Monday, 17 October 2011

18th Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show 2011 Report

I was kindly invited by Vintage and Veteran (purveyors of fine motorcycles) to attend the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show and sketch on their stand. Well what a day! All the bikes that I would have sketched at the show were all on one stand (luckily it was the Vintage and Veteran stand). After a warm welcome from the Vintage and Veteran team and a cup of tea I set about sketching.

1923 Harley Davidson JD

"A nice old Harley Davidson on the road and ready to ride away to Harley Heaven.
This 1200cc V-Twin has been upgraded with a later carb and generator and an added regulator" Vintage and Veteran

A lot of bits and pieces to fit in in this sketch especially with the V-Twin.

I especially like the light and horn arrangement up front...

...and I've always liked the cut-aways in the tank to allow for the over head valves.

1908 FN 4 Cylinder 500cc

"Very Rare and desirable FN 4 Cylinder pioneer motorcycle. A lot of work has been done but the restoration still needs finishing.
Rare opportunity to acquire one of these fantastic shaft drive bikes." Vintage and Veteran

Not a belt or chain in sight due to the shaft drive, but still lots of lovely elements to this machine. I always love the long sweeping handlebars on these early Pioneer bikes.

Close up of the engine showing the beautifully simple pot like exhaust and drive shaft.

Rudge TT Rep style 250cc

"This Authentic reproduction was built by a long time UK Rudge Enthusiast in the 1980s in the style of a1933 TT Rep. The German Owner from 1984 has continued the work to complete the authentic styling and components.
This Bike Featured in the recreation of the historic "Rudge Sweeps the Board" photo from 1931." Vintage and Veteran

I was really happy with how this sketch turned out. It has just the right balance of detail and loosness to the pen marks. I must have been doing something right as someone bought it straight away!

These two pipes are drainage for the oil when under high pressure..

...This white one runs from the crank right the way the the back of the bike, to avoid getting oil under the bike. It must be some serious pressure to get the oil all the way along this tube.

1923 BSA Model E 770cc V Twin combination

"An outstanding outfit offering luxurious, smooth and sedate motoring for the decorative couple." Vintage and Veteran

This was certainly attracting a lot of attention at the show. Luckily the odd interested party would give my eyes a break by standing in the way, thanks to those that did as you may well have helped me avoid having my eyes fall out.

The sidecar is a fantastic design especially with the large tono come windscreen.

1911 Humber 3.5hp 500cc

"Nice early Humber in good unrestored condition. Interesting history file and once owned & ridden by CH Bullen in the Pionneer Run in 1946... I have ridden this bike on the road and it goes very well. I was able to stop the engine and restart by pedalling while still sitting. Very impressive. Really enjoyed it.

The styling on the tank and the handle bar grips were the highlights of this Humber for me; real attention to detail was executed by the manufacturers of this Pioneer bike.

These two pioneer bikes were featured in my VMCC 1000 Bikes at Mallory Park report but I had to feature them again because they are that good:

1903 Werner 344cc

1904 500cc Peugeot

Thanks again to Vintage and Veteran for inviting me along and being so accommodating, a true joy to sketch for such a friendly and professional bike purveyor.

More bikes and information on all Vintage and Veterans Bikes can be seen on their website:

Thursday, 13 October 2011


(Oil on Board)

This is based on a digital sketch I did a while back and I've only just got round to doing this as a full oil piece. This is the first time I've worked in full colour for a long time and I've really enjoyed it so expect more of this to come.
This will be posted up on my personal site to as this is part of an entry for an upcoming group show in Bristol. Fingers crossed it will please the curators.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Bugatti Owners Club Autumn Classic at Prescott 2011 Report

Well I must say the Bugatti Owners club certainly do know how to end the season. The Autumn classic was chok full of a wide variety of vehicles though out the whole weekend. Along with a free Wall of Death all weekend who could ask for much more.

With my pen full of ink and fuelling myself on chocolate brioche I set about sketching the weekend away! Here are my highlights of the weekend.

I've always liked these Midget racers but having a J.A.P. twin in one as well just makes it even better. This particular example is a Dirt Track Racer designed and produced by Harry Skirrow, Leeds. Running a 998cc J.A.P. engine producing 80bhp on methanol. It has all round suspension provided by two B.S.A. Front Ends and has four wheel drive, driven by chain. This is one of only a handful of remaining cars, possibly the last competitive Midget raced.

1915 Lenox Speedster. Made in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts and imported from the USA in 1998. I just loved the huge elliptical windscreen.

A right hand drive Ford? Yep these were produced by Ford in Canada and shipped over to the UK. Having the US factory in Chicago meant that they could set up a factory for RHD vehicles across the river in Canada and avoid some tax at the same time.

My star of the show was this Bobtail Model T. A incredible single seater.

Phil Wells 1924 T Modified with a V8.
One of the many members of the Vintage Hot Rod Association that were in attendance.
The VHRA have a great website showcasing their members cars and reporting on their escapades. Have a look you won't be disappointed.

I love the front end of a Plymouth (for reasons yet to be divulged on this blog), this sleek example belongs to a very helpful man called Paul. Apparently the square headlamps on this model were only done for an incredibly short period.
This is the White Sewing Machine Company's "Whistling Billy" steam engine racer. The Racer received its nickname because the high pitch release of pressure reminded observers of the sound of a tea kettle. White steam cars were products of the White Sewing Machine Company, a business that thrived till the late 1990s.

Whistling Billy was a terror in the mile and half mile dirt track races across the country in 1905. Driven by the fearless Webb Jay, it set unprecedented speeds and gave better known drivers Barney Oldfield and Louis Chevrolet all they could handle. The racer was a major force in the short sprint races of 1905 to 1912, but it never proved itself in contests of longer distances.

Billy is not currently running but is in the process of being rebuilt with the intent of running her. I for one am looking forward to seeing this beast running.

A gorgeous 1929 Ford Model A Sport Coupe with everything original. The engine has been upgraded to a 21 stud flathead but it is still in keeping with the period. A real traditional rod.

There were a quite a few Indian motorcycles in attendance this one particularly took my ey with is map attachment. Not an original extra but one of the owners innovations who needs sat nav?

This roadster has been running since the 80s and has been nicely executed. A real pleasure to sketch.

I've been seeing this Chevrolet Cab Over Engine truck in mags over the last year. As a huge pick up and truck fan I was really pleased to be able to see this for real. It is the owners daily driver, and why not.

A living room in the back of a truck? Yes that's what it seemed to be. Why not travel in comfort and take your living room with you wherever you go.

If you go to the effort of having your car looking this good I would insist on a matching caravan too.

A Standard Vanguard with a Rover V8 engine, Cortina front and Volvo back axle, everything else is stock. Plus a Damned sticker in the back a true British rod done in style.

The car park was constantly being refreshed with plenty of vehicles to keep the interest going. Unfortunately as I started sketching this the owners decided to go home. Nothing personal I hope.