Articles on this Page
(showing articles 61 to 80 of 687)
- 06/14/13--09:00: _JMC Norvin Cafe Racer
- 06/14/13--11:00: _It's a hard work bu...
- 06/15/13--09:00: _Fiat 124 Abarth Rally
- 06/15/13--11:00: _Gina Lollobrigida &...
- 06/16/13--04:10: _Jim Redman and the ...
- 06/16/13--09:00: _1922 Targa Florio -...
- 06/16/13--11:00: _There is a crack in...
- 06/17/13--09:00: _Surly Cross Check b...
- 06/17/13--11:00: _John Surtees and AJS
- 06/18/13--02:23: _Anderson & Read
- 06/18/13--09:00: _Convair XFY-1 Pogo
- 06/18/13--11:00: _Jarno at Daytona
- 06/19/13--09:00: _Mercedes W196
- 06/19/13--11:00: _Mitsuo Itoh, the on...
- 06/20/13--09:00: _Rockstars' Garage: ...
- 06/20/13--11:00: _Indian riders for t...
- 06/21/13--09:00: _Yamaha XS 650 by Wh...
- 06/21/13--11:00: _Happy summer.
- 06/22/13--09:00: _1938 International ...
- 06/22/13--11:00: _James Dean's Little...
(showing articles 61 to 80 of 687)
- 06/14/13--09:00: JMC Norvin Cafe Racer
- 06/14/13--11:00: It's a hard work but...
- 06/15/13--09:00: Fiat 124 Abarth Rally
- 06/15/13--11:00: Gina Lollobrigida & Vespa
- 06/16/13--04:10: Jim Redman and the Honda Six. Assen
- 06/16/13--09:00: 1922 Targa Florio - Il Conte Giulio Masetti /Mercedes
- 06/16/13--11:00: There is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in.
- 06/17/13--09:00: Surly Cross Check by Above Bike
- 06/17/13--11:00: John Surtees and AJS
- 06/18/13--02:23: Anderson & Read
- 06/18/13--09:00: Convair XFY-1 Pogo
- 06/18/13--11:00: Jarno at Daytona
- 06/19/13--09:00: Mercedes W196
- 06/19/13--11:00: Mitsuo Itoh, the only ever Japanese TT winner
- 06/20/13--09:00: Rockstars' Garage: John Bonham's 23 T Bucket Roadster
- 06/20/13--11:00: Indian riders for the 1913 IOM Senior TT.
- 06/21/13--09:00: Yamaha XS 650 by Wheely Shop
- 06/21/13--11:00: Happy summer.
- 06/22/13--09:00: 1938 International Six Days Trial Wales.
- 06/22/13--11:00: James Dean's Little Bastard
Peas and gravy, spaghetti and meatballs, Sonny and Cher. It seems some things are just made to go together. Take the Norton featherbed frame for instance, arguably Norton's greatest achievement, it was the frame that every Cafe Racer rider wanted in the fifties and is still highly regarded today; add to that one of the most beautiful engines ever made, the Vincent 1200cc Lighting and you've got one of those winning combinations.
JMC Classics and restorations in Hertfordshire, England have been producing motorcycles based on this combination for more than two decades and it seems they've just about perfected it. This is the JMC Norvin. A modern day version of the classic Cafe Racer combination and if you want a reliable classic this is about as good as it gets.
Starting with the engine you'll get the choice of either a Vincent Shadow (1000cc, 66bhp), Vincent Lightning (1200cc, 87bhp) or the Vincent Nero (1200cc Race spec). Each built with a JMC racing clutche, Alton alternator, 5 speed gearbox and professionally tuned by the JMC team this won't be a ride for the faint hearted.
The Featherbed inspired JMC wideline frame has been developed by Andy Sydlow. Lacking the front cradle (which undoubtedly saves some weight) it allows the engine to dominate the the bikes aesthetic and further simplify its appearance. The rear suspension comes in either a dual or mono shock configuration which is complimented by a set Ceriani Forks and Yoke or Norton on the front and you also get the option of stainless of fiberglass mudguards.
All the aluminium on the biike including the rear sets is done by AMC craftsman Axel Meier whose work is nothing less that stunning. My favorite part of this particular bike though is the sweeping 2 into 1 exhaust that snakes around that beautiful engine and rears its head at the other bikes trailing behind.
In 1972 Fiat unveiled its new 124 Spider along with a very special version tuned by Abarth. The 124 Abarth Rallye featured a strengthened and lightened body fitted with alloy and GRP panels. The 124 Abarth Rallye had a permanent hardtop roof which suited its roll as a rally car.
Mechanically the 124 Abarth Rallye used a tuned 1756cc dual overhead cam four cylinder engine which developed 128bhp. As an option owners could specify an even more powerful version with a 16 valve cylinder head. Production of the 124 Abarth Rallye lasted until 1975, just over 1,000 were built.
Giulio Masetti (1895 in Firenze - April 25, 1926 in Sclafani Bagni on Sicilia) was an Italian conte and racing driver, known as «the lion of Madonie» from his dominating the Targa Florio in the early 1920s. He was the older brother of racing driver, conte Carlo Masetti, and acquired his first car, a 4.5-litre Fiat S57 B14 from Antonio Ascari, in which he was fourth at X Targa Florio (1919), and won the XII Targa Florio (1921). The next year, he won XIII Targa Florio in his privately entered ex-Otto Salzer 1914 Mercedes 4.5-litre 115 HP 18/100 (1922).Masetti then raced an Alfa Romeo RL TF (second at XIV Targa Florio, 1923) before joining the Sunbeam-Talbot-Darracq team. He was third in a Sunbeam 135 bhp 2-litre at French GP (1925), but failed to finish the Spanish Grand Prix (1925) and II GP Rome (1926). He died in the XVII Targa Florio, driving entry #13, a Delage 2L CV.
The Convair XFY-1 Pogo is one of many attempts made after World War II to devise a practical Vertical Take-Off and Landing (VTOL) combat aircraft. The British finally succeeded with the Hawker-Siddeley Harrier, but before this aircraft arrived, firms around the United States experimented with various VTOL configurations. Wartime experiences had revealed how vulnerable fixed land bases could be to enemy assault from land or air. Aircraft carriers were also vulnerable as demonstrated by Allied experiences with the Japanese kamikaze threat. The U. S. Navy depended on aircraft carriers for many things, including fleet defense, but to assign a carrier task force to protect every convoy or cover every naval operation was impossible. After the U. S. Army Air Forces and the Navy demonstrated practical helicopters during World War II, naval strategists began considering the feasibility of stationing VTOL interceptors aboard non-aircraft carrier hulls.
In 1947, the U. S. Air Force and the Navy conducted design studies under Project Hummingbird. With these data and captured German material from the Focke-Wulf Triebflugel (thrust-wing) program, the Navy launched a formal VTOL fighter study in 1948. The aim was to develop an aircraft that could take off and land vertically on destroyers, LSTs (Landing Ships, Tank), fleet oilers, transports, and larger ships not otherwise equipped to handle conventional aircraft. In theory, a VTOL fighter could protect the mother ship or join other VTOL fighters to defend a task force or convoy.
After four years of study, the Navy awarded contracts to Convair and Lockheed to design, build, and fly experimental VTOL fighters in May 1951. Each company agreed to build two prototypes but in the end, they built only one Lockheed XFV-1 and one Convair XFY-1 Pogo. The XFV-1 never made a vertical takeoff and landing primarily because the Navy gave to Convair the only powerplant rated for both vertical and horizontal flight. The XFY-1 could not only take off and landing vertically, it could also transition to horizontal flight and back and did so many times. A number of interesting design features contributed to this prototype's success.
Both airplanes flew behind the same powerful Allison YT-40 turboprop engine. Allison created the YT-40 by mounting two smaller T-38 powerplants side-by-side and feeding their output into a single, massive gearbox. This brute pumped 5,850 shaft horsepower into two, 4.8 m (16 ft) diameter, counter-rotating propellers.
At rest, Pogo sat atop the trailing edges of its two wings and dorsal and ventral fins. Convair fitted a small, castering wheel onto the end of a strut several feet long and mounted four of these to form an improvised landing gear at the tips of the wings and fins. At touchdown, the struts compressed several feet, like a child's pogostick, to dampen impact forces. There were no brakes and the wheels rolled freely so flying under no-wind conditions was important. This was tolerable on a prototype but the Fleet could not have accepted a production VTOL fighter without brakes on the landing gear.
Because it launched and landed vertically but cruised horizontally, the pilot's seat had to rotate for safety and comfort in both flight regimes. Convair provided about 7.6 m (25 ft) of rope tied inside the cockpit so the pilot could dismount safely in case of off-field or emergency vertical landing. Although weapons were not tested, one proposed armament configuration consisted of either 48 folding-fin aerial rockets or up to four 20mm cannon mounted in the wing tips.
By February 1954, Convair had tested the engine in a vertical stand at Lindbergh Field, San Diego. It performed without problems and the company joined the engine to the airframe a month later. In April, Convair moved the project to Naval Air Station Moffett Field near Sunnyvale, California, for a series of tethered flight tests. It ran these experiments in the old Airship Hangar Number One built in the early 1930s to house the dirigible USS Macon.
On April 29, 1954, James F. "Skeets" Coleman, a lieutenant colonel in the Marine Reserve and a Convair engineering test pilot, made the first tethered flight in the Pogo. The XFY-1 was very much experimental. No other propeller-driven aircraft with similar size, weight, and engine power had ever attempted to take off and land vertically. The Pogo required safety lines to protect the pilot and the aircraft. Convair removed the propeller spinner and rigged a tether to a fitting in the nose. The tether streamed from a motorized reel controlled by Convair flight test engineer, Bob McGreary. McGreary could wind-up the reel and snatch the Pogo upright if Coleman lost control. Four more lines steadied each wingtip.
Coleman completed many tethered flights in the hangar, more than sixty hours of flying time, but it was dangerous work. The 4.8 m (16 ft) diameter propellers thrashed up a tremendous airflow that turned extremely turbulent as it washed against the inside of the hanger. Several times, Coleman called McGreary to "catch me, catch me" and the engineer slapped a button, spinning the reel to tighten the tether and steady the teetering Pogo.
By August, it was time to move outdoors. Coleman completed his first free flights on August 1st. He rose 6 m (20 ft) on the initial attempt but soared to 45 m (150 ft) on the second try. A short time later, Convair moved the aircraft to Naval Auxiliary Air Station Brown Field, California, to continue testing, including transition from vertical to horizontal flight. Coleman flew more than 70 additional takeoff-hover-landing flights in keeping with his conservative, safety-first approach to the XFY-1. He gained valuable experience with every flight. On November 2, 1954, Coleman finally transitioned and flew horizontally for 21 minutes. The test pilot spent seven minutes hovering. Just two days later, the aircraft made its public debut. Coleman launched and transitioned about 15 m (50 ft) above ground, thanks to tremendous engine power and a low-drag, streamlined airframe. The Pogo was fast too. Even with the throttle set at minimum power, the XFY-1 knifed through the air at well over 483 kph (300 mph). The airplane had no speed brakes or spoilers to help control airspeed and Coleman often outpaced the chase aircraft assigned to monitor him.
Trouble controlling low-speed velocity only aggravated the problems encountered during landing. Coleman's technique was interesting. He approached the field low with the engine set at flight-idle. At mid-field, he popped the control stick back into his stomach and pitched the airplane's nose straight up. The speed fell sharply but just as he reached the peak of his climb, Coleman applied power and stopped the Pogo in mid-air. With practice, the testpilot could stop the climb in a hover, reduce power and "back" down to a nice landing.
His descents often began higher than 300 m (1,000 ft). The aircraft was not stable and maintaining a hover required constant corrective action on the flight controls. Close above ground, the Pogo descended through its own, turbulent propwash, and Coleman fought the controls to get through it. With great skill and huge control inputs (stick and rudder pedal deflections), the test pilot brought this flying experiment back to earth safely, every time.
Yet another problem for the pilot made landings the most challenging part of flying the Pogo. When descending for touchdown from a high hover, Coleman found it almost impossible to judge rate-of-descent accurately with eyeballs alone. The Ryan Aeronautical Company developed a compact radar altimeter and mounted it in the left wingtip pod. Signals from the altimeter activated three lights: green signaled a stable hover or ascent, amber meant the rate of descent was safe, and red signaled an unsafe dive toward the ground at more than 10 feet per second.
Coleman climbed the airplane to 3,000 m (10,000 ft) on February 5, 1955. At this altitude during winter, temperatures can drop to freezing, yet he never closed the canopy once, during the entire time he flew the XFY-1. Convair installed an ejection seat but everyone thought it unreliable and technicians disarmed it. If serious trouble occurred in flight, Coleman's only option was to "step over the side" but it was considerably easier to leave the airplane if the canopy was already open.
No other pilot flew the airplane until May 19, 1955. John Knebel attempted to fly without tethered rig experience and the flight nearly ended in disaster. The Navy moved the tether rig from Moffett Field to Brown, and two other pilots began training in May 1956 but the end was already near. The giant gearbox had begun to wear and bits of metal were appearing in the lubricating oil. It was time for a major overhaul but the Navy was becoming enthusiastic about flying fixed-wing jets from aircraft carriers. Coleman had made his last flight on June 16, 1955. Interest in the program, and the funding, was disappearing and on August 1, 1956, the Navy closed the books on the XFY-1.
The Pogo proved that the VTOL fighter concept was theoretically possible but that much work remained to make the idea operationally practical. As it stood, flying the XFY-1 required above-average piloting skills and special training. It remained near San Diego for several more years until the Navy shipped it to Naval Air Station Norfolk, Virginia, and the Pogo sat "gate guard" there for a number of years. In 1973, the Navy transferred the aircraft to the National Air and Space Museum.
Shortly after the end of World War Two, motor racing was understandably not a priority for Mercedes-Benz. Thanks to the amazing economic turn around of the country, the German manufacturer could return to racing sooner than most expected. Their first effort was in the early 1950s with the production car derived 300 SL, which took a win in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1952. Everybody knew that it was a matter of time when Mercedes-Benz would return to Grand Prix racing. There they did have to live up to impossibly high expectations as in the past they did not only dominate, but also won at their returns to the sport in 1914 and 1934. Exactly twenty years later Mercedes-Benz re-entered GP racing with the W196 and they did not disappoint. There was a more important reason for Mercedes-Benz to kick off their Grand Prix program in 1954 as it was the first year of the new 2.5 litre Formula 1 regulations. This meant that all active manufacturers also had to start with a clean sheet, giving them less of an advantage over newcomers.
In the past the Mercedes-Benz racing cars were not only the fastest, but also the most technologically advanced; a showcase of the company's advanced technical capabilities. The W196, especially its straight eight engine fitted right into that pattern. Considering the relatively small displacement of 2.5 litres, the German engineers' choice for the long straight eight engine was quite surprising. Like the great 1930s Alfa Romeo 'eight', the M 196 R was built up of two blocks of four cylinders with the dual overhead camshafts driven from the heart of the engine. This configuration meant the camshafts needed to be only half the length of the engine, preventing them from flexing under heavy loads. The valvetrain itself was a lot less conventional as it used 'Desmodromic' system, which uses the camshaft to both open and close the valves. Not needing fragile springs to close the valves meant the engine could rev considerably higher. A real novelty was the Bosch developed direct Fuel Injection system, which had already been used successfully on the 300 SL racing cars. The exceptionally advanced engine produced 257 bhp at its debut and continuous development saw that power hiked within a year to 290 bhp at an impressive 8500 rpm.
Also carried over from the 300 SL was the space-frame chassis, which consisted of a large number of small diameter tubes. It was a new approach to building chassis, which combined light weight with exceptional rigidity. Suspension was by dual wishbones and torsion bars at the front and swing axles with torsion bars at the rear. The massive drum brakes were installed inboard both front and rear to reduce unsprung weight and improve handling. To make sure the brakes were cooled properly the massive drums were equipped with fins for the so-called 'Turbo-cooling'. To lower the center of gravity and the frontal area, the straight eight engine was angled 37° on its side. Like the camshaft drive, the power take-off from the crankshaft was at the centre of the engine. Power was fed through a sub-shaft and a prop-shaft to the five speed gearbox, which was mounted in unit with the differential. Sparing no expense, the engineers developed a variety of track specific versions of the W196 with three wheelbases and two body styles. Harking back at late 1930s practice an all enveloping low-drag streamliner body was created for high speed tracks. For the more technical tracks a more conventional open-wheel body was fitted.
To ensure that the W196 would live up to its high expectations, Mercedes-Benz contracted one of the best drivers of the day; Juan Manuel Fangio. He was backed up by Hans Herrmann and Karl Kling. Still busy developing the cars, Mercedes-Benz missed the first three races; Fangio used a Maserati to win two of them. The belated debut came at the French Grand Prix in Reims, where the streamlined body was right at home. It was immediately obvious that the German no expense spared approach was too much for the Italian and British specialist manufacturers to match. Fangio helped Mercedes to continue a tradition by piloting the W196 to a debut victory, a few metres ahead of Kling. At the next round at Silverstone the all-enveloping body hampered Fangio to line up for a corner properly as he could not see the front wheels. He nevertheless finished second. For the next round the open wheel body was ready, which had an unusual square shape thanks to the heavily slanted engine. Fangio dominated the next three races, wining at the Nürburgring, Bremgarten in Switzerland and at Monza with the streamliner again. He was crowned champion well before the last round. In that race at Pedralbas in Spain, the W196 was really challenged for the first time by the brand new Lancia D50, designed by former Alfa Romeo engineer Vittorio Jano. In Alberto Ascari's hands it was the fastest thing out there, but still very fragile. Mike Hawthorn eventually won for Ferrari ahead of Luigi Musso in a Maserati.
For 1955, Fangio was joined by new team-mate Stirling Moss. The Argentinian started the season on a high by winning his home Grand Prix. For Monaco, Mercedes-Benz had developed a special short wheelbase version of the car with outboard drum brakes. The W196 was as quick here as on the high speed tracks, but had a rare day off on race day when all three cars entered were hampered by reliability problems. In the mean time Mercedes-Benz had also developed a sportscar closely related to the W196 with a two-seater body and a slightly larger version of the eight cylinder engine. Dubbed the 300 SLR, it was equally impressive and Moss drove it to a victory in the Mille Miglia. Sadly the sports racer was also involved in the sport's worst accident, killing over 80 spectators after Levegh's 300 SLR was sent flying into the grandstands. The many alloys and fuel in the car turned it into a fireball. As a result many Formula 1 races were cancelled that season. The four that were run, were won by Fangio and Moss, who managed to beat his dominant team-mate once. Needless to say Fangio was crowned champion again with Moss a distant second.
Shook up by the Le Mans accident, Mercedes-Benz called it quits at the end of the season and the W196 was retired after racing for just one year and two months. Scoring nine wins out of twelve Grand Prix starts, the versatile Mercedes-Benz has gone into history as one of the finest racing cars ever. Many of the technologies pioneered on the Grand Prix racer were later adopted by the competition. It did take very long until the direct injection was successfully used by another manufacturer; most prominently by Audi with the final generation of R8 Le Mans cars. Those hoping that Mercedes would return to Grand Prix racing in 1974 were disappointed. In fact it took almost another two decades before the Germans returned to Formula 1 and they could not continue the incredible debut win record.
Only one Japanese rider has ever won a TT race, and that rider was Suzuki’s Mitsuo Itoh.
Itoh-san began his working life as a Suzuki engineer and first became involved in motorsport through hill climbs in his native Japan when he was 23. However, there were no asphalt circuits in Japan in the late 1950s so it came as a surprise to him when Suzuki asked him if he would like to go racing in the Isle of Man. When Itoh joined the company, there was no official involvement in any racing activities.
All Suzuki’s riders were chosen from serving employees, who were also very much involved in the race bike development programme. But the desire for success ran through the entire company.
“It was a very exciting period for the company and I liked the TT circuit when I first arrived,” he says, “but it was very difficult to learn because it was a public road. You had to be very controlled there, very smooth, and I had to keep upright as much as possible so as not to lose power.”
Itoh’s 50cc Suzuki RK67 had a 14-speed gearbox to keep revs high (it revved to over 20,000 rpm) but he reckons that it could have done with two more gears! In fact, as part of his engineering development work with Suzuki, he had been planning some high speed runs in Salt Lake City with 16 and even 18 gear bikes before a change in FIM regulations.
He admits to being very nervous before the 1963 50cc TT and was just 0.3s behind Ernst Degner when the German broke down in the middle of lap two. “The circuit was very bumpy in those days,” Itoh remembers. “I hardly spent any time on the seat but it was an amazing feeling when I realised I had won the race.”
When he returned to Japan, Suzuki held an enormous party in honour of Itoh-san and paid all its 1000 employees a generous bonus. The factory’s first successful TT rider also received congratulatory messages from all the other Japanese manufacturers, especially Honda, who first went to the TT four years earlier.
Itoh believes that riders in the 1960s had a much more difficult job than today. “The machines were much more basic then,” he says, “and the rider had to make up for a lot of the bikes’ deficiencies.”
He continued to ride for Suzuki, combining his engineering role with racing duties, and finished in fifth place in the 50cc world championship for four successive years from 1962. Itoh also contested the 125cc world championship from 1962 to 1967, with a best finish of eighth in 1964.
In 1969, he raced for Suzuki at Daytona on a 500cc two-stroke triple from which he went on to develop Suzuki’s classic GT750. After developing further three-cylinder GT models – the 380 and 550 were launched in 1972 – he moved to the company’s marketing division at a time when the Japanese government introduced new riding legislation.
“Many young riders were crashing in those days,” Itoh recalls, “so the government brought in special motorcycle instructors and I became one of those. We were also selling a lot of machines to the police, so I combined those two roles.”
Itoh also spent some time working for Suzuki in China before moving to the company’s overseas operations in the early 1980s.
It was at this time that Suzuki asked Itoh to co-ordinate the resurrection of its official GP racing programme, which had finished at the end of the 1960s. Heron Suzuki – the UK’s official importer – had asked for the factory’s race bikes, and one of Itoh’s 125cc machines found its way into the hands of a certain Barry Sheene.
Mitsuo Itoh officially retired from Suzuki Motor Corporation in 2000, but he wasn’t quiet for long. From 2002 to 2006 he acted as advisor to the title-winning Junior World Rally championship team, paving the way for Suzuki’s entry into WRC next year with the SX4 car. He was also on the Island for the 100th TT.
“It was wonderful to be back in the Isle of Man for the 100th TT,” says Itoh-san. “I was here for the 80th anniversary but it was good to see the way the Island has changed since I won here and to meet some old friends again. I hope it is not so long before another Japanese rider can win a TT!”
One of the biggest names in rock and roll history was Led Zeppelin. They were a British group consisting of four guys who joined together in 1968 to share their knowledge and enthusiasm of blues, folk, pop and eastern music influences. Their albums are part of the lexicon of rock music from the 1970s. They were a major influence on rock musicians from the 1980s to the present. Led Zeppelin was active until late 1980 when drummer, John Bonham passed away suddenly.
Usually the focus on Led Zeppelin and cars is riveted on John Bonham. This is understandable because he certainly owned a lot of them. However, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and even their manager, Peter Grant were also old car nuts. We will look at some of their collection and discover some interesting details you may not have known about these star cars.
John Bonham's collection was nice but not large in the American sense of scale. He owned two lovely Model T hot rods. One was called "Andy's Instant Tea" a sobriquet given to it by the builder. "Instant Tea" is famous as it appears in the Led Zeppelin movie, "The Song Remains the Same". John found it in America while on tour and paid two thousand pounds to ship it home to Redditch, England. It was painted white with custom murals, mag wheels bias ply tires and a chromed Chevrolet V8 engine. John also owned a 1915 Bucket T convertible which was less well known. It had a black vinyl top, Chevrolet 327 V8 engine, deep dish aluminum slotted mag wheels with raised white letter tires.
This bike was built to be presented at the Bike Design stand during the National Cars & Bikes show, held in Brussels during January 2012. Plans were made during October 2011 with the build itself started in November. Things had to go faster than ever, Marc runs a busy bicycle shop in the daytime so all the work had to be completed after hours.
The engine was completely rebuilt and tuned with hot cams, Keihin 32 mm flat slides en K&N air filters. The downpipes (hot cams also) came from Mike’s XS and are completed with a Megatonexhaust from Highway Hawk, who also provided the speedo and taillight.
The front brake was upgraded to a Beringer cast iron floating disc and a radial master cylinder and cnc caliper. The caliper was fitted with a hand made adapter. The rear brake was kept as original but Marc made some air vents to prevent overheating of the drum brake.
The clutch cable was replaced with a hydraulic system, operated by a radial clutch master cylinder, also from the French company Beringer. Goodridge steel braided brake-lines in red color were made for both the clutch and front brake.
The frame was shortened and a sub-frame to mount the seat cowl was welded in place. The cowl doesn’t house a battery as it was discarded to keep things light. A power dynamo on the crankshaft provides all the volts needed for ignition and lights and the engine is now started with kick start only.
Many parts where handmade, such as the mounting plates for the engine, side plates of the frame and a lot of dirty polishing was done to get a nice shiny look on the engine, fork tubes and rear brake.
The origin of the fuel tank is unknown to Marc, he just had it laying in stock for years. Nice detail is the chin cushion made together with the seat and the frame and wheels were powder coated. As Marc is a big fan of Yamaha’s XS, he felt he had to have the bodywork painted in Yamaha’s 50 anniversary style as a tribute.
Every thing on this Yamaha XS 650 Cafe Racer is just perfect from the colors to the lines, an outstanding build from Marc! Special thanks to photographer Wout Warreyn for putting together the information for the article on this Yamaha XS 650.
Photos by - Wout Warreyn
H. Dunz of the NSU Works.
What is the ISDT ?? The International Six Days Trial.....
It was really big prewar and countries entered teams competing for the several prestigious trophies.
Hitler's Germany with its sports director were particularly active in looking to win these events, purely for political means.
Great Britain responded and we will look, photographically at the 1938 event, based in Llandrindod Wells, Wales as it was the previous year, 1937.
Dean’s need for speed saw him trade his Porsche Speedster for one of the new 550 Spyders from Porsche’s US dealer Johnny von Neuman.
He bought the car planning to test it out at the upcoming races at Salinas. Dean was thrilled when he got delivery of his 550 Spyder, chassis number 550-0055 on September 21, 1955. Over the coming weeks, Dean without the experience to handle the car, was involved in a number of incidents leaving the Spyder scarred, as seen in many of the last photos taken of Dean. He had at least two minor shunts on the street resulting in a missing driver’s side turn signal lens, and a sloppy silver cover up spray job across the black rubber gasket around the oil cooler cover. There is also damage to the front hood creasing it diagonally plus also another more noticeable crease in the rear quarter panel where Dean spun out on Mulholland Drive and hit some garbage cans. There was no time to fix the damage before the race weekend at Salinas.
Jimmy took his Spyder to sign writer Dean Jeffries who put on Dean’s provisional race number 130 in washable black paint on the doors and bonnets as Dean did not have his permanent Cal Club license yet. Jeffries also painted “Little Bastard” in script across the real deck lid above the license plate light. “Little Bastard” was a nickname adopted by James Dean after Jack Warner (Warner Bros) once referred to Jimmy as a little bastard after Jimmy refused to vacate his temporary East of Eden trailer on the Warner Bros lot.