Wednesday 23 October 2013

20th Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show

Stafford Comes but twice a year and it's always a great opportunity to catch up with people that I have met at shows past. I also got some sketching in too...

1954 Rennfox / Sportmax 

(ink sketch)
Well I couldn't let this one get away. NSU only made 6 of these GP bikes and this one is sporting a factory fitted 250cc engine rather than the standard 125cc. The Original 125 engine was taken from this bike to power the Baumm II which took world records in 1956, one of them stood at 150.3mph.

1923 Cotton

(ink sketch)
I'm a sucker for a Blackburne engine and the triangulated frame of a Cotton always looks dynamic. Apparently this machine is good for 70mph not bad for a 90 year old machine.

1924 Norton Big Four

(ink sketch)
Norton Flat tanks always look good and this is a particularly early example, plus it was the only bike on the Vintage and Veteran Stand that I hadn't sketched. 

Twin Pot Cycle Master

(ink sketch)
I alway look forward to seeing what the NACC (National Autocycle and Cyclemotor Club) bring to the Stafford show and this year they didn't disappoint. I had to look twice when looking at this machine as it has two engines instead of the usual one hidden away within the specially adapted bycycle hub. Apparently the owner and builder of this wonderful machine got fed up of having to push it up hills. The Cylinders are opposed which apparently makes it sound good but if they worked in unison they would probably produce a bit more poke.
Bespoke chokes made from matching ha'pennys by dates

 Other Stafford Finds....

 1937 Motorconfort
If I had the cash I would have snapped this up.

 Zedel engine on the 1904 Peugeot on the Vin & Vet Stand
 Yamaha Scooter in the Autojumble
 Something about this CMZ...
Wemoto's Coccinella TT50 Mk1
Built from a combination of bycycle and moped bits this was a great little build. 
 Great lineup of trials bikes in the jumble
 Love these JAP Speedway bikes.

Monday 14 October 2013

Scammell Pioneer Sketch Session with Stefan Majoram

After a Facebook post by Stefan Marjoram asking about a truck he had found at a local sports ground, Stefan and I couldn't resist making an impromptu trip to get some sketching done.

(ink sketch)

Stefan's sketches can be found on his wonderful Sketch Blog. Stefan was kind enough to send me one of the sketches as a gift, what a wonderful bloke.

(Stefan's ink sketch)

We didn't meet the owner of this wonderful vehicle but we guess it is an army truck. 
768 Scammells were built from 1937 onwards. 
They were used in the war to tow artillery such as the 7.2 inch howitzer

 Love this 6 cylinder Gardner, it produces 102bhp
 Some great large shapes on this beast of a truck.

Friday 11 October 2013


Well it may have seemed like a year ago but it has only been a matter of months since the Bike Shed Motorcycle Club put on their first show at the Shorditch studios. The second incarnation bought with it a bigger and more varied show, a nice change after having been to a lot of more traditional bike shows this year.

Nicks Radical Pantah

  (ink sketch)
First sketch of the Event was this Radical Ducati. The main reasons for choosing this bike is that it certainly did have a radical stance and the angles of the tank contrasting with the curved seat and cowling really gave me something to work with. 

The bike has two bikes at it's heart using both an '85 Cagiva Aluzzurra and a '92 Ducati 750ss. The This shed build is based around a Radical Ducati idea, all fabrication and associated build up is by the owner Nick Huges. I don't know a huge amount about these bikes but I certainly had a great time drawing it.

Shinya Kimura Harley Sportster

 (ink sketch)
This is the second Shinya harley I've sketched this year, the first was at Krazy Horse at the Sideburn launch party. In usual Shinya style this bike had incredible hand shaped bodywork that organically wraps round the machine. When sketching most bikes you normally find details that you didn't originally see. This bike however really did keep me on my toes especially with it's intricate cowling that wraps itself into the fuel tank, and then leads onto the air intake.... 


 (ink sketch)
It Rocks Bikes have created a lightweight 4 cylinder monster with this custom Yamaha XJR 1200. I'm always taken by the look of 4 cylinder bikes with the multitude of pipes. The tank and seat are beautifully crafted in one piece and the minimal look sticks to the bikes classical roots while increasing the power by 12-15 bhp and reducing the weight from 233kg to 200kg.

Midnight Pheonix

 (ink sketch)
4H10 have taken a classic '79 Moto Guzzi California and formed it into a real sleek cafe racer by using a Guzzi Le Mans 3 engine and coupling it with a beautifully painted alloy tank with white lines intertwining with feathers that beat straight pin striping.

Project White Rabbit

('78 Honda 400 Four Super Sport)

 (ink sketch)
I missed a 750 four at the first BSMC Event and so I decided not to let this one get away. I've always been quite taken with the Honda 4s. There is something about the bulky look coupled with (again) the quad pipes snaking their way round the engine. This one has been only mildly customised and obviously ridden and was a breath of fresh air amongst the other more heavily worked machines.

CMBL Beach Hopper

 (ink sketch)
Possibly the most sensible option for taking the board to the beach is this neat board bike by CMBL. Built around a Honda CB100NA I think this build has been simply and effectively executed. Being their first build I'm certainly looking forward to seeing where CMBL go from here with both their bikes and surfboards.

Mrs Robinson

  (ink sketch)
Last bike of the show was... yes another 4 pot. This time another minimal build which sticks to the essentials to create a classic looking cafe racer from a '78 Suzuki GS750. I particularly like the knee scoops. Built by Robinsons Speed Shop

!!!!Maxwell Paternoster!!!!

I first met Maxwell at the beginning of the year in the Ace Cafe car park as he rocked up on his suped up Honda Cub. His artwork is something that can only come from a mind such as Maxwells' and is truly unique, incorporating repeating themes of blood, gore, satan and the occasional seal, oh and lots of eye popping. Check out His Website to see what he's been up to
Laying Down Gold on Satans Face

Old Empire Motorcycles

After secretly working on concepts for OEM (more info to come) I was really happy to see the fruits of their labours which can be seen in their Yamaha XV535 custom one of two builds they had on show. The other bike being the mighty Hunter.

The Bulldog

Kingdom of Kicks

James from K/K has built another no messing ridable classic with pipes by the ever consistent Co-Built 

Muff Customs

A relatively new outfit Muff Customs seem to be keeping it simple too making ridable bikes that are geared to work both on urban and dirt surfaces.

The Bike Park was constantly turing up cool stuff including this Honda:


and sometimes the odd curiosity...

Wednesday 2 October 2013

Sywell Classic Pistons and Props 2013

This is the first time the Sywell Classic Pistons and Props has been run and I must take my hat off to the organisers as trying to organise both a car and aircraft event is no easy task. Sywell Aerodrome was opened in 1928 during WWII and was used firstly as a training centre for the RAF using Tiger Moths. It was later used as a major centre for the repair of wellington bombers.

The weekend was packed with racing action on both a drag strip and a race course on the runways, and aero action in the form of flybys from Hanger 11, aerobatics from the Trig Aerobatics Team and the Bretling Wing Walkers . I think this event will be one of the major events of the season as it has a lot going for it, plus I want a guaranteed event where I can sketch planes, as I'd never sketched planes on site before and I had great fun doing it and I'd love to do more.


1943 Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk

(ink sketch)
One of the 4 amazing planes from the Hangar 11 collection which comprises a Supermarine Spitfire Mk XI, the only airworthy example, Hawker Hurricane Mk IIB, P-51D Mustang, and this incredible Curtiss P-40 Kittyhawk. The Spitfire and the Curtiss both performed breathtaking acrobatics over the weekend. I was particularly taken by the painjob on the Kittyhawk. 

Pitts Special S-1D Biplane

(ink sketch)
One of two Pitts Specials used by the Trig Acrobatics Team . The Pitts Biplanes are based on a 40's design and have been very prominent in aerobatics ever since. The engine is a Avco Lycoming IO-360 which produces 180bhp and give the plaes a top speed of 200mph and a climb rate of 2500 ft per minute.

The follwing two sketches were from the visitors area so I have no idea what the planes are unfortunately as I never met the pilots. If you know please let me know, thanks.

Unknown Biplane

(ink sketch)

 Unknown Single Seater

(ink sketch)

 I love the simplicity of these single seater planes.


Ford Big Car

 (ink sketch)
I first saw this car at VHRA Pendine and didn't get a chance to sketch it so I was very pleased to see it at Sywell. This Big Car runs a straight V8 and has only been in the country for a few months. These Big cars ran on dirt track ovals similar to our Stock Car racing.

'31 Ford Model A Roadster

  (ink sketch)
I was very pleased to be asked to sketch this car (another that ran at Pendine), as I found out it ran a straight 4 which is unusual as most of these sorts of hot rods use V8s. I decided to include an engine detail which shows the triple Stombergs and the Winfield aluminium head.

1969 Itom Mk8

 (ink sketch)
A stripped down Itom these were competitive 2 strokes back in the day.

1964 Lotus 23b

 (ink sketch)
As you can see I'm quite enjoying a good engine detail at the moment. This Lotus 23b is running a Lotus twin cam when it would have originally had a Coventry Climax.

'70 Plymouth Superbird

  (ink sketch)
The Superbird is  based on the Plymouth Roadrunner, it was the distinctive tail that caught my eye. This is a recreation of a NASCar which is used for drag racing.

More Photos.... 

 Yamaha 50 Striped down
 Bobtail T

 A supercarged 4 pot in the Hillclimb and Sprint Association display.

 A Dusty Allard
A great pair of Peugeot 203s