Friday 25 April 2014

Red Marley Hill Climb 2014

Another essential event crossed of the list, after attending Red Marley Hill Climb on Easter Monday. The format of the hill climb is to have 4 riders at a time compete on a hill that increases in steepness as it reaches the summit. A great spectator sort as sometimes the riders don't make it to the top resulting in some interesting dismounts. 

The event normally has a pre '53 rigid class but this was abandoned this year to make way for the All Stars event, which took place over 20 heats seeing the fastest riders from previous events battle it out on the hill. This was all very well as it is great seeing good riders competing on the hill but the competition took a long time to complete, which in turn meant that the remaining competitors were left waiting around for the competition to end. This did mean that I got to finish sketches before the bikes went up the hill, but the general feeling among the other competitors was that they were waiting around for too long, lets hope this is addressed for next years event.

Whilst bikes were roaring up the hill I wandered round the pits seeking interesting machines to sketch...

"The Rotavator"1947 Ariel JAP

(ink sketch)
Well I'd heard of using industrial J.A.P. engines in motorcycles before but Steven Jordan has produced some really interesting machines. He had two bikes with him both with 600cc J.A.P. industrial engines, normally used in rotators, but I have heard they were used in large Atco Mowers too.  Steve fits these engines into whatever frames he can and then builds the rest of the bike around it using whatever vintage parts he finds. I had a go on the standard 600cc and it was great fun.
Only completed at 2am on Easter Monday Steven bought this supercharged rotorvator along. He had it running but the supercharger was pulling fuel though too fast and needed adjustment so it didn't go up the hill.
All this has got me thinking that there is hope for my previously abandoned project to fit a 350cc Atco Mower J.A.P. engine into a bike... Well now I know it can be done I'm on the hunt for the rest of the bike!

'57 and '42 Harleys

(ink sketch)
After the revelation of the rotavator I was on the hunt for something equally interesting. The Pits were full of serious high quality scramblers then in the middle of them all I came across these two Harleys. No. 12 was a stripped down flathead which had been tweaked for the hill, as the owner, Milo had been up the hill a few times before. No. 33 is a real mongrel and I mean that in the most affectionate way. I heard it referred to as the Kempton Park special as most of it came form the infamous jumble.

1967 BSA B25 in an Ansel Speedway Frame

 (ink sketch)
last sketch of the day was this speedway bike which had adopted a B25 engine for the hill. At the end of the day I realised that it was the anything goes method of building dirt bikes that really appeals to me. Each bike, even the high end ones, are tweaked by the rider to work for them making them personal working machines.


 Ewan Cameron's 1956 J.A.P. SA. After meeting Ewan at Mallory last year where I sketched his Manx Superior, I was delighted to meet him again with this very functional bit of kit. As Ewan said:
"Well it's only got to carry a fat bloke up a hill"

 1948 Holcombe J.A.P.

1966 Wasp Jawa  
 1949 A.J.S.
1958 J.A.P. B.S.A 
 A rather intriguing Douglas on the jumble

 Well It's not far from Malvern so there had to be one Morgan!

Thursday 17 April 2014

75th Pioneer Run 2014

Well after 4 years of fully intending to make it to this event I finally made it! Well was it worth it? Well there was so many machines that I would have loved to have sketched that it would have taken me weeks to get through all 388 entries. For those of you that don't know about the Pioneer Run.... The Sunbeam Mortorcycle club (the club for all marks of motorcycle pre 1940) have organised the Pioneer Run since 1930 and it is the premier event for all pre 1915 motorcycles. There are also sidecar outfits and three wheeled machines, all have motorcycle engines. The route runs from Epsom to Brighton.

1909 N.S.U.

(ink sketch)

The Dreadnought

(ink sketch)

The Dreadnought is a genuine 1904 special built by 'Oily' Karslake and it is still actively campaigned to this day. In Dave Masters book  "The Fiery Wheel" the recently release Ixion biography he describes the motorcycle as follows:

"The engine is a 3 1/2 hp MMC engine (a De Dion copy)... it has direct belt drive and no peddling gear. It was a very functional and has been used in many long distance trials and holidays in hilly areas."

It also ran in the first ever Pioneer Run!

More Photos....

1914 Indian
1900 De Dion Tricycle
1904 Lagonda Tricar

1913 Flying Merkel
1914 New Imperial

1906 Peugeot
1907 REX Tourer
1903 Phanomobile
The Morgan Line Up
1901 Clement Auto
1903 Kerry, the ladies motorcycle
Not pre 1915 but a lovely AJS outfit spotted on the way out.

Thursday 3 April 2014

Eastern Counties Vintage Tractor Show

After spending Saturday in London it was time to scoot up to Norfolk and spend a Sunday in the more relaxed climate of the Eastern Counties Vintage Tractor Show. Now in it's 3rd year this event is getting bigger and bigger, the variety of vehicles and machinery on display is now more akin to what you'd expect from a large steam fair. It's the variety of stuff that keeps me coming back to this show I am spoilt for choice every year I have been and this year was no exception....

1923 Fiat 703

(ink sketch)
First sketch was of one of Roger Desboroughs' ever expanding collection of early tractors. I was attracted by this Fiat purely by it's simplicity and the imposing nature of the big box shape on the front. This tractor was on of the first models built by Fiat Trattori, the agricultural division of Fiat at the time.

1972 Condec M561 'Gama Goat'

(ink and watercolour)
The find of the show was this Gama Goat. These were developed by Condec for use in Vietnam. The front tractor unit houses a 3 cylinder supercharged 2 stroke which drives all 6 wheels. The vehicle was specifically designed to drive through paddy fields, and so is amphibious. A compressor pumps air into the brake drums in order to stop water entering and the front and rear wheels both steer to make it more manoeuvrable not only on land but in the water too. The rear trailer is designed to take different pods, this particular one is a radio pod but it also could have ambulance, weapons and other variants of pod dropped into the trailer. This particular radio pod was found by the owner whilst driving a lorry in Germany. When passing a house Paul noticed that the garden shed was in fact a radio pod for a Goat. Knocking on the owners door Paul tried to explain that he wanted to buy the mans garden shed. No sooner had a neighbour translated Paul's request the shed / pod was being emptied and loaded onto his lorry!

1949 Deutz FIM414

(ink and watercolour)
Final sketch of the day was this 11hp Deutz which sported a double plough on the back and I loved the shape of the red counter weight which is for a finger mower. This is such a simple little tractor which you don't see that often at shows, so I was very happy to spend some time sketching it before making the along journey home.

More photos of the wide range of stuff on display...

  This particular show is famed for having the largest display of pre 1930 tractors, I could have quite easily spent the whole day in the one shed!
 Rumley DoAll

These two Farmall's were in great original condition and both had worked in the East Anglian region all their lives!
1938 F14
1935 F12 

More tractors...

  Oliver Crawler
 A great pair of Ransomes Crawlers
Oliver with Horns
 Massey 1200
 Sentinal Steam Bus


1949 BSA Goldstar Rigid Trials
Some Serious Trad. Fairing on this BSA!


 Puch Army Pick Up
 Scamell Explorer

Stationary Engines and Agricultural Equipment

Lister line up
 Auto Trucks
 An Allen Auto Scythe with bench saw attachment

The Rest...

 1951 Standard Vanguard
 There was an impressive amount of trucks at this years show!