Saturday, January 25, 2020

2020 Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show photos

Flags fly over crowd at motorcycle show.
Great motorcycles, sunny weather combine for 2020 Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show.
Here are my first photos from the 2020 Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show here in Florida Saturday, Jan. 25.

Wes Scott, the local Brit-bike mechanic and restorer who works on my 1999 Royal Enfield Bullet, was at the show. He asked if I was still having fun with it.

"Any time she starts in the morning is a good day," I replied.

"Any time we start in the morning is a good day," he fired back, a reminder that we ever more vintage ourselves..

The Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show draws hundreds of great old motorcycles. For the thousands of bikers drawn to the show, the old motorcycles were often a reminder of younger days.

"That's a '74," one man pointed out. "I had the '73."

"This is a '48," another man said. "I wanted the '47 — the same year I was born."

Enjoy the photos. I have more to come:

1957 BSA Golden Flash motorcycle.
1957 BSA Golden Flash reflects the sun.

Headlight enclosure has amp meter on the side.
BSA Golden Flash nacelle puts amp meter out of sight around the side.

Tank of motorcycle is labelled Royal Tourist.
BSA Golden Flash tank reminds the rider he's riding in style.
Glowing in the sun, the 1957 BSA Golden Flash shown by Dick Birdsall of Lake Worth, Fla. was first to catch my eye.

1948 Triumph 3T motorcycle.
1948 Triumph 3T descended from the 500cc Speed Twin family.

Tank panel of a 1948 Triumph 3T.
Knurled knob at front of tank is the base of a pull-out flash light.

Speedometer of 1948 Triumph 3T.
Tiny speedometer on 1948 Triumph 3T has too much information to impart.
Douglas Spranger of Port Orange, Fla., regularly rides the freshly restored 1948 Triumph 3T he was showing — although it is a "40-mile-per-hour motorcycle." It was originally shipped to Los Angeles in 1948.

The knurled knob at the front of the tank is actually an "inspection light" — a flashlight wired to the battery. (Presumably used after dark to see what has fallen off.)

The complex little speedometer on the 3T shows miles per hour and equivalent rpm in each gear. The orange marker line is fixed: it reminds the rider of Britain's then 30 mph speed limit!

1932 New Hudson Model 34 motorcycle.
1932 Model 34 New Hudson is a rare sight.

Tank panel of 1932 Hudson Model 34 motorcycle has a clock.
New  Hudson's tank panel includes a clock.

Curvaceous exhaust pipe of 1932 New Hudson motorcycle.
New Hudson's fishtail exhaust is a delicious touch.

Shift knob is near knee pad on New Hudson motorcycle.
Note how the New Hudson's shift quadrant tucks into knee pad.
The 1932 New Hudson Model 34, a 350cc overhead-valve single shown by Jimmy Sabino of Marco Island, Fla., is a rare sight. New Hudson went out of business at the end of 1932, making the lovely Model 34 very rare. This was a luxury motorcycle. The instrument panel included a clock.

Long tail end of 1957 TWN Tessy scooter.
1957 TWN Tessy scooter is sleek.

Side of 1957 TWN Tessy scooter.
Note how cleanly choke lever is incorporated into carb air inlet.

Tiny speedometer is only instrument on instrument panel.
TWN Tessy scooter provides only a tiny speedometer.

1957 Tessy scooter right-side view.
Streamlined tail, bluff bow somehow combine on Tessy scooter.
The 1957 TWN Tessy scooter shown by Patty Schwarz of DeLeon Springs, Fla. is a real cupcake. Clever details abound but all incorporated into a sleek shape that belies its bluff front end. What a bow wave that wide front must set up.

The only instrument is a speedometer and it's a little jewel, probably too small to read. Built for only two years, in Germany, the Tessy had an electric starter, four-speed gearbox controlled by a twist grip and a two-stroke motor of advanced design.

Man cleaning Yamaha motorcycle.
Yamaha was featured marque at the 2020 Dania Beach Vintage Motorcycle Show.
And there's always time for a little more cleaning.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Royal Enfield motor planned to power tiny race car

The miniature Frisky Sprint race car of 1959.
A Mark 2 version would have had a Royal Enfield motor.
Use a Royal Enfield motor to power an automobile? I recently received an email from a fellow who is building his own little car, and wondering if a Royal Enfield motor could power it.

The answer: it wouldn't be the first time.

The little Berkeley sports car of the 1950s was powered by a Royal Enfield 700cc twin.

But there was another effort, about the same time, to put a Royal Enfield engine into a car — a very, very small car.

In his book "Royal Enfield, The Postwar Models," author Roy Bacon writes that "the Frisky Sprint of 1959 also employed the Constellation engine."

The Frisky cars — mostly toy-like three-wheeled commuters — didn't sell well, but they are remembered well enough to feature on a number of websites.

These reveal that, in fact, no Royal Enfield motors were ever used in production Frisky cars.

But there was a plan to use the Royal Enfield 700cc twin in what would have been the ultimate Frisky, a teensy four-wheeled race car intended to go more than 100 mph. Here's the scoop, from the Frisky website.

"Following the successful launch of the FriskySport at the 1957 Earls Court Motor Show work began on a new and exciting project. A lightweight competition Frisky affordable to the enthusiast. The concept came from Gordon Bedson and utilized his experience of race car chassis design. Responsible for the Mackson 500cc racing car, he was with Kieft Cars Ltd. from 1951 to 1954, where he designed Stirling Moss's famous 500cc Formula Three car."

This race car was the Frisky Sprint. One was built.

"The Sprint had a glass-reinforced polyester resin body mounted on a parallel-sided ladder type 2 1/4-inch tubular chassis with independent suspension to all four wheels. It was powered by a specially modified three-cylinder air-cooled Excelsior 492cc two-stroke engine that developed 36 bhp at 5,600 rpm located at the rear.

"A second wider chassis was also built to accommodate a larger Royal Enfield engine but this was never completed...

"The car was of course intended for competition purposes and a Mark 2 Sprint was planned... to be powered by a Royal Enfield 700cc twin four-stroke engine developing 54 bhp to give a top speed in excess of 100 mph. Unfortunately a couple of events then unfolded that meant the Frisky Sprint never made production."

The events were that the Sprint's designers left the firm for greener pasture, and Frisky went into receivership.

(While the Royal Enfield motor would never make it into production Frisky cars, the Albion gearbox eventually did. Early Friskys relied on a Dynastart starter to restart their two-stroke motors backwards, thereby providing reverse! But after 1959 an Albion gearbox with proper reverse gear was utilized.)

In his book, Bacon laments that, together, the Berkeley and the Frisky did not survive long enough to have a positive influence on the fortunes of the Enfield company.

Both efforts had been, in part, an attempt to respond to the drastic shortage of petrol in Britain as a result of the Suez Crisis of 1956. What appeared to be genius and perfect timing was swept away by a different response to that same crisis: the BMC Mini.

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