featured a flying wing design. It was a jet-powered development of the earlier, piston-engined Northrop XB-35 and YB-35; the two YB-49s actually built were both converted YB-35 test aircraft.

    The YB-49 never entered production, being passed over in favor of the more conventional Convair B-36 Peacemaker piston-driven design. Design work performed in the development of the YB-35 and YB-49 nonetheless proved to be valuable to Northrop in the eventual development of the current day B-2 Spirit strategic bomber which first entered operational service in the 1990s.

    Paramount Studios' 1953 film, The War of the Worlds incorporates Northrop color footage of a YB-49 test flight, originally used in Paramount's Popular Science theatrical shorts of the era; in the George Pal film the Flying Wing is used to drop an atomic bomb on the invading Martians.

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  • 08/21/13--11:00: 24 Horas Montjuic 1970

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    In 1955, 15-year-old Clarence "Chili" Catallo paid $75 for a 1932 Ford coupe that became the Little Deuce Coupe -- his ­ticket to the hot rodding scene he so loved.

    Scraping together pennies by working in his parents' market in Taylor, Michigan, Chili had Bill Wanderer build and install a 344-cid Olds V-8. Chili rounded out the driveline with Olds parts, including a Hydra-Matic transmission and a chromed 1955 rear end.

    Local customizers Mike and Larry Alexander did the bodywork. The "A Brothers" sectioned and channeled the body, added a quad-headlight fiberglass nose, made a special rolled rear pan, altered the frame, and covered the cobbled frame rails with polished-aluminum fins. Topped with a blue-lacquer paint job, Chili dubbed the hot rod Silver Sapphire.

    Chili drag raced the coupe, turning 12.9 seconds at 112 mph in the quarter-mile, then hauled it out west when he turned 18. He ­landed a job sweeping floors at George Barris' shop in Lynwood, California, and traded his labor to have the crew there tear down the hot rod, chop the top, and repaint it.

    By 1961, the car was an all-out show rod. It now featured a 6-71 blower, three Stromberg 97s carbs, chrome-reversed wheels, a padded and tufted Naugahyde roof insert, and scads of chrome plating.

    By campaigning the coupe on the West Coast show circuit, Chili caught the attention of Hot Rod magazine, and the car appeared on the July 1961 cover. Its greatest fame, however, came in 1963, when it appeared on the cover of The Beach Boys' album Little Deuce Coupe.

    Chili sold the hot rod, now known as the Little Deuce Coupe at the height of its popularity. It went through three owners by 1963 when Ray Woloszak bought it. Ray changed the car over the years, installing a Chrysler 440-cid engine, and took it on the auto-show circuit.

    When Chili's son, Curt, saw it at a Detroit custom show in 1997, he convinced Chili to buy it back. Now back in Michigan, Chili and Curt began restoring the coupe to the way it looked in the Hot Rodmagazine shoot that was used for the Beach Boys album cover.

    Unfortunately, Chili passed away before the hot rod was ready to return to the limelight. Curt forged ahead, however, enlisting the help of many of the men who originally worked on the car, as well as General Motors.

    Recognizing the blown Olds engine as a significant part of the company's history, GM helped Curt with the engine and drive­train rebuild. The restored car appeared at the Pebble Beach Concours d'Elegance in 2001 and at the 50th Detroit Autorama in 2002.

    After many changes, the Little Deuce Coupe now looks like it did when The Beach Boys made it one of the most famous cars in the history of hot rodding.

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    Ray Weishaar was coined the “Kansas Cyclone”– dominating the county fair circuits of Kansas from 1908 to 1910. He was a dominant racer– the Kansas State Championship two years in a row. His second win came even with his handlebars breaking halfway off– although he won the race, he didn’t break his previous year’s record. Ray Weishaar became part of the Harley-Davidson factory racing team in 1916, finishing third at Dodge City that year and winning the FAM 100-Mile Championship in Detroit. Weishaar was also offered a Harley-Davidson dealership and became a dealer for three years. Weishaar was by no means finished with racing though, and returned to the competitive circuit in 1919.

    One fateful race, Weishaar was battling Gene Walker for the lead– Johnny Seymour drafted past them both, sending Weishaar’s bike into a high-speed wobble. The bike went into a skid and Weishaar fought hard to save it before hitting the outside fence. Weishaar went through the wooden fence and incredibly was still conscious. He was not thought to be seriously injured in the crash. His wife, Emma, drove him to Los Angeles General Hospital where he tragically died just a few hours later from internal injuries. The motorcycle racing community rallied to support Weishaar’s surviving wife and six-month-old son and generously paid off the mortgage on the family’s home.


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    Steve ‘Carpy’ Carpenter is a household name in cafe racer circles. Mostly because he’s a traditionalist and a perfectionist. When you order a custom motorcycle from Carpy, you’ll get a bike in better condition than the day it rolled off the factory floor. The latest bike to leave Carpy’s workshop in Anaheim, CA, is ‘Cyclone’ and it’s a 1970 K0 model—one of the earliest CB750s, with the SOHC motor. I’m guessing that this particular bike is also one of the 7,000 that had ‘sandcast’ engine cases—Honda hedged its bets on setting up diecast tooling before it realized it had a hit on its hands.

    Carpy stripped this CB750 down and reconditioned or replaced every single part. He fitted one of his proprietary boxed swingarms (with a two-inch extension) and a complete new electrical system. The rear wheel has been upgraded to a fatter 16 x 3.5” item, giving the machine a heavier look at the back. The paint is House of Kolor Silver Flake, and the seat has been neatly upholstered with matching silver tuck ‘n’ roll. If you’re into the Ace Cafe scene, this has got to be the ultimate silver dream machine.

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  • 08/23/13--11:00: Asphalt Surfing

  • Taking chances Daredevil Doug Harper rides surfboard on dry land behind speedy racing car. Muroc, California Riding his surfboard behind a racing car piloted by Louis Moore, noted racer, Doug Harper found thrills aplenty at a speed of upwards of 75 miles per hour on the bed of a dry lake here. Photo Shows: Harper almost losing his gamble with death by taking a nasty spill while Moore (foreground) tows him along at a 75-m.p.h.

    Original press photograph from Underwood & Underwood

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  • 08/24/13--09:00: The future is unwritten

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