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  • 05/25/14--11:00: Riley 9 Brooklands

  • The Riley Nine was one of the most successful light cars produced by the British motor industry in the inter war period. It was made by the Riley company of Coventry, England with a wide range of body styles between 1926 and 1938.

    The car was largely designed by two of the Riley brothers, Percy and Stanley. Stanley was responsible for the chassis, suspension and body and the older Percy designed the engine.

    The 1,087 cc four-cylinder engine had hemispherical combustion chambers with the valves inclined at 45 degrees in a crossflow head. To save the expense and complication of overhead camshafts, the valves were operated by two camshafts mounted high in the crankcase through short pushrods and rockers.
    The engine was mounted in the chassis by a rubber bushed bar that ran through the block with a further mount at the rear of the gearbox.
    Drive was to the rear wheels through a torque tube and spiral bevel live rear axle mounted on semi elliptic springs.

    At launch in July 1926 two body styles were available, a fabric bodied saloon called the Monaco at £285 and a fabric four-seat tourer for £235. The saloon could reach 60 mph (97 km/h) and give 40 mpg-imp (7.1 L/100 km; 33 mpg-US). Very quickly a further two bodies were offered, the San Remo, an artillery wheeled basic saloon and a two-seater plus dickie open tourer and there was also the option of a steel panelling rather than fabric for the four-seater tourer.

    After the cars 1926 launch, Mark 1 production actually started in 1927 at Percy’s engine factory, due to some resistance in the main works to the new design. It was such a critically acclaimed success that after less than a thousand cars had been produced the works quickly shut down side-valve production and tooled up for the new Nine in early 1928. This switch to the main factory coincided with several modernisations of the Mark 1 – the cone clutch was dropped, the gear lever and handbrake were moved from the right to the centre of the car and a Riley steering box was adopted becoming the Mark II. The Mark III was a gentle update of the II at the end of 1928, evolving stronger wheels and a different arrangement of rods to the rear brakes.

    The Mark IV was a thorough re working of the Nine – heavier Riley made 6-stud axles replaced the bought in five-stud rod brake items and a new cable braking system was introduced with larger drums.The range of bodies was further extended in 1929 with the Biarritz saloon which was a de-luxe version of the Monaco. The improved brakes were fitted using the Riley continuous cable system and if the cable stretched it could be adjusted from the driver’s seat.

    More body variants were added over the next few years and in 1934 a Preselector gearbox was offered for £27 extra. The range was slimmed down in 1935 to the Monaco saloon, Kestrel streamlined saloon and Lynx four-seat tourer as the works started gearing up for production of the new 12 hp model.

    In an attempt to keep costs down Riley entered into an agreement with Briggs bodies to produce a steel (non coach-built) body for a newly designed chassis. This new chassis was introduced in 1936 and incorporated such features as Girling rod operated brakes and a prop shaft final drive for the Nine (though the 12 hp variant retained the torque tube). The Briggs body was named the Merlin and was available alongside the last nine Kestrel variant, also built on the “Merlin” chassis.

    The Briggs body evolved through 1937 with a large boot extension to be called the Touring Saloon and an additional body style was added on the same chassis – the higher specified special series Monaco (a completely new design from the previous car). The final version (and last nine model) was the 1938 Victor also available with 1496 cc engine. The Victor had the engine further forward to increase interior room, the battery moved to the engine bay and smaller diameter wheels.

    The Riley company was bought by Lord Nuffield in 1938 and nine production ceased as the company pursued a strict two-engine line up, continued after the war with the RM series.

    Riley’s first racing successes came at the Brooklands circuit in 1924, and this was commemorated with the Riley 9 Brooklands model with a four-cylinder 1087cc engine, built between 1929 and 1932. This was a very successful works and privateer race car at Brooklands, LeMans and in club racing. This car with chassis number VC8304/8089, with its aluminum body and lightweight components, placed well in the 1931 Irish Grand Prix and the Brooklands 500, and it gained a fourth place at LeMans in 1933 behind three supercharged Alfa Romeo 8Cs. It has more recently been seen at historic races both in the United States and in Europe.

    The Riley Brooklands were used by the factory and privateers in racing endeavors during the 1920s and early 1930s. They were used in hill climbs, at LeMans, and numerous other stages.

    The car would become on of the most successful racing cars of its era, amassing numerous victories and class wins.

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    1960s Campagnolo Record shifting unit, Universal brakeset, Titan Luxe stem and Maes/Kint handle bars. Nervar crankset, Campagnolo bottom bracket & head set. Fiamme red label rims at early Campagnolo Gran Sport hubs. Brooks B17 saddle and alloy seat post made from Reynolds R5. Majestic 5-speed freewheel. Campagnolo thermosflask with handlebar holder for coffee brake.

    Original condition. I renewed the brake lever hoods, cables, bar tape. Tubulars are fresh and from new old stock: Liontyres GT30. I will also add some new brake pads.

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  • 05/27/14--09:00: Pancho Villa and his Indian

  • Motorcycles in 1916 were much more affordable to most Americans than a car was. And the addition of a sidecar to the motorcycle increased the carrying capacity.

    When the US Army was unable to catch Mexican bandit Pancho Villa while raiding US border towns in Texas they asked Harley-Davidson for motorcycles to help track down and catch him. Harley sent them thirty-five motorcycles. While they did not help the Army catch Pancho Villa the Army realized the value of Harley-Davidson motorcycles to the military.

    The big news for 1916 Harley motorcycles was the introduction of the single-pedal, rear stroke starter on several of the new motorcycles (including the 1916 Harley Model C single and Twin). The gas tanks now featured rounded edges and wider forks. This was also the first year Harley started using the year of manufacture stamped on the engine cases in the prefix.

    In 1916 and only 1916 Harley built an experimental Model 16-GC – a sidecar gun carriage for military use. It featured a special platform for a Colt machine gun. Harley also offered the 16-AC ammunition car and 16-SC sidecar chassis with stretcher assembly.

    Harley-Davidson launched The Enthusiast magazine in 1916 and sold copies for a nickel. And in racing news Harley mounted Red Parkhurst set a new 24-hour solo record at Sheepshead Bay, New York at 1,452 miles. Otto Walker and Carl Lutgens set the 24-hour sidecar record at 1,158 miles.

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  • 05/28/14--09:00: Short SC1

  • In 1953, the Ministry of Supply issued Specification ER.143 for a research aircraft which could take off vertically by jet lift, then accelerate forward into normal cruising flight. The result was the Short SC. 1, which was powered by four RB.108 lift engines vertically mounted on gimbals in the centre fuselage and one RB.108 cruise engine in the rear for forward flight. The SC. 1 was designed to study hover, transition and low-speed flight, and had a fixed landing gear. Bleeds from the four lift engines powered nose, tail and wing-tip reaction jets for control at low speeds. The first conventional flight was made on 2 April 1957; first tethered vertical flight was on 26 May 1958; first free vertical flight was on 25 October 1958; and the first transition was on 6 April 1960. The SC.1 appeared at the Farnborough air show in 1960 and Paris air show in 1961 (for the latter it flew the English Channel both ways). Two test aircraft were built, the second of which crashed on 2 October 1963 due to a controls malfunction, killing the pilot. It was rebuilt and the two aircraft continued to fly until 1967.

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  • 05/28/14--11:00: Bob McIntyre at Isle of Man

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  • 06/04/14--09:00: Short Sperrin

  • The Short SA.4 Sperrin (named after the Sperrin Mountains, a range of hills in Northern Ireland) was a British jet bomber design of the early 1950s built by Short Brothers and Harland of Belfast, popularly abbreviated "Shorts". It first flew in 1951. The design had always been a fall-back option in case the more advanced jet designs of the V bombers were delayed, and it was not put into production because these swept-wing designs (such as the Vickers Valiant) were by then available. The Sperrin prototypes were however valuable for research data on large jet aircraft.

    The Air Ministry issued a specification on 11 August 1947 B.14/46 for a "medium-range bomber landplane" that could carry a "10,000 pound [4,500 kilogram] bomb to a target 1,500 nautical miles [2,780 kilometers] from a base which may be anywhere in the world", with the stipulation it should be simple enough to maintain at overseas bases. The exact requirements also included a weight of 140,000 lb (64,000 kg). The B.35/46 specification required that the fully laden weight would be under 100,000 lb (45 tonnes), the bomber have a cruising speed of 500 knots (930 km/h) and that the service ceiling would be 50,000 ft (15,200 m). This request would be the foundation of the V bombers.

    At the same time, the British authorities felt there was a need for an independent strategic bombing capability—in other words that they should not be reliant upon the American Strategic Air Command. In late 1948, the Air Ministry issued their specification B.35/46 for an advanced jet bomber that should be the equal of anything that either the Soviet Union or the Americans would have. The exact requirements included that the fully laden weight would be under 100,000 lb (45 tonnes), the ability to fly to a target 1,500 nautical miles (2,800 km) distant at 500 knots (930 km/h) with a service ceiling of 50,000 feet (15,200 m) and again that it should be simple enough to maintain at overseas bases. A further stipulation that a nuclear bomb (a "special" in RAF jargon), weighing 10,000 lb (4,500 kg) and measuring 30 ft (length) and 10 ft (diameter), could be accommodated. This request would be the foundation of the V bombers.

    However, the Air Ministry accepted that the requirement might prove to be difficult to achieve in the time-scale required and prepared for a fall-back position by re-drafting B.14/46 as an "insurance" specification against failure to speedily develop the more advanced types that evolved into the Vickers Valiant, Avro Vulcan and Handley Page Victor., as this was to be a less ambitious conventional type of aircraft, with unswept wings and some sacrifice in performance. The only significant performance differences between B.14/46 and the more advanced B.35/46 were a lower speed of 435 knots (806 km/h) and a lower height over the target of 35,000 ft (11,000 m) to 45,000 ft (14,000 m).

    Under this requirement, the Air Ministry placed a contract for two flying prototypes and a static airframe with Shorts. The design, known initially as SA.4 and later, as the "Sperrin", had more in common with the Second World War designs than the new jet age. It was straight winged, although the leading edge was slightly swept. The engines were mounted in nacelles mid-wing, two engines per wing, with one engine stacked above the other. The airframe was built largely of aluminium alloys with a tricycle undercarriage (nosewheel and two, four-wheel bogies), the nose gear retracting backward and the main gear in the wings towards the fuselage.

    The SA.4 was designed for a crew of five: pilot, copilot, bombardier ("air bomber"), navigator and radio operator. The prone bombardier's position was a tube extending forward of the cockpit above the radome; the crew compartment being pressurized. These positions were fitted with opaque nosecones, as the Sperrins were never used for live bombing. An ejection seat and accompanying hatch was fitted for the pilot alone. The three crew positions behind the pilots faced backward with the crew entrance below.

    As a possible production aircraft, the Sperrins were built on production jigs, which slowed their construction.

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    The 300 d landaulet attracted considerable attention – but the most notable development in the history of this body design in the second half of the 20th century came with the Mercedes-Benz factory-built landaulet versions of the 600 model (W 100). In the book “Mercedes-Benz 600” published in 2001, author Heribert Hofer describes the landaulet from this model series as “a genuine old-style parade car, a unique automotive treasure.” And indeed, heads of state like Queen Elizabeth Elisabeth II, Pope Paul VI and his successors and heads of government all around the world chose this model to greet onlookers as they drove through the streets. The German government also regularly called on a Mercedes-Benz 600 landaulet for ceremonial occasions, although the vehicle was not owned by the state. Instead, the car was kept in the company fleet in Stuttgart and made available on request.

    Production of the 600 model, in the “Grand Mercedes” tradition, started in September 1964. The Pullman landaulet, along with a number of limousines, was a production variant of the Pullman body with the long wheelbase of the W 100. Mercedes-Benz offered its customers four different landaulet versions based on this exclusive design: the standard version had four doors, facing rear seats, and a folding top extending as far as the front edges of the rear doors. There was also a special six-door version with a seat bench in the rear and additional fold-out seats facing in the direction of travel. In this variant, as in the six-door Pullman limousine, the middle doors could also be provided without handles. Both the above landaulets - the four-door and six-door design – could also be equipped on request with a long convertible top reaching as far as the partition.

    All these versions were based on a long-wheelbase W 100 chassis, but in 1967 a one-off short-wheelbase W 100 landaulet was also produced. The vehicle was commissioned by Count von Berckheim. The ex-racing driver’s Mercedes-Benz 600 combined the handling qualities of a short-wheelbase design with the traditional virtues of the landaulet. The time and effort involved in this one-off project indicates that the 59 Pullman landaulets built hardly represented a “series production” operation in the strict sense - in fact, with such a wide variety of interior equipment options and special features it would be difficult to find two identically-equipped 600 landaulets. But one thing all these vehicles had in common was their exceedingly high price. The exclusive body design with the folding convertible top did not appear on the official price list, but the Mercedes-Benz 600 was regarded as the world’s most expensive production car of its day.

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  • 06/06/14--09:00: Triumph Turbocharged

  • Seems everybody has a taste for salt. Professional builders and home tuners alike are increasingly constructing machinery aboard which they hope to break speed records, racing only the clock on the Bonneville Salt Flats.

    Derek Pauletto of Trillion Industries in Calgary, Alberta has never been one to attempt something easy. He tends to really think about what he’s doing—whether machining and assembling finely detailed Star Wars light sabers for his kids, or building a single-sided swingarm for a 1971 Honda CB500. So, when he decided to focus his energy in crafting a racer for the motorcycle-only BUB Speed Trials, he challenged himself.

    Derek has one foot firmly planted in the modern motorcycle camp, with the other in the vintage camp. For this build, he reached back to the late 1930s, bringing Edward Turner’s parallel twin engine technology kicking and screaming into the 21st century with the addition of a turbocharger and fuel injection.

    He based the build, which he’s dubbed Raquel, on the remnants of a 1970 Triumph Bonneville. In 2012 Team Trillion ran on the salt in the M/PBF (Modified/Pushrod Blown Fuel) class.

    Raquel is based on the Triumph’s front frame loop, fork and engine, but everything was heavily modified. To the 650cc engine—running the standard-spec bore—he installed an aftermarket turbo for a 1.8-L Audi car, and modified throttle bodies from a 2003 Honda CBR for fuel injection.

    Custom cams, pistons and crankshaft went in, and an HKS F-Con V Pro fuel management computer system was tricked into thinking it was running a two-cylinder Toyota Supra. Derek bent and welded tubes to form the rigid rear, fabricated the oil and gasoline tanks, and machined both wheels from solid billet.

    With little running time on a local dyno, Derek loaded Raquel and made it to the Sunday tech inspection in Utah. “We were just happy to have made it through tech,” he says. Derek squeezed two qualifying runs (171.94 km/h – 106.838 mp/h and 172.28 km/h – 107.049 mp/h) out of the motorcycle before electrical gremlins left him sidelined.

    Not entirely thrilled, Derek says he did learn some lessons. He is currently rebuilding the Triumph, wiring in a new computer system and installing a hydraulic clutch and inverted fork from a Honda CBR.

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  • 06/06/14--11:00: TT week: In the Army now

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  • 06/08/14--11:00: Lancia LC1 Spyder

  • The Lancia LC1 was a sports car run by Lancia under the Group 6 regulations in the World Endurance Championshipand 24 Hours of Le Mans from 1982 to 1983. The car was built as an attempt by Lancia to move up from production-based competition with the Lancia Beta Montecarlo Turbo in Group 5.

    The LC1 featured a chassis built by Dallara with an open cockpit, while the engine would be a 1425 cc straight-4 Lancia unit with a single turbocharger, as had been used in the previous Montecarlos. Martini Racing would run the program, with all cars running the Martini & Rossi colors.

    However, the car's life was short due to rule changes enacted prior to the LC1's competition debut in 1982. Organisers had decided that Group 6 was to be phased out in place of the new Group C. In order to push manufacturers towards Group C, cars competing in other classes would not be allowed to earn points in the Manufacturers Championship, but would still be eligible in the Drivers Championship. To Lancia's advantage, Group 6 cars were not required to meet the fuel economy standards that Group C cars used, allowing the team to run flat-out throughout a race and compete for overall victories. The LC1s were therefore able to fight for overall race wins, earning three in the 1982 season. The quick pace of the car also earned it three pole positions. Lancia driver Riccardo Patrese was in contention for the Drivers Championship into the final round, but ended the year eight points behind Porsche's Jacky Ickx.

    With the LC1 already restricted the project was quickly abandoned in 1983, with Lancia building an all-new car to Group C regulations known as the LC2. The LC1s still saw some competition in 1983, as Italian squad Sivama Motor modified a pair of LC1s to include a closed cockpit and meet Group C regulations. These cars saw mixed results before they too were abandoned at the end of the 1983 season.

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    This is an ~1974 Cinelli Super Corsa Leggerisimo. The paint is a dark very intense red pearl on bright silver. Transfers on waterslide material

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