The Kop Hill Climb gets bigger and better every year and is constantly bringing out an ever changing roster of machines, which makes this event a must for my sketchbook travels. This year was no exception, I concentrated mainly on motorcycles, which is attracting more entrants each year, but I managed to get a couple of cars in too. As always there was way too much to choose form, and the atmosphere was as relaxed and friendly as always.
1921 Sunbeam Sprinter
Before Sunbeam produced an official Sprint model in 1924, people converted TT Models into stripped down sprint machines like this great example. With a 500cc engine running an Amal carb and a 3 speed close ratio gear box this sprint bike has recently been bought back into action by Frank Mace and his son Will. They participated in the recent sprint at Ramsgate achieving a 9.4 second run on the 1/8 mile. As you can see from my illustration it has a number plate and brake light as it is road legal and had to be for the Kop hill climb as the course is on a public road.
1929 Scott Hill Climb Special
On it's first official hill climb Colin Butler was having a great time on his newly completed Scott hill climber. The bike caught my eye initially due to the streamlined forks, these are loosely based on Vincent forks but are made from folded and welded aluminium. After sitting down to sketch the special I soon noticed a couple of other odd bits on it. I asked colin whether he machines the piece that acts as a guide for the front brake lines, "Oh, that's an anti roll bar rocker from a 3 year old F1 car.". More hints at Colin's F1 engineering background can be seen in the inconel exhausts. Other modifications of note are that it runs a TT carburettor and silk pistons which bring the capacity up to 650cc. This bike may be moving away further and further away from an original machine but, it has been built for hill climbing and I believe this is in the spirit of a true special as every example of vintage specials I have seen have been modified using what was affordable and available at the time. I also love the fact that this bike also inadvertently reflects Colin through his choices, which I think is a beautiful thing.
There was also a Silk motorcycle on display which shows the Scott heritage that the company has, due to the sloped twin two stroke.
I didn't find out much about this Bugatti as it went up the hill before I could have a decent chat with the owner. There is something about the shapely front end and simplicity of this machine that I wanted to capture, hopefully I achieved that.
1926 Morgan Aero
Affectionately known as Molly this Morgan Aero shows a direct correlation to early aviation not only via the Aero name but by the Anzani V-Twin engine that it has always had. It's been a long time since I have sketched a Morgan 3 wheeler but I'm really glad I did.
Aurora Motor Manufacturing Company was based in Coventry and traded from 1902 until 1905. Founded by Charles Bourquin, rumours have it that Bourquin absconded to London with money and goods belonging to the company, and never heard of again.
This particular machine which belongs to The Shuttleworth Collection is believed to have been converted early on from a road to a racing machine. The Shuttleworth collection think it may possibly have been used for a pace bike for cycle racing. I'm thinking that the magneto is a later addition as early machines such as this more often used trembler coils. The magneto is however a Bosh which is common in pre war machines as after the war it was not seen as a good thing for manufacturers to use German built parts. As with many things the history of these machines can never be 100% confirmed as not much of the detailed history was recorded.
A James twin is a rare machine indeed. This particular engine has waited a long time to be mounted back onto a motorcycle. Originally obtained along with a load of other James parts, including a James speedway engine, this engine was obtained by its current owner and restorer by doing various jobs for a good friend Jack Woodhouse in the early 60's. The restoration has been very well done and it is actively used which is a joy to hear. I decided to sketch the engine as the main focus as this was the starting point for the whole build that finally got underway in 2008 and was completed in about 2010, making it 50 years in the making.
Triumph TR 3A
(ink sketch & gouache)
This was a private commission, and I had a great time sketching the car at Kop Hill and then painting this piece in the studio afterwards. I have been painting more and more in gouache, as I'm really enjoying it's opaque nature and ability to create strong colours. Gouache was used a lot by designers in the past for these qualities, I find it's great to use for painting reflections where strong contrasts are needed.
A.J.S. TT Replica
1900 Singer Motor Wheel
1968 Triumph Daytona, bought second hand and rebuilt for 24 hour production class racing.
In 1970 Peter Bates and Bob Biscardine rode her to 1st in their class at the Barcelona 24 hours. With mechanic Don Jones and Bill Crosby the group was known as Team Yobo. This bike was displayed by the London Motorcycle Museum, which I intend to visit one day!
'Puppy' Singer Special
12969 Lotus Mk 14 Elite