1959 AJS 7R

1959 AJS 7R

THE STORY OF THE AJS 7R

Phil Walker designed the 7R with a single cylinder, single overhead camshaft engine – based on the lessons learned with the pre-WWII “cammy” engines. The chain driven overhead camshaft gives the 7Rs engine a distinctive look on the timing side, with an oftentimes gold-painted timing and cam cover sitting below the AJS fuel tank with its large knee indents on either side.

The air-cooled engine sits in a duplex frame, and suspension is handled with telescopic shock absorbers at the rear and Teledraulic forks up front. A small headlight fairing with a Perspex shield offers the rider a little cover when crouched down behind the dials on the straight.

The original AJS 7R had a relatively svelte kerb weight of 285 lbs (129 kgs), which meant its 37 bhp could be put to good use. Over the course of its production run the model was progressively modified in an effort to keep up with the advanced multi-cylinder race bikes coming out of Italy. The bore/stroke was squared a little from 74 x 81 mm to 75.5 x 78 mm to allow a higher red line, and the valves angles were narrowed.

In 1951 an experimental derivative called the AJS 7R3 was built with a 3-valve head, and in 1954 the 7R was further improved – the engine was lowered in the frame to lower the centre of gravity, and further engine tweaks improved power to 40 bhp (at 7800 rpm). This newly improved 7R won the first two rounds of the World Championship and took a win at the Isle of Man TT – not a bad effort for a bike first introduced 7 years earlier – especially when you consider the pace of engineering advancement at the time.

Wins for the AJS 7R would continue right into the 1960s, with victories at the Junior Manx Grand Prix races in 1961, ’62, ’63, and a 2nd place finish in 1966. Interestingly the 7R also won the inaugural F.I.M. 500cc Motocross World Championship in 1957 – Bill Nilsson of Sweden modified a 7R road racer into a motocross machine and nailed a convincing victory. Not something Phil Walker ever likely envisaged for the model.

The 1959 AJS 7R Shown Here

The 7R you see here has been comprehensively restored to original and correct specification, including its correct AMC gearbox  – which had been chosen to replace the somewhat antiquated Burman unit in 1958.

It’s difficult to overstate the importance of the 7R, despite the fact that many of us now view a 350cc as a “small” motorcycle, this bike was anything but. With 37 bhp and a kerb weight of 285 lbs (129 kg), the mighty AJS 7R is a hugely entertaining bike to ride, with handling abilities better than many far more modern motorcycles.

The 7R shown here is due to roll across the auction block with Mecum between the 16th and 19th of August, it’s a matching numbers bike in remarkable restored condition, and it’s likely to attract significant interest from collectors who are well-versed in 20th century motorcycle history. If you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

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Urban Shepards Country Boots

Urban Shepards Country Boots

Each pair of Urban Shepherds boots are handmade using traditional methods in a Portuguese workshop that began making boots for the working class in the 1950s. They still use many traditional methods, combined with some more modern materials to create footwear that lasts for years – and is more comfortable than the shoes worn by our grandfathers.

Calf leather is used for the upper and sole of the Country Boots, with a Vibram outer sole and an anti-shock latex memory foam footbed. The sole is Goodyear Welt, meaning you can send it back in to Urban Shepards when it needs a new sole. When ordering your boots you can choose natural or aged, the aged finish is an aging process that uses fire, oils, and waxes to further waterproof the boots, giving them a slightly darker and more aged appearance in the process.

Buy Here

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Urban Shepards Country Boots

Urban Shepards Country Boots

Each pair of Urban Shepherds boots are handmade using traditional methods in a Portuguese workshop that began making boots for the working class in the 1950s. They still use many traditional methods, combined with some more modern materials to create footwear that lasts for years – and is more comfortable than the shoes worn by our grandfathers.

Calf leather is used for the upper and sole of the Country Boots, with a Vibram outer sole and an anti-shock latex memory foam footbed. The sole is Goodyear Welt, meaning you can send it back in to Urban Shepards when it needs a new sole. When ordering your boots you can choose natural or aged, the aged finish is an aging process that uses fire, oils, and waxes to further waterproof the boots, giving them a slightly darker and more aged appearance in the process.

Buy Here

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Ex-James Bond Spectre – Land Rover Defender SVX

Ex-James Bond Spectre – Land Rover Defender SVX

Vehicles used in James Bond films typically become almost as iconic as 007 himself, the most famous are the Astons of course, but he’s also given popularity boosts to the Lotus Esprit, a number of BMWs, the Toyota 2000 GT, the Sunbeam Alpine, and even a 1971 Ford Mustang Mach 1.

The most recent James Bond film brought 007 together with another iconic Brit – the Land Rover Defender. Sony Pictures knew they needed an intimidating 4×4 for a number of scenes in Spectre, so they turned to Jaguar Land Rover’s Special Vehicle Operations and ordered 10 vehicles. These 10 black 110 Series Defenders were then sent to Land Rover tuning and racing specialists Bowler who turned them into some of the meanest, and now most famous, Defenders on earth.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE LAND ROVER DEFENDER

The Land Rover Defender was the successor to the Series III, it was originally called the Ninety or the One Ten (a reference to the wheelbase length in inches). As the Land Rover model range grew it was decided to rename the line to Defender 90 and Defender 110 to avoid any confusion.

To say the Defender had large shoes to fill would be a remarkable understatement. The Series I, Series II, Series IIA, and Series III Land Rovers took the world by storm and were very often the first motorised vehicle ever seen by people in developing nations.

The new Defender maintained the same basic structure as the Series vehicles, with a body-on-chassis design utilising a steel frame, a steel bulkhead, and aluminium body panels. Under the skin the Defender had been significantly updated with wider track axles, coil springs as opposed to leaf springs, a full-time 4×4 system borrowed from the Range Rover, and a lockable centre diff.

The interior had seen significant (and some would say overdue) upgrades over the Series Land Rovers, much improving the seats, sound-proofing, dashboard and instruments, and even offering amenities like air-conditioning and stereos.

Over the 3 decades of its production the Defender would get progressively more comfortable without sacrificing any of its raw off-road ability, and examples from the final few years of production are now highly sought after. Land Rover ended stopped making the Defender in early 2016 – largely due to increasingly stringent crash safety laws that the model couldn’t meet with its older-style body-on-frame structure.

Land Rover have announced more recently an intention to introduce a new Defender, likely with a unibody design and significantly updated styling. It’s widely hoped that Land Rover will stay true to the DNA of the model when they officially unveil the new Defender in 2019 – but only time will tell.

The Spectre Land Rover Defender SVX

Only 10 examples of the Spectre Land Rover Defender SVX were built for the film, not all of them survived and many that did survive now look a little worse for wear. The example you see here was used strictly for drive by scenes, not stunts, and it now has just 234 kilometers on the odometer from new, making it one of the best Spectre cars remaining and the only one for sale on the open market.

The transformation Bowler undertook on these vehicles was significant, 37 inch tires were bolted directly to special wheel rims, suspension upgrades include rose joints and Bilstein rally dampers, and there’s a full roll cage both internally and externally. A Warn winch has been installed up front, and a series of LED spotlights have been fitted to keep the road well lit even when you’re pursuing a British secret agent over a mountain pass.

The diesel engine was upgraded so it now produces 185 bhp and 500 Nm of torque, up from 120 bhp in stock trim. Recaro seats with 4-point harnesses were fitted, along with a no-nonsense hydraulic handbrake – this last item has been disconnected, but enterprising new owners might find a way to get it working again.

If you’d like to read more about this car or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on RM Sotheby’s.

 

 

Photo Credits: Simon Clay ©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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Pacifico Optical Blair Sunglasses

Pacifico Optical Blair Sunglasses

The Whiskey Havana Blair sunglasses by Pacifico Optical have handcrafted frames made from cellulose acetate sourced from Italy, with Italian-engineered 5-joint nickel silver rivet hinges. Each pair has Carl Zeiss lenses which are shatterproof, lightweight, provide UV6 400 protection, and have a multilayer anti-reflective coating on the inside, with a hard-coated exterior to prevent scratching.

From a styling perspective, the Blair series of sunglasses evoke the mid-20th century designs worn by the likes of Steve McQueen and Monte Carlo Riva Aquarama pilots. Each pair comes with a carrying case, microfiber polishing cloth, a maintenance/cleaning kit, and the total frame width is 144 mm.

Buy Here

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1956 Aston Martin DBR1

1956 Aston Martin DBR1

The Aston Martin DBR1 is likely to become the single most expensive British car of all time when it rolls across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s next month in Monterey. Estimates are in the $20+ million USD range at the moment, and some say that might be a little on the conservative side, after all this is a car in the same league as the likes of the Ferrari 250 GTO and Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR.

A Brief History of the Aston Martin DBR1

The DBR1 was developed as a direct result of a rule change in 1956 allowing non-production cars to compete in top tier sportscar racing. Aston Martin had previously been racing the DB3S, but the car’s development potential was limited as it had to stay within scope of the road going production model – the Aston Martin DB3.

The rule change gave Aston and their head designer Ted Cutting a clean slate to design an all new racing car with one primary objective – an outright win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. The only caveat faced by Cutting was the engine – he had to use the Lagonda straight-6 that had been designed by W.O. Bentley in the late 1940s.

Fortunately, the engine was well ahead of its time and it responded well to further development. With double overhead cams, dual or triple carburetors (originally dual SU), and 105 hp from its 2.6 litre capacity the engine would be developed well over 10 years – with final iterations boasting over 300 hp and a 3 litre capacity, fed by triple sidedraft Weber carburetors.

Ted Cutting developed a new multi-tubular space frame for the DBR1, cloaked in a body made from lightweight 20/22 gauge aluminum alloy, with torsion bar and trailing arm front suspension, and rear suspension comprised of a De Dion axle with longitudinal torsion bars and a Watt’s linkage.

The first of the DBR1s made its race debut at the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans, initially the car was highly competitive even against the larger-engined Jaguar D-Types with their 3.4 litre XK straight-6s. Unfortunately a transmission failure would end the race early for the new Aston, but the British company had clearly shown they had a competitive car.

Over the next 3 years the Aston Martin DBR1 would take a slew of top level victories against the best racing cars in the world, and in 1959 the car would fulfill its destiny by winning the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright, with Carroll Shelby and Roy Salvadori taking turns at the wheel. Just to drive home the dominant victory, the second place finisher was the DBR1 driven by Maurice Trintignant and Paul Frére – the next nearest car after the top two was an astonishing 25 laps behind.

The Aston Martin DBR1 Shown Here

The DBR1 you see is the first of the five that were built, it was the car used at the 1956 24 Hours of Le Mans and it won the Nürburgring 1000 Kilometers in 1959 with Stirling Moss and Jack Fairman at the wheel.

Other notable drivers to squeeze themselves into the hot seat of DBR1/1 are Carrol Shelby, Jack Brabham, Roy Salvadori, Tony Brooks, Reg Parnell, Stuart Lewis-Evans, and Les Leston.

The Aston is currently fitted with an identical replica of the original engine however the correct engine comes with the car – the owner felt the original power unit too valuable to risk. In recent years the car has been maintained by Aston Martin specialists R.S. Williams, and is now presented in remarkably good condition throughout – ready for its new owner.

Many consider this to be the single most important model in Aston Martin history, and as this is the first of only five built it’s likely to attract some heavy hitters when it rolls across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s on the 18th of August. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Photo Credits: Tim Scott ©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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Bohemian Guitars

Bohemian Guitars

Bohemian Guitars is a small Atlanta-based company with South African founders, they became enamored with the homemade guitars that were being created in the poorer communities of South Africa and decided to bring the concept to the rest of the world.

Each of their metal bodied guitars is made by hand, the wooden fret board extends down into the can, and there’s a back panel that can be opened for maintenance.

Guitars and ukuleles are both available, and you can choose from single coils, humbuckers, or P90s. Due to the design, the fretboards are usable right down the full length of the neck, and Bohemian Guitars are happy to take special orders.

Buy Here

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Documentary: The Wonder Jet

Documentary: The Wonder Jet

The Wonder Jet is a 1950 documentary about the development and early days of the jet engine. It includes both period footage and dramatic re-enactments, showing the early development of the first jet engines (and gas turbines) and the aircraft they were fitted too.

Of course in the decades since this film left the editing room the jet engine has gone on to dominate the world of air travel, and many of us have spent tens, hundreds, or even thousands of hours sitting in slightly-too-small reclining seats listening to the dull roar of Sir Frank Whittle’s most famous invention.

At just under 20 minutes long, The Wonder Jet is a quick watch, and if you’d like to download it for later viewing you can do so thanks to the Internet Archive.

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1970 Ducati Desmo 350

1970 Ducati Desmo 350

The company we now know as Ducati was founded in 1926 by Antonio Ducati and his three sons, Adriano, Marcello, and Bruno, and it was originally named “Societa Scientifica Radio Brevetti Ducati”.

Ducati originally made condensers, vacuum tubes, and other intricate radio parts – and by the outbreak of WWII the company had become important enough to be a popular target for allied bombing.

The first Ducati-badged motorcycle was a 48cc model named the Cucciolo, it was introduced in 1950 and achieved a top speed of 40 mph and a smidge under 200 mpg. In the decades that followed, those two numbers have moved a lot closer together.

The Ducati Desmo 350

In 1969 Ducati brought a new series of single-cylinder motorcycles to market, with engines developed using Desmodromic valve technology that they’d been using in their race bikes with significant success since the 1950s.

The move to Desmo would be one of the most important moves in the history of the legendary Italian company, and today there are many that have no idea that before Ducati adopted the system, it was used (less famously) by companies from Norton to Mercedes-Benz.

The 350 Desmo (actually 340cc) single-cylinder Ducati benefited from unit construction, a 5-speed gearbox, a wet multi-plate clutch, a single Dell’Orto VHB 29 carburetor, and 30 hp at 8000 RPM. With a dry weight of 127 kilograms, the Ducati 350 was a spritely performer – particularly by late 1960s standards.

The Desmodromic Ducati

The Desmodromic engine is most closely associated with Ducati, the Italian marque turned to the technology in the late 1950s when they hit the RPM ceiling using a more traditional overhead cam engine with springs to close the valves.

In layman’s terms, a Desmodromic valve is both opened and closed by a cam (via a rocker arm typically), whereas a typical engine uses a cam or cam and pushrod to open the valve, with a spring to close it.

The downside the using springs for valve closing is that at higher RPMs the springs can no longer keep up and you get valve float – often resulting in valves and pistons meeting, which causes your engine to immediately and noisily become an expensive boat anchor. This has become much less of a problem as metallurgy and engineering knowhow has advanced, but Ducati have fine-tuned their Desmo engines and as the saying goes – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Chief Engineer Fabio Taglioni pioneered the use of Desmodromic valves in racing motorcycles for Ducati in the late 1950s, but it wasn’t until 10 years later that road-going Ducatis were fitted with Desmo power units.

In 1968 Ducati rolled out the new Desmo models, in 250cc, 350cc, and 450cc versions. All of them were single-cylinder designs, and the lessons learned by developing production Desmodromic engines were rolled into the first Ducati L-twins designed by Taglioni in 1970.

The Ducati Desmo 350 Shown Here

The all-original Desmo 350 you see here was formerly part of the Saltarelli Moto Collection, many consider it to be one of the finest Italian mid-sized bikes of the era – thanks to its punchy single-cylinder motor, clip-on handlebars, racing seat, rearsets, and purposeful riding position.

There are few motorcycles as fun as a well-powered lightweight single, and there are few well-powered lightweight singles that can match a properly sorted Ducati Desmo 350. If you’d like to read more about this bike or register to bid you can click here to visit its listing on Mecum.

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The-Marvel-Ous by Ludwig

The-Marvel-Ous by Ludwig

Meet Riccardo Casarini

The-Marvel-Ous is the work of Riccardo Casarini, an Italian motorcycle builder who grew up in a family of classic car restorers in the town of Voghera in Northern Italy. He grew up having adventures on bicycles as many of us did, developing a love of two wheeled machines in the process. After high school Riccardo went to the University of Pavia where he attained a degree in philosophy, fittingly his thesis was titled “Aesthetic of Speed”.

After graduation Riccardo spent time in Barcelona working on custom motorcycles, before moving back to Italy and starting Ludwig – to build his own creations.

The-Marvel-Ous

The-Marvel-Ous started life as a Gilera Nordwest 350, a ’90s era adventure bike with a DOHC, liquid cooled, four stroke, single cylinder engine capable of approximately 33 hp. For the early 1990s, the Nordwest 350 was a relatively advanced motorcycle, it was fitted with 41mm upside down forks, twin front discs, a “Power Drive” monoshock, and the engine was utilized as a stressed member to help keep weight down to 140 kilograms (dry).

The original Gilera 348cc engine wasn’t quite punchy enough for what Riccardo had in mind, so he picked up a Gilera RC 600 motor and reconditioned it. Once the new engine was ready to go he squeezed it into the bike, and then decided to swap out the original 270mm front discs for a 310mm twin disc set from a Yamaha Fazer, with a new 245mm single disc on the back sourced from a Ducati Monster. The additional stopping power was needed to balance the significant power output increase from the new engine – taking the bike from 33 hp to 53+ hp.

Due to the fact that the bike was built with a more direct road-going focus, the oil in the forks was swapped out for a replacement with higher viscosity, and a new piggyback Boge monoshock was fitted in the rear.

The original plastic fender was swapped out for new units front and back, a new headlight was sourced too, as well as a more traditional looking fuel tank. Once a seat seat pan had been shaped up it was upholstered with a generous layer of foam to keep it comfortable on longer rides.

Perhaps the most eye catching element to the build is the paintwork. It was influenced by the Bertolt Brecht quote “Unhappy is the land that needs a hero” and it was completed by the Italian artist Frank FK. The fuel tank looks like the sort of thing you might find on display in a modern art gallery, and I certainly wouldn’t say no to putting on the mantlepiece.

If you’d like to see more of Riccardo’s unconventional work you can click here to visit Ludwig.

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Dunlop Vintage Racing Tires

Dunlop Vintage Racing Tires

Tire technology has come an extraordinarily long way over the past few decades, hundreds of millions have been spent developing better tire compounds and improving tire structure, resulting in much improved safety and significantly increased speeds.

While this new technology is excellent, there is still a huge market for vintage-styled rubber to fit classic and antique motor cars (and motorcycles). To fill this demand the company Vintage Tyres was founded back in 1962, originally to sell Dunlop rubber. They’re now the biggest retailer of vintage tires in the world, and they’ve brought back a number of no longer in production tires for certain cars and wheel rim sizes.

The tires you see here are all Dunlop race and road tires, the tread patterns are all original and the tire compounds are a little more modern. They’re available in a huge variety of rim sizes and most are eligible for vintage motorsport competition – making most them ideal for both road use and the occasional trackday or hill climb.

More Here

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1964 Shelby AC Cobra 289

1964 Shelby AC Cobra 289

With 306 bhp and a herb weight of just a smidge over 1000 kilograms, the 1964 Shelby Cobra with its 289 cubic inch Ford V8 had performance figures that set the world alight in the mid-1960s. The impact the Cobra had on the automotive world was so significant that it’s now (surely) the most copied and replicated motor car in history, and surviving original cars have seen value increases that make them a better investment than any hedge fund.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CARROLL SHELBY’S AC COBRA

Before Carroll Shelby began building cars he was an accomplished racing driver, who had won at Le Mans, competed in Formula One, and set 16 speed records at the Bonneville salt flats driving a specially prepared Austin-Healey 100S.

His achievements as a driver are all the more impressive due to the fact that he suffered from a serious heart condition, often needing to take nitroglycerine pills before a race. On doctor’s orders he retired from active racing in 1959 shortly after winning the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans driving an Aston Martin DBR1 with Roy Salvadori.

It was at this race that he first got a close look at the AC Ace, a small British two-seat roadster with a 2 liter engine and a lightweight alloy body. The Ace had finished first in its class at Le Mans (7th over all) and Shelby realized that it could be significantly quicker with a large American V8 under the hood – a lesson he’d learned driving the Allard J2 in 1952 with its 331 cubic inch Cadillac V8.

Once back in the USA Shelby set about finding an engine supplier and writing to AC Cars to see if they were interested in the project. As it happens, they had already increased the size of the engine bay to accommodate the newer 2.6 liter Ford Zephyr engine, and the only major work required to shoehorn in a V8 was to move the steering box to clear the much wider new engine.

AC Cars jumped at the new opportunity, likely seeing it as a way to further promote the brand in the USA, and Carroll Shelby set about finding a suitable V8 for the project. He initially approached Chevrolet but they didn’t want any further competition for the Corvette, so Shelby went to Ford who were more than happy to help provide some competition for the Chevy sports car.

The project started out with the new 3.6 liter Windsor V8, however this engine would change to the 4.3 liter V8 by the time production began. The first 60 production cars were built by AC in England before being shipped to the Shelby workshop in California to have their engines and transmissions fitted.

Shelby COBRA MKI

The first 75 of the first generation Cobra was built with the 260 cubic inch Ford V8, and the final 51 were fitted with the same 289 cubic inch engine that would later be used in the Mustang. The MkI production run ran from 1962 till 1963, with a total of 126 cars made.

These engines were bolted to the Borg-Warner T-10 transmission, and power was sent back to a Salisbury 4HU differential (also used on the Jaguar XKE). The MkI would also be the lightest production AC Cobra, with a kerb weight of just 2019 lbs.

Shelby COBRA MKII

The Cobra MkII featured rack and pinion steering and a slightly modified front end, the steering rack was sourced from the MGB and interestingly, the steering column came from the VW Beetle.

All 528 MkII Cobras were fitted with the Ford 289 cubic inch V8, the kerb weight increased slightly to 2315 lbs, and they were built from 1963 till 1965.

Shelby COBRA MKIII

The MkIII would be the final iteration of the Cobra, it would also be the quickest and most powerful. The plan was to install the new Ford 427 cubic inch engine into the car, but before this could happen the space frame needed to be redesigned using 4 inch steel tube in place of the original 3 inch tubing. Wider fenders were fitted, as was upgraded suspension and brakes all round.

In racing trim, this new 7 liter Cobra was capable of 185 miles per hour, largely thanks to its 2355 lb kerb weight and 485 hp engine. Record keeping wasn’t perfect so actual production numbers aren’t clear, however some of the final MkIII Cobras were fitted with less expensive 428 cubic inch V8s better suited to road use, though not as powerful as their 427 counterpart.

By 1967 orders for the AC Cobra had slowed and it was decided to end production. Although many thought this would be the end of the line for the V8-powered AC roadster the car has lived on with remarkable tenacity. Dozens of companies have developed kit cars based on the design, and there have been a few official continuations produced by both AC Cars and by Shelby American. In fact, it’s possible to buy a new car now from both AC or Shelby.

The 1964 Shelby Cobra Shown Here

When it comes to Cobras people generally fall into two camps – those who like the original 260 and 289 engined vehicles, and those who like the utterly monstrous 427 cubic inch versions that came later. There are benefits to each of course, the earlier cars had classic British roadster styling and if it was not for the V8 burble they could almost be considered sleepers. The latter cars with their almighty 427 V8s are fiercely quick, perhaps dangerously so, and are without doubt the ultimate iteration of the breed.

The car you see here is a ’64 289-equipped example wearing its original color – bright red. This car was ordered new in red with a black interior, with wire wheels, whitewall tires, a luggage rack, wind wings, seatbelts, a radio, and an external rearview mirror.

As a restored, numbers-matching early example the car is likely to attract plenty of attention when it rolls across the auction block with Bonhams at the Quail Lodge Auction due to be held on the 18th of August. It’s estimated to be worth between $1,050,000 and $1,250,000 USD, if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Images via Bonhams

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Bell Moto-3 Chemical Candy Helmet

Bell Moto-3 Chemical Candy Helmet

The Bell Moto-3 Helmet is essentially a re-release of the original helmet from the 1970s, however Bell have incorporated all of the modern safety elements you’d expect in a motorcycle helmet in 2017.

The outer shell of the Moto-3 is almost indistinguishable from the old model, which will be a welcome feature to the throngs of people who love the clean lines of the original helmets – a feature sorely missing from many modern lids that tend to make their owners look like budget comic-con Star Trek villains.

With full ECE-22.05 safety certification (Europe) and DOT compliance (USA), the Moto-3 offers modern levels of protection. The shell is a lightweight fiberglass composite and it comes in 3 sizes – this is important to avoid having people with smaller skulls looking like bobbleheads. Internally it has EPS for impact absorption, the chin bar also has an EPS layer for those unfortunate face-first landings, and it has a removable/washable anti-microbial terrycloth liner.

There’s a removable 5 snap visor for use on sunny days, and the large face port will allow riders to wear either standard or retro goggles. The styling of the Chemical Candy has proven highly popular with its 5 color retro stripes down the sides, and there’s currently a 20% off sale on Revzilla, meaning you can pick one up for $279.96 USD.

Buy Here

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Bell Moto-3 Chemical Candy Helmet

Bell Moto-3 Chemical Candy Helmet

The Bell Moto-3 Helmet is essentially a re-release of the original helmet from the 1970s, however Bell have incorporated all of the modern safety elements you’d expect in a motorcycle helmet in 2017.

The outer shell of the Moto-3 is almost indistinguishable from the old model, which will be a welcome feature to the throngs of people who love the clean lines of the original helmets – a feature sorely missing from many modern lids that tend to make their owners look like budget comic-con Star Trek villains.

With full ECE-22.05 safety certification (Europe) and DOT compliance (USA), the Moto-3 offers modern levels of protection. The shell is a lightweight fiberglass composite and it comes in 3 sizes – this is important to avoid having people with smaller skulls looking like bobbleheads. Internally it has EPS for impact absorption, the chin bar also has an EPS layer for those unfortunate face-first landings, and it has a removable/washable anti-microbial terrycloth liner.

There’s a removable 5 snap visor for use on sunny days, and the large face port will allow riders to wear either standard or retro goggles. The styling of the Chemical Candy has proven highly popular with its 5 color retro stripes down the sides, and there’s currently a 20% off sale on Revzilla, meaning you can pick one up for $279.96 USD.

Buy Here

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27 Liter V12 Brown & Bassett Gentleman’s Racer

27 Liter V12 Brown & Bassett Gentleman’s Racer

I don’t think there’ll be any significant protest when I say that speedboat design peaked in the mid-20th century. Of course, the materials, engines, and hydrodynamics, have all improved considerably in the decades since. However, when it comes to style and design, you just can’t beat a svelte mahogany speedboat with brass fittings, analog gauges, and a flag hanging off the back.

The concept behind the creation of this boat was developed by Ken Bassett of Onion River Boatworks in Vermont and Tony Brown at Western Runabouts in California, they used the design of a 1920s-era Hacker-Craft named “Nick-Nack” as a basic blueprint – but many modifications needed to be made to accommodate the new engine and the power it develops.

The idea of fitting a Rolls-Royce Meteor V12 tank engine to a speed boat is exactly the sort of thing we’d associate with the folks over the pond in the United States. It’s why they’re our favorite cousins.

The Meteor V12 was a development of the legendary Rolls-Royce Merlin aero engine from aircraft like the Spitfire and P51 Mustang. The Meteor was developed for use in tanks, and it was so successful that it fundamentally changed the way tanks were designed. With a capacity of 27 liters (1648 cubic inches), no supercharger (as was used on the Merlin) and a power output of ~650 hp, the Meteor proved both reliable and easy to produce – in fact many early Meteors were built from the remains of crashed Merlins.

The original boat, Nick-Nack, had been a major icon in its day, it was owned by Commodore Humphrey Birge of Buffalo, New York and it shattered one-lap, 50-mile and 150-mile records at the Wood-Fisher race at Detroit, Michigan in 1921.

The Commodore’s vessel had a 200 hp Hall-Scott motor fitted – approximately 70% less powerful than the mighty V12 sitting in the new boat handcrafted by Brown & Bassett in 1997 from mahogany. The interior is upholstered from maroon leather and there’s a forward jump seat that is said to be for “brave passengers” – you certainly wouldn’t want to sit in it on a choppy day.

If you have a V12 speedboat shaped space in your garage the Brown & Bassett Gentleman’s Racer is due to be auctioned by Mecum between the 16th and 19th of August and it’s offered with a custom-configured trailer. If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid, you can click here to visit the listing.

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Biltwell Overland Goggles

Biltwell Overland Goggles

Biltwell’s Overland Goggles offer industrial grade anti-fog optics with two sets of lenses per set of goggles – one clear and one tinted. They’re available in a variety of colors, we’ve shown you the black/red combination here, and they all feature slightly oversized foam padding around the eye ports to improve fit and reduce wind incursion.

Bitwell designed the Overland with a strong molded polyurethane frame with a wide eye port for maximum peripheral vision – vital for both on and off road motorcyclists. Each pair of Overland lenses are laser CNC cut from impact-resistant polycarbonate plastic that’s molded on a perfect arc to delivery distortion-free visual clarity, and there’s a woven elastic strap with double D-ring adjusters featuring hand-sewn synthetic frame fasteners to complete the goggle’s low key aesthetic.

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The Only Iso Grifo 90 Ever Made

The Only Iso Grifo 90 Ever Made

A Brief History of the Iso Grifo 90

The Iso Grifo 90 was built as a life-size wooden model designed by Marcello Gandini in the early 1990s, it was commissioned by Piero Rivolta, who believed the time was right to bring the Iso marque back from the grave.

Rivolta commissioned Dallara to develop the chassis and powertrain – although there’s no record of what Dallara intended, Iso had a long history of using American V8s with matching transmissions due to their reliability, availability, and hefty power output.

As is often the case with low-volume car manufacturers, the Iso Grifo 90 never came to be, and was largely forgotten to all but a few diehard Iso collectors. Normally this would be the end of the story, but in 2007 the original Gandini designed model was discovered triggering a project led by Federico Bonomelli to finally build the Iso Grifo 90 just as Piero had intended.

The Birth of the Iso Grifo 90

Due to the long Iso history of using Corvette engines and other parts, it was decided to based the new car on the underpinnings of a C5 Z06 Corvette, with a ZR1 engine tuned by Callaway to produce over 490 hp.

Years were spent getting the design perfect, with both Gandini and Rivolta being consulted extensively to ensure full approval. Once this was achieved the project was undertaken with a complete new body, a new interior, and a slew of new parts throughout. Getting the doors to close properly, the boot to open and close like a production unit, and the interior to look “right” involved hundreds of hours of work

The story of the Iso Grifo 90 project is told in the short film above, by the men who actually ran it. It’s just 10 minutes long, and I’m willing to bet good money that it’ll be the best automotive short film you see this week, this month, maybe even this year.

Film via An Italian Garage.

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Ligne 24H Le Mans Driving Shoe

Ligne 24H Le Mans Driving Shoe

The Ligne 24H Le Mans driving shoe is a new design by Piloti, an Italian company known for making some of the best driving footwear on the planet. Each pair is handcrafted in Italy from subtly distressed Italian leather, with stitching details reminiscent of classic race boots, on their popular Campione sole.

The sole of driving shoes is designed to be thin, allowing excellent pedal feel, and there is typically a section of the sole that curves around the back of the boot to keep it planted firmly on the floor while driving.

Piloti will only be selling the Ligne 24H Le Mans in very limited numbers, and pre-orders are being taken now for August delivery. Sizing is available from 7 through to 13 and there’s one color on offer – cognac.

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Dickie Stoop’s 1939 Frazer Nash-BMW 328

Dickie Stoop’s 1939 Frazer Nash-BMW 328

The 1939 Frazer Nash-BMW 328 you see here wasn’t actually completed until 1946 – it had been ordered as a rolling chassis by the British Frazer Nash company in 1939 but the outbreak of WWII had seen all 4 chassis impounded by British Customs and Excise until a year after the war ended.

A Brief History of the BMW 328

It’s difficult to overstate just how important the BMW 328 was in the 1930s, it’s a car that put BMW at the very top of the sports car scene in Europe in the mid to late 1930s, and its influence on sports car engineering and design continued well into the 1950s if not beyond.

The secret to the success of the 328 was down to two major factors – weight and power. The designers Rudolf Schleicher and Fritz Fiedler created a lightweight tubular frame with two longitudinal tubes that had an A-frame shape when viewed from above – the rear being wider than the front. This allowed the independent front suspension to be fitted, and accommodated the live axle leaf spring rear.

Schleicher and Fiedler developed a lightweight alloy body for the 328 with excellent aerodynamic characteristics for the era, made all the more impressive by the fact they didn’t have access to a wind tunnel.

The engine used in the BMW 328 is famous for catching people out at car shows, it looks a lot like a twin cam straight 6, however its actually a pushrod unit with steeply angled valves and hemispherical combustion chambers.

A set of triple Solex 30 JF downdraft carburetors were installed between the valve covers and the exhaust exits out the right side into twin sets of 3-into-1 headers. Power wasn’t outrageous but 80 hp from 2 liters was a solid output for the era – and the car only weighed 780 kilograms (1719 lbs) in race trim or 830 kilograms (1829 lbs) in road trim.

The BMW 328 in Motorsport

The first BMW 328 raced at the 1936 Eifelrennen race at the Nürburgring, Ernst Henne drove it to a popular win in the 2 liter class – but this was just the beginning. 328s took over 100 wins in 1937 including victories at the La Turbie hillclimb, the RAC Tourist Trophy, and the Österreichische Alpenfahrt.

By 1938 the 328 was taking on all comers, with class wins at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the RAC Tourist Trophy, the Alpine Rally, and the Mille Miglia. It won the RAC Rally again in 1939 as well as another class win at the 1939 24 Hours of Le Mans but by this time the cloud of war was beginning to settle over Europe, and motor racing took a back seat to the war effort. This wasn’t the end of the road for the 328 however, and its final top tier race win would be in the hands of Frank Pratt in the 1948 Australian Grand Prix.

The Frazer Nash-BMW 328

Just 4 examples of the Frazer Nash-BMW 328 were built, all of which were ordered as rolling chassis from BMW and bodied in the United Kingdom. The car you see here was built for popular racing driver and WWII Spitfire pilot Dickie Stoop in the post-war period, the body was designed for him specifically, and many aeronautical elements were worked into the design including aircraft-type bonnet clips, flush-capped fuel filler, and an exceptionally aerodynamic envelope body.

Dickie partnered with his friend Peter Wilson for an attempt on the 1949 Spa 24-Hour race held at Spa-Francorchamps, the men took 6th in class and 12th overall. He would later the trade the car in for a Frazer Nash Mille Miglia, and the Frazer Nash-BMW 328 would all but disappear from public view from 1952 till 1988 when it resurfaced for sale and was bought by the Swiss Rosso Bianco Collection.

Whilst in the care of the Collection, where it underwent a thorough restoration, and it was displayed more recently at the prestigious 2015 Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

Due to the car’s rarity, its Dickie Stoop pedigree, and with its 328 DNA, it would be more than welcome at almost any top tier show, hill climb, or race. It’s due to roll across the auction block with RM Sotheby’s in Monterey on the 18th and 19th of August, if you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Photo Credits: Darin Schnabel ©2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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Typewriter Guns

Typewriter Guns

This series of Typewriter Guns by Canadian artist Éric Nado immediately bring the phrase “The pen is mightier than the sword” to mind, particularly as they were the preferred writing method of the 20th century.

Each of these (obviously non-functional) weapons is made from a single vintage typewriter that has been disassembled and rebuilt into a shape reminiscent of an assault rifle. They’re all unique and Éric spends a significant amount of time on each one – so they don’t come cheap, but they’re fantastic conversation starters and excellent examples of modern sculpture.

Official Description

The material world was built, first and foremost: one of the roles art can take is of reinterpreting its forms and functions. Through sculpture-assemblage, Éric Nado transforms and reorganizes certain objects to reveal other possibilities through their forms or intended functions. Using iconic metal objects such as typewriters and sewing machines, Nado materializes concepts such as labor and memory. Filled with nostalgia, the objects transformed into sculptures tell compelling stories.

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