Morgan Leather Suitcase

Morgan Leather Suitcase

The Morgan Motor Company was founded in 1910, and have survived where many failed by weaponizing their British heritage. The company is now best known for their classically-styled roadsters and their quirky Three-Wheelers, and recently they’ve released some more modern machinery in the shape of the Aero8 Roadster.

This suitcase is one of Morgan’s other creations, it’s designed to fit perfectly on the rear luggage rack of your Morgan, but it’ll also fit in your trunk or rear seat if your Morgan hasn’t quite arrived yet.

The suitcase is made of hard brown leather and has two straps with buckles, a waterproof cover for those unexpected downpours, and it measures in at 80 x 30.5 x 55.2 cm.

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Corvette-Engined Land Rover Defender 90

Corvette-Engined Land Rover Defender 90

Carroll Shelby might not have been the first person to drop an American V8 into a British vehicle, but he’s by far the most famous.

Over the years there have been countless examples of Brits and Americans getting their heads together and turning out some genuinely remarkable automobiles – and this Land Rover by East Coast Defender is an excellent modern take on the partnership.

The team at ECD have managed to squeeze a 430 hp Corvette V8 into the Defender engine bay, then coupled it to a new 6-speed Chevrolet T56 manual transmission and an upgraded LSD transfer case to handle the additional power.

There aren’t many Land Rover Defenders that can do the 0-62 mph dash in under 6 seconds, and this is one of them.

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 East Coast Defender Corvette-Engined Defender

East Coast Defender is one of the pre-eminent Land Rover customisers in the USA, the company has 29 full-time employees and is made up of a mixture of Brits and Americans. They’re based in Kissimmee Florida, and they’ve built a significant number of bespoke Defenders – all of which are far quicker and more luxurious than any examples that left the Land Rover factory.

The Corvette-Engined Defender shown here is their most recent build, with 430 hp on tap it’s quick enough to embarrass many sports cars on the road, and off road it can sling mud half the length of a city block.

In order to improve breathing the LS3 V8 has a Borla exhaust fitted, there’s also a Ron Davis radiator to keep things cool. All brake and fuel lines have been replaced with stainless steel examples, and inside there are Classic Instruments Moal Bomber gauges. It has a full roll cage installed, as well as ivory leather Corbeau seats with black accent stitching, a Quark steering wheel by MOMO, and Porsche Dunkelolive metallic paint.

It’s riding on 18” Sawtooth wheels with BF Goodrich All Terrain KO2 tires, and it’s fitted with a Kenwood infotainment center with a backup camera, wifi, JBL speakers and a subwoofer.

If you’d like to read more about East Coast Defenders or order your own, you can click here to visit their website.

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Documentary: Challenge for the Championship

Documentary: Challenge for the Championship

Challenge for the Championship is a short documentary produced for British Leyland that covers the 1977 Formula One season. It’s largely commentated by Colin Chapman, and offers a unique look into the insight he had, it’s also interesting to note how much is the same within F1 even 40+ years later.

There’s some excellent footage of Nikki Lauda, Mario Andretti, Jacques Lfti, and James Hunt, and plenty of footage of the Lotus 78 – a car that I still personally consider to be one of the best looking of the 1970s (if not all time).

If you’d like to learn more about the 1977 Formula One season you can click here to read a review by Motor Sport Magazine.

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Vulcan Innova VI52 Watch Winder

Vulcan Innova VI52 Watch Winder

The Vulcan Innova VI52 is a watch winder built into the engine block of a BMW M52 straight-6. The pistons have been modified to accept a watch into their underside, the VI52 can then be set to rotate the pistons in multiple programmable modes – keeping the automatic watches correctly wound and ready for use.

In order to keep the watches safe, the pistons submerge into the cylinder block when access isn’t needed and each VI52 piston is individually driven by robotics-grade stepper motors, resulting in quiet and fully controllable movement.

Each piston can be custom-calibrated to wind a specific timepiece and there are up to 8 distinct winding modes, including individual modes for each watch which can be programmed using a button located to the side of each cylinder.

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1973 Iso Grifo Series II

1973 Iso Grifo Series II

A Brief History of the Iso Grifo

The Iso Grifo was developed by a dream team of Italians in the 1960s, the body design was penned by Giorgetto Giugiaro, the engineering was done by Giotto Bizzarrini, and the whole thing was overseen by Iso chief executive Renzo Rivolta.

Bizzarrini is famous for his development work on the Ferrari 250 GTO – now the most expensive car in history. Giugiaro is known as one of the most prolific automotive designers of the 20th century, and he would design a staggering number of iconic cars including the DeLorean DMC-12, the original VW Golf, and a personal favorite – the Ferrari 250 GT SWB.

Renzo Rivolta brought Bizzarrini onboard to develop a new model for Iso, using his experience building high performance Ferraris. Giugiaro was a natural choice for the designer, he’d already penned the Iso Rivolta IR 300, and using the same designer is often a good way of keeping some familial similarity between models.

Iso was a low-volume manufacturer, so rather than develop their own engines they opted to use American V8s. This significantly reduced costs for the company and it offered them a range of engines to choose from with excellent reliability and broad spare parts availability.

Introduced in 1965, the Iso Grifo GL was fitted with Chevrolet Corvette small-block 327 cubic inch (5.4 liter) paired with a Borg-Warner 4-speed manual transmission.

In 1970 the Series II models made an appearance, now with slightly sleeker styling including partially covered headlights and larger big-block Chevrolet 454 cubic inch (7.5 liter) V8 engines.

The final iteration of the Iso Grifo would be the IR8 of 1972, with similar styling to the original Series II cars but with the addition of the small-block Ford Boss 351 cubic inch (5.8 liter) V8 and the option of either a manual transmission or a 3-speed automatic. The most powerful of all the Iso Grifos was the Can Am sold from 1970 till 1972, with a 390 bhp 7.0 liter Ford V8 fitted under the raised “penthouse” bonnet.

The Iso Grifo would be produced for a final two years before Iso went bankrupt in 1974, there were a number of reasons for this, one of which was the 1973 Oil Crisis which led to a significant downturn in interest for large-engined sports cars.

Over the course of production 413 Iso Grifos were built and they’re now very popular with enthusiasts and collectors. There have been a small number of more modern concept cars from current intellectual property owners of Iso, the most recent being the Iso Grifo 96 of 1996.

The Iso Grifo Series II Shown Here

The 1973 Iso Grifo Series II you see here is one of the popular Ford-engined models with a 351 Cleveland (5.8 liter) V8 under the hood. This obviously makes maintenance and spare parts availability multiple orders of magnitude easier and cheaper than similar cars from the period from other Italian marques like Ferrari or Lamborghini.

This car was formerly owned in California and would later be displayed at the “The Quail, a Motor Sport Gathering” in 2012. In 2013 it was sold to a new owner in Asia, and it’s now being offered for sale by Bonhams at The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale on the 30th of June. It’s thought to be worth between £200,000 and £250,000, and you can click here if you’d like to read more about it or register to bid.

Images courtesy of Bonhams

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Pur Sang Type 35

Pur Sang Type 35

A Brief History of the Pur Sang Type 35

The Pur Sang Type 35 has the unique distinction of being the first replica car ever to appear on the pages of Silodrome. Although if the Pur Sang faithful ever hear you refer to the car as a replica, they’ll be out for your blood.

Automotive historians consider the Bugatti Type 35 to be one of the most successful racing cars of all time. It won over 1000 races in period, including the Grand Prix World Championship in 1926, the Targa Florio for 5 years straight between 1925 and 1929, and at its height it was said to be winning an average of 14 races a week.

Argentina’s relative remoteness from Europe and North America have meant that spare parts are few and far between, and the country’s strict automotive import laws have historically almost mirrored the effects of the Cuban embargo – resulting in many more vintage cars on the road than you might expect, and an entire industry that works tirelessly producing parts and keeping antiquated vehicles on the road.

A number of original Bugatti Type 35s made their way to Argentina both before and after WWII. The country is home to many automotive legends including Juan Manuel Fangio – arguably the greatest Grand Prix driver of all time. The Type 35s in Argentina suffered from a dire lack of spare parts availability, which resulted in a small ecosystem developing to create parts by hand.

By the time the 1980s rolled around there was a need for comprehensive restorations of pre-WWII vehicles, and Pur Sang was founded to offer these services to the well-heeled members of Argentina’s automotive cognoscenti.

“Pur Sang” is a French horse racing term that means something akin to “pureblood” or “thoroughbred”, and it was chosen as a name to indicate the intentions of the new company – the goal was to supply parts that were perfect, and indistinguishable from the parts built by Bugatti in France in the 1920s and ’30s.

While the company was performing a nut-and-bolt rebuild of an original Bugatti Type 35 it was decided to make drawings of all parts, and subsequently create the tooling for production. As it happens, the blueprints for the engine and many other parts were able to be sourced – which resulted in Pur Sang having the ability too build cars identical to the Type 35, right down to the square bolts and hand-shaped body panels.

Once the first Pur Sang was complete, the orders began to roll in. It was borderline impossible for Argentinians to buy an original Bugatti in Europe and import it, but they could order a new Pur Sang, and the build time for each car was only about 90 days.

As time moved on some more modern manufacturing techniques have been implemented in order to ensure that each part is identical to the original. CNC milling is used for some components, and some very subtle modernization is offered to both Pur Sang and original Bugatti Type 35 owners to improve reliability.

Bugatti experts often struggle to tell a Pur Sang from a Bugatti, which is perhaps the greatest accolade the company could ask for. Members of the Bugatti family have placed orders for their own Type 35s, as have members of royal families, and perhaps the greatest owner-ambassador is Jay Leno – who is said to be inseparable from his Pur Sang Type 35.

The Pur Sang Type 35B

The Pur Sang you see here is the Type 35B, this was the final version of the original Type 35, and many consider it to be the best. It’s fitted with a large supercharger on the righthand side of the 2.3 liter straight-8 engine, and it boasts 138 hp.

The most famous Type 35B was the one that had been painted British Racing Green in place of the original Bleu de France that is more commonly associated Bugatti. The green Type 35B was piloted by French-British driver William Grover-Williams to a win at the 1929 French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

Interestingly, Grover-Williams became an operative for the Special Operations Executive (SOE) during WWII with racing driver Robert Benoist. The two men were major figures in the French Resistance before Grover-Williams was captured in 1943.

Ordering a Pur Sang Type 35B

Pur Sang takes orders for “new” Type 35Bs from all over the world, the company’s Commercial Director John Bothwell personally handles each of the approximately 20 orders per year. John works out the exact specification of each vehicle with each client, and then test drives each car during its shakedown period.

Pur Sang has delivered dozens of cars to over 20 countries worldwide, and is now taking orders for late 2017. Each new order takes roughly 3 months to complete (depending on specification), and John ships his own personal Type 35B around the world to various races and events as a show piece – the car now has over 4200 miles on the clock and counting.

If you’d like to see more from Pur Sang or order your own car, you can click here to visit their website, or click the link to follow them on Facebook, or you can follow them on Instagram here.

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James Hunt Poster Series

James Hunt Poster Series

This series of four James Hunt posters were created by the team at Automobilist to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the British driver’s World Championship victory, piloting the McLaren M23.

The 1976 season was exceedingly volatile and the battles between Niki Lauda and James Hunt became legendary, eventually inspiring the 2013 blockbuster film “Rush” starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, and Olivia Wilde.

The series of posters are limited to 1000 of each design, and they’re officially licensed by both McLaren Racing Limited and James Hunt Racing.

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Legacy Overland Toyota Land Cruiser BJ40

Legacy Overland Toyota Land Cruiser BJ40

Legacy Overland are headquartered in Greenwich, Connecticut, and they specialise in restoring classic 4x4s to better-than-new quality. This Land Cruiser is one of their latest builds, it’s a great example of their work and it clearly shows why restored vintage 4x4s are seeing such an uptick in interest from collectors and enthusiasts.

A SHORT HISTORY OF THE TOYOTA LAND CRUISER BJ40

The first mass-produced 4×4 was the American Jeep, followed after WWII by the British Land Rover. During the Second World War soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army found an American Jeep in the Philippines and sent it back to Japan to be studied. The usefulness of such a car was clearly apparent, so Toyota was commissioned to make a Japanese version of the Jeep called the Model AK.

The Model AK would be the godfather of all future Toyota 4x4s despite the fact that they weren’t built in very large numbers. Post-WWII the US Government ordered a series of Toyota 4x4s for use in the Korean conflict, these would eventually be used to scale Mt. Fuji (up to the sixth stage), and hundreds of them were ordered for use by the Japanese National Police Agency.

These earliest Toyota 4x4s would be superseded by the J20 and J30 series cars between 1955 and 1960 with styling that would be evolved into the J40 series starting in 1960. Initially the J40 series were all petrol-powered with the rock solid 3.8 litre inline-6 Toyota F engine with 105 hp and 189 lbf.ft of torque.

Over the ensuing years the J40s would be fitted with a variety of petrol motors, including Mercedes-Benz engines in the Bandeirante models built in Brazil. 1974 saw the first introduction of a diesel motor in the shape of the Toyota B engine – an inline-4 with a 21:1 compression ratio and 8 overhead valves operated by pushrods. This engine produces 80 hp and 141 lbf.ft of torque, and became renowned for its staggering reliability. The diesel-powered variant was named the BJ40, rather than the FJ designation given to the petrol vehicles.

A larger 4 litre inline-6 diesel would be offered in 1980, but the petrol powered FJ40s were always more popular, and were produced in much larger numbers. Surviving BJ40s are now considered quite collectible, and they typically fetch a premium over their FJ-badged siblings.

The Legacy Overland Toyota Land Cruiser BJ40 Shown Here

The BJ40 you see here has been comprehensively restored by Legacy Overland to better-than-original condition. Every part has been either reconditioned or replaced, and the body, chassis, engine has been comprehensively restored, using new parts and paint that’ll far outlast their original counterparts.

Legacy Overland pride themselves on building highly functional vehicles meant to be driven, not used as museum artifacts or show ponies. This BJ40 has handcrafted, saddle stitched genuine leather seats, diamond-stitched alcantara headliner and sun visors, BF Goodrich All Terrain A/T tires on original wheels, a color-coded jerry can on the rear, and a retro-styled, Bluetooth-enabled sound system. There’s also a Hi-lift jack mounted in front of the passenger door for when you get yourself stuck.

If you’d like to see more from Legacy Overland you can click below to visit their website.

Visit Legacy Overland here – or follow them on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTubePinterest

 

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Revell 1:4 Scale Working V8 Model Engine

Revell 1:4 Scale Working V8 Model Engine

This Revell kit is a working 1:4 scale model of a pushrod V8 engine, as you turn the front-mounted crank you can watch the crankshaft, pistons, and valve train working – making the process of teaching people (particularly kids) far easier and more visual.

The kit won the 2008 Parents Choice Award, and it’s recommended for anyone aged 12 or over, many are bought by adults who use them as display pieces.

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Official Description:

This 1/4 Scale Visible V-8 Engine Plastic Assembly Kit from Revell is the winner of the 2008 Parents Choice Award and Silver Honor – 1995 Doing & Learning Toys. What better way to see how an internal combustion engine works than to be able to see all of the parts move! As you turn the crank, each of the parts move, just like the real thing.

The Visible V8 Engine features moving pistons and connecting rods. A hand crank operates the pistons, camshaft rocker arms and valves. The kit includes a rubber fan belt and vinyl ignition wires. Also included is a display stand and screwdriver for construction. A superb educational tool on the inner workings and construction of a V-8 engine! This is a skill level 3 model, recommended for ages 12 and up.

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Lee Munro’s Indian Scout

Lee Munro’s Indian Scout

Lee Munro is the great nephew of motorcycle land speed legend Burt Munro, and in August this year he’s going to return to the Bonneville Salt Flats – 50 years after his great uncle was last there piloting his own Indian Streamliner.

Burt Munro is a man who needs no introduction, he was made even more famous in 2005 with the release of the Sir Antony Hopkins film The World’s Fastest Indian, which made him a household name even in houses with no motorcyclists.

Lee got the motorcycle racing bug at an early age, after winning many local races and finishing fifth in the 2002 New Zealand National Championship, Lee entered the highly competitive world of motorcycle road racing.

Amazingly, he won his first race, followed by a number of titles on every road and street race circuit in the South Island of New Zealand. He’s now planning an assault on the Isle of Man TT, and he attended the Manx in 2016 to get a taste for it. Interestingly his most recent win was aboard a far more elderly motorcycle than he usually rides – he won the vintage class at the Methven Street Races earlier in 2016 on a 1941 Indian motorcycle.

“My uncle Burt was a significant inspiration for my own racing career, and his appetite for speed is clearly a part of my DNA” said Lee Munro, the grandson of Burt’s first cousin. “What Indian Motorcycle is doing is fantastic, and I couldn’t be prouder to partner with them and pilot my own Scout at Bonneville in honor of my Uncle and the 50th anniversary of his historic record.” – Lee Munro

The August visit to Bonneville will see Lee piloting a bespoke Indian Scout Streamliner built in-house by Indian Motorcycle engineers – many working after-hours in order to get the bike ready in time. The bike uses a modified Indian Scout chassis with a hardtail rear end in place of the original twin shock set up.

The V-twin has been rebuilt, with an increased capacity of 79 cubic inches (1295cc) in place of the original 69 cubic inches with a bore and stroke of 106 mm x 73.6 mm. Engine management is handled by a Motec ECU and it’s now capable of 165+hp and 110+ lbf.ft of torque – a sizable increase over the original 100 hp and 72.2 lbf.ft.

A new streamlined fairing has been added, with a small rear cowl, a streamlined front fender, and a fuel tank with a 5.5 liter capacity – enough for a run in each direction and not a lot more. The lightweight billet aluminum wheels were sourced from Roland Sands Design and the tires are Dunlop 120/70-17 GP-A up front, and Dunlop 190/60-17 GP-A at the rear.

The team at Indian are keeping the expected top speed secret, but they have said they aren’t targeting any of Burt’s records out of respect. We’ll update after the record runs are completed on the 13th of August this year, in the meantime you can click here to read more about the Indian Scout.

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Haynes Owner’s Workshop Manual: Marriage

Haynes Owner’s Workshop Manual: Marriage

Haynes Owner’s Workshop Manuals are an absolute staple in many people’s garages – typically the first thing many people do when they buy a vintage British car is buy the corresponding Haynes book.

This manual is written in the classic Hayne’s style, but rather than helping you maintain your MG, it helps you maintain your marriage – with a healthy dose of humor and self-deprecation.

Official Description:

Written by bestselling author Boris Starling, Marriage is one of the first titles in the brand new Haynes Explains series. A light-hearted and entertaining take on the classic workshop manual, it contains everything you’d expect to see including exploded views, flow charts, fault diagnosis and the odd wiring diagram. It takes the reader through all stages of married life, giving them the hints and tips needed to keep it running smoothly.

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DownShift Studio Honda CX500

DownShift Studio Honda CX500

Meet Jeremy and Joel

DownShift Studio is run by Jeremy Lacy, an industrial designer based in Denver who specializes in illustrations and sketches of custom bikes, often helping fabricators and builders from around the world visualize their ideas and projects before the metal is cut and the tools come out.

The Honda CX500 you see here is his first hands-on project, it’s the result of a collaboration between Jeremy and Joel Fitzgerald, and the bike shows far more technical skill than we’re used to seeing in a first custom.

The Build

The men started out with a 1600 original mile CX500 that Joel’s wife had found for sale on a local message board. The plan was to create a clean, minimalist street scrambler that would be ideal for use on the streets and fire trails of Colorado.

The bike was stripped down to parts, and Jeremy began drawing up plans for the next step. It was decided to remove the original subframe and convert the bike from a twin shock to a mono shock, it was also decided that the original fuel tank mounts would need to be moved so the tank base would follow the line of the new subframe.

Jeremy’s JD2 Tube Bender was used extensively creating the new swing arm, as well as the steel tubes needed for the subframe. Getting the geometry for the monoshock correct took some time, and they ensured that it was over-engineered for safety, with three re-enforced swing arm mounts to help distribute load and reduce swing arm twist.

Once the new seat pan had been shaped it was sent off to Ian Halcott to be upholstered with low profile padding then covered with leather. The forks were rebuilt with Racetech springs, and the front of the bike was slightly lowered by sliding the triple trees down.

The original 19 inch front wheel was kept, and paired with a new 18 inch rear to lift the back of the bike and slightly improve ground clearance as well as posture. Both wheels were painted black, then fitted with matching Shinko 705 dual sport tires.

The low mileage on the CX500 engine meant that a rebuild wasn’t needed, so a new set of 34mm Mikuni carburetors were fitted on new manifolds from Murray’s Carbs. The opposite end of the heads were then re-fitted with the tidied up stock headers, flowing into a much more open pair of Cone Engineering shorty exhausts, the pipes were then wrapped.

A new LED tail light, brake light, indicator combination was installed under the rear of the seat loop, paired with a new 5 inch headlight mounted low using a custom headlight bracket. A new set of Rental handlebars replaced the stock unit, combined with minimalist Motogadget two button controls, as well as new grips, a new throttle assembly, and new levers.

The Show

The completed bike was accepted for display at the 2017 Handbuilt Motorcycle Show in Texas, an annual show put on by the talented team at Revival Cycles. The Honda was well received and the two men have already started work on their next build – a Kawasaki ZRX1100R that’s currently sitting in the corner of Jeremy’s workshop waiting for some attention.

If you like the look of this minimalist CX500 street scrambler I have good news for you, DownShift Studio currently have it up for sale to help fund their next projects. If you’d like to read more or enquire after the bike you can click here to visit DownShift Studio.

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All images by Scott Brayshaw

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Malle London Expedition Jacket

Malle London Expedition Jacket

The Malle London Expedition Jacket has been in continuous development for over 2 years now, including a 10,000 mile attrition test riding across the USA using early prototypes of the jacket.

The team at Malle London wanted to develop a new jacket that had all thew classic looks of a British waxed cotton design, with modern safety engineered into it from step one, rather than just added on as an afterthought.

Each Expedition Jacket has a 100% waterproof, integrated abrasion resistant kevlar lining, removable CE approved Know armor, waterproof triple stitched seams, and an outer shell made of extra strong British oiled cotton from the oldest waxed cotton mill in Scotland (circa 1887).

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Film: Building the Chrysler Proving Grounds – Circa 1954

Film: Building the Chrysler Proving Grounds – Circa 1954

This film was produced for Chrysler to show off their new proving grounds in the mid-1950s. The film was made by Wilding Picture Productions, and it shows an exceedingly elaborate testing facility including an expansive enclosed space capable of housing dozens of cars at a time. The testing regimen was surprisingly complex, and it’s safe to say the test drivers earned their pay.

Official Film Description

Chrysler’s Chelsea Proving Grounds is Located at 3700 South M52 in Chelsea Michigan, just 60 miles west of Detroit. The 3,800-acre Proving Grounds is one of the largest, most modern automotive test sites in the world. Dedicated on June 16, 1954, its roads and facilities have been improved and expanded continually to keep pace with product offerings and testing techniques.

The Chelsea Proving Grounds contains over 100 lane miles of on and off road test surfaces. Durability and Reliability testing is conducted year round in laboratories and on specially designed roads. In addition to test roads and surfaces, the Chelsea Proving Grounds also offers impact testing, emissions and fuel economy testing.

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Slipstream Customs Honda CB200

Slipstream Customs Honda CB200

The Honda CB200 was released in 1973 as a replacement for the CB175, both bikes were popular with young men, particularly teenagers, who couldn’t afford a CB750 but wanted the closet thing they could get.

A Brief History of the Honda CB200

Honda sold the CB200 between 1973 and 1976, depending on which country you’re in the locally available models could be labelled CB200A, CB200B, CB200K, or CB200T. The “A” model was available earlier in the model run and was used to refer to bikes with a front drum brake. “B” models had a cable operated front disc.

In the early to mid-1970s Honda was an almost unstoppable force in the world of high-performance motorcycles, and the halo-effect created by models like the Honda CB750 caused other smaller-engined Hondas to enjoy a boost in popularity.

Much like the CB175 before it, the CB200 was fitted with a parallel twin cylinder engine with a single overhead camshaft, two carburetors, a 5-speed gearbox (unit construction), and a chain final drive. There are a set of telescopic forks up front, twin shocks in the rear, a rear drum brake, and either a drum or disc up front.

As with many of their CB models, Honda also offered a “CL” version of the 200. The CL200 was a scrambler-specification variant with a high-exhaust with heat shielding, braced handlebars, a smaller fuel tank, and a thicker seat. Of course the actual off road ability was limited, but it was certainly capable of tackling gravel roads and the occasional fire trail.

Although the model was only sold for 4 years there are still a lot of them about. Thanks in part to their reliability, and also thanks to the fact that they were made in huge numbers. Although there’s a certain amount of glamour to be had riding large-engined motorcycles, there’s a lot to be said for lightweight bikes – particularly if you’re using them for urban transportation.

The Slipstream Creations Honda CB200

The tidy little CB200 you see here is the work of James Fawcett, though to be fair it’s a bit of a family affair as his son contributed and his mother helped out by upholstering the seat. There aren’t many customs that were built by three generations of the same family – in fact I think this is the first one on Silodrome.

Honda’s CB200T was never a high performance machine. It was a simple, reliable, unassuming bike that could get you from point A to point B without much fuss. Nowadays it’s a 40+ year old, grin-inducing piece of nostalgia that reminds you what fun it can be to hop on two wheels, twist the throttle, and ride. – James Fawcett

The build process started with a full teardown and an inspection of parts. The engine was in top condition, as was the gearbox, so it was decided to focus on improving the looks and functionality. Motorcycle designers have their hands tied in many ways by everything from safety and emissions regulations to satisfying the concerns of the bean counters, so it’s often the custom versions of their production bikes that actually capture their original intent – as custom motorcycle builders are unencumbered by middle management, accountants, or soulless government bureaucracy.

James has worked in fields from graphic design to auto body repair, and this build utilized almost all of his skills. The rear subframe was rebuilt with a new seat loop and seat pan, the original air and battery box was removed and replaced with a smaller bespoke unit with a “CB200T” graphic down the side.

New slimline front and rear fenders were fabricated to replace the somewhat chunky originals, and a pair of adjustable piggyback shocks were added to upgrade handling. A new LED headlight was added with a smaller speedometer, subtle indicators, and a new LED brake light tucked up under the seat.

James decided to fit slightly larger more modern tires, which necessitated a lengthened centre and side stand – to avoid having the bike keel over when parked. The original Keihin carburetors were rebuilt and fitted with pod air filters, and a new set of wrapped exhaust pipes closed out the built.

When the original designers of the CB200 set out to create a new model, this is very likely what they actually wanted to build. A simple, punchy, lightweight bike that’s fun to ride and unlikely to get you in trouble with the boys in blue.

If you’d like to see more from Slipstream Creations you can visit their website here, or follow them on FacebookInstagramPinterest

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BAAK Motorcycles Triumph Bonneville T120

BAAK Motorcycles Triumph Bonneville T120

BAAK Motorcycles started out in founder Rémi Réguin’s basement workshop back in 2012 and has since grown into a 5 person company with a dedicated 3200 square foot workshop in Lyon, France.

BAAK build custom motorcycles, but they also make a range of parts for Triumphs, Moto Guzzis, and Royal Enfields, and interestingly they also build bespoke Minis.

The bike you see here isn’t their first Triumph, but it is their first Triumph Bonneville T120 Scrambler.

The New Triumph Bonneville T120

In 2016 Triumph unveiled a number of new motorcycles, totally refreshing their popular retro-classic line. At the top of the new range is the Triumph Bonneville T120, a clean-slate design that shares a name with its immediate forebear, but nothing else.

Unlike the 826cc parallel twin in the earlier Hinkley Bonneville, this new bike has a 1200cc parallel twin, with 4-valves per cylinder, a SOHC, a 6-speed gearbox, and twin throttle bodies designed to look a lot like carburetors.

Despite the significant capacity increase, the new engine is approximately the same physical size as the outgoing model. It also produces 54% more torque at 77.4 lbf.ft, and 80 hp at 6550 rpm. There’s even an under seat USB charging port to keep your phone, GPS unit, or camera charged when you’re out on the road (or off it).

The reviews that have come in for the new T120 Bonneville since its arrival have been overwhelmingly positive, in fact more than a couple of professional motorcycle journalists have made their way to the local Triumph dealer after their reviews were completed to place their own orders.

Due to the relative newness of the T120 we haven’t seen all that many customs hitting the asphalt just yet, but those we have seen have been impressive. And this example by BAAK Motorcycles is one of the first scramblers we’ve seen based on it.

The BAAK Motorcycles Triumph Bonneville T120 Scrambler

BAAK typically start their builds with a tear down to the frame, this build was also used as a testing platform for a series of new bespoke parts that were designed to fit the new Triumph perfectly.

In order to make the bike more capable of exploring dirt roads and fire trails a matching set of Heidenau K60 tires were fitted front and back, and a new set of Big Body aluminum shock absorbers were developed in collaboration with the Shock Factory.

A new aluminum sump guard was then fabricated and fitted, along with aluminum side covers, a small front fender, and a rear mudguard with a license plate support.

One of the signature materials used by BAAK is leather, so the Bonneville has a custom leather seat mounted to a short seat kit with a machined aluminum subframe, and an HDPE seat pan. Unusally, the team also fashioned a set of fork gators from leather, as well as a small saddle bag on the righthand side.

A new Bates headlight with a brushed trim ring replaced the original unit, and a Motogadget Tiny speedometer replaced the stock unit but maintained the core functionality. The handlebar controls are also Motogadget units, and LED mini blinkers replace the original units front and back.

One of the signature elements of the Bonneville design has always been the knee indents on either side of the fuel tank, often with rubber knee guards fitted. The team at BAAK kept the indents but chose to go with a brushed steel finish, which works well with the brushed aluminum elements and the bobber-style exhaust and its aluminum mufflers.

If you’d like to see more from BAAK Motorcycles you can visit their website here – or follow them on FacebookInstagram – Pinterest

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The Art of Marcello Petisci

The Art of Marcello Petisci

Marcello Petisci is an Italian artist with a fascination for cars and photorealism in his work. This series of four paintings feature iconic cars in swimming pools, something you might only otherwise see at a concert afterparty with Keith Moon of The Who.

Each of these four paintings is acrylic on canvas, with sizes ranging from 100 cm x 90 cm up to 150 cm x 90 cm. If you’d like to see more of Marcello’s work you can click here to visit his website, here to visit his Miami representative, or here to visit his Paris representative.

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1936 Lincoln-Zephyr V12 “Twin-Grille”

1936 Lincoln-Zephyr V12 “Twin-Grille”

A Brief History of the Lincoln-Zephyr V12

The Lincoln-Zephyr V12 made its first appearance in 1936, its impressive V12 engine was a stark contrast to its competitors – namely the LaSalle with its V8 and the Packard One-Twenty with its straight-8.

The Lincoln Motor Company is a division of Ford, established to give Ford a presence in the luxury vehicle market. The design of the Lincoln V12 was loosely based on the legendary Ford Flathead V8 that had made its first appearance in 1932.

Whereas the Ford V8 had a V-angle of 90°, the Lincoln-Zephyr H Series V12 had a slightly narrower V-angle of 75°. The valve-in-block design did suffer some of the same problems as the Flathead V8, mainly with overheating due to the exhaust passages through the block. There were some benefits to the Flathead V12 however, it was relatively simple to make and quite reliable, it was also quite short which allowed a low hood line and improved aerodynamics.

The first generation of H Series V12s had a capacity of 267 cubic inches (4.4 liters) with 110 hp at 3900 rpm and an impressive 180 lbf.ft of torque from 400 rpm all the way up to 3500 rpm. Hydraulic lifters were added in 1938, and in 1940 the larger 292 cubic inch (4.8 liter) engine made its debut. 1942 would see the introduction of the 306 cubic inch engine, however production would be stopped for the war, not beginning again till 1946.

From a design perspective the Lincoln-Zephyr V12 was quite advanced for its time, it was designed by Eugene Turenne Gregorie following an initial brief by Edsel Ford. Despite the fact that Gregorie was a high school dropout he went on to become the head of Ford’s automobile design department.

Eugene Turenne Gregorie had started his working life in the shipyards of Elco Works in New Jersey, and he later worked at Cox & Stevens, a yacht designing firm in New York. This early foundation in boat design stood him in good stead for automobile design, his first major car design was the 1936 Lincoln-Zephyr, which would later be named “the first successfully streamlined car in America” by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Under the skin the engineering was developed by John Tjaarda, who specified a strong unibody structure, combined with the Gregorie-designed body the Lincoln-Zephyr V12 has an impressive drag coefficient of 0.45.

The Story of the Lincoln-Zephyr V12 “Twin-Grille”

It seems that the motivation that drove Willard L. Morrison of Lake Forest, Illinois to create the “Twin Grille” Lincoln-Zephyr V12 has been forever lost to history – however there are quite a few educated guesses out there.

The most likely explanation is the most obvious, the twin grilles were developed to double the cooling capability and banish the problems suffered by the oftentimes too-warm V12.

There is quite a bit of evidence to support this theory first put forward by Matt Klingler. Firstly, the two grilles aren’t just decorative, the radiator was spilt to function behind both grilles and paired with a radiator overflow tank.

The other reason for the twin grille arrangement was laid out in the original 1936 patent filing by Willard L. Morrison, which explained that the gap between the two grilles improved forward visibility, particularly for “small people and women”.

The most obvious solution to this problem would have been to lower the front prow of the car, similar to the Chrysler Airflow, but this would have reduced the potential for cooling, which could have been catastrophic for the V12.

The car you see here is the only one like it in the world, it was designed by Willard L. Morrison to showcase his design, which perhaps not surprisingly never really caught on. For reasons lost to history it also has a ½ inch thick steel safe in the trunk, perhaps to keep the patent paperwork safe.

Auctions America will be selling the Lincoln-Zephyr V12 “Twin-Grille” in Santa Monica on the 24th of June with an estimated value of between $70,000 and $85,000 USD. As you can see it’s in unrestored condition, and was formerly part of the Lee Roy Hartung Collection.

If you’d like to read more about it or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing.

Photo Credits: Robin Adams © 2017 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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Evasion Evolution Rooftop Tent

Evasion Evolution Rooftop Tent

The Evasion Evolution Rooftop Tent by James Baroud is designed to attach to the roof racks of most vehicles and can be quickly removed and stored when not needed, it also comes with a telescoping ladder which can be attached to either side for easy access.

There are two sizes to choose from, either standard or XXL. Both have the same heights when open and closed, but the XXL is a little wider and longer, making it well suited to larger 4×4 vehicles.

James Baroud tell us there’s plenty of space inside to sit upright at either end, and it has zippable 360-degree panoramic windows to allow optimal airflow (and great views), and a solar-powered ventilation system can be optioned for use in warmer climates.

The benefits of rooftop camping have seen it become more and more popular, and it’s been particularly common in places where you want to be up off the ground and out of the reach of creepy crawlies and predators.

Buy Here

Via Bless This Stuff

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RSD Indian Scout Sixty Super Hooligan

RSD Indian Scout Sixty Super Hooligan

The Indian Scout Sixty

The Indian Scout Sixty was released in 2016 as a more affordable entry point for riders wanting to throw their leg over a new Indian Scout. The main difference between the two bikes is engine size and price tag – the Scout Sixty has a capacity of 61 cubic inches (999cc) and the regular Scout has a capacity of 69 cubic inches (1133cc), and the Scout Sixty has an $8,999 MSRP in place of the Scout’s $11,299.

Reviews for the Scout Sixty have been overwhelmingly positive, with many suggesting buying the slightly lower capacity bike even if money is no object, after all a 999cc V-twin is nothing to sniff at.

The Indian Scout Sixty Super Hooligan

The team at Roland Sands Design were shipped 5 new Scout Sixties and asked to turn them into flat trackers. The only caveat was that they should leave the engine internals stock, so the toughness of the stock engine could be showcased.

The build began as they all do, with a full teardown and an inspection of parts. The RSD team wanted to lower the weight of the original bike whilst keeping the same basic look – so the stock fuel tank had 6 inches cut out of its center – reducing weight but keeping the same side profile.

The Scout’s original aluminum frame was kept in place and a new RSD prototype aluminum subframe was fitted, capped with a carbon fiber flat tracker tail section with plastic number plates, and a low profile race foam seat.

While the engine internals are the same, the intake and exhaust have been modified with bolt on parts. The original airbox was swapped out for an Arlen Ness Torque Box, and a new RSD bespoke stainless steel 2-into-1 exhaust was built in-house and fitted.

Flat trackers don’t typically have front brakes – so the front disc and caliper were removed for weight savings, and the forks were modified with a GP Suspension Cartridge Kit, British Customs 41mm fork boots, an RSD-modified fork brace, and modified triple clamps to increase steering angle. A pair of matching Öhlins piggyback shocks were installed on the rear, with RSD prototype multi-angle chromoly shock mounts.

The original wheels were swapped out for a matching pair of RSD Traction Flat Track race wheels, and shod with Dunlop DT3 Flat Track race tires front and back. The original shifter location was going to be badly positioned with the bike’s new ergonomics, so it was moved with bespoke prototype chromoly foot control relocation plates.

Last but not least, the original handlebars were swapped out for custom flat track bars with a 1 inch riser and Renthal MX grips.

The Super Hooligan Unveiling

The five RSD Super Hooligan Scout Sixties were first shown to the public at an abandoned warehouse in downtown LA for the Indian Scout Sixty press launch, then the same five bikes were raced in the new Super Hooligans class at Superprestigio of the Americas at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas with AMA Pro Flat Track.

The Super Hooligan Race Series

In 2016 Indian started the 5-race RSD x Indian Motorcycle Super Hooligan Tour, racing the bikes at flat track circuits around the USA. One of the bikes had knobbies put on it for a hillclimb, another one went ice racing with studded tires, and another was jumped over river-bed gaps. The #24 Motul Indian Scout was ridden 1,800 miles from California to South Dakota for the Sturgis Rally, then raced to second place at the Buffalo Chip Super Hooligan Moto Stampede.

The 2016 Super Hooligan Tour proved so popular that for 2017 it’s been expanded into the new 10-race RSD Super Hooligan National Championship sponsored by Indian, Motul, Bell, K&N, and Dunlop. There’s prize money for each event from each sponsor, and the series champion will win themselves an Indian FTR750 professional GNC flat track race bike – enabling them to move up to the big leagues.

If you’d like to see more about Roland Sands Design you can click here, and if you’d like to learn more about the Indian Scout Sixty you can click here.

 

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