Archive for ‘40’s’

August 28, 2017

A Dime

Century Art – today would have been the great Jack Kirby’s One Hundredth Birthday. A fluid line work always added a dynamism to his creations. Known for Hulk, Thor, X-Men, and The Silver Surfer to name a few here is the cover of a collaboration with Joe Simon (Captain America) for Boy Commandos. One particular character ‘Brooklyn’ seems to be the adventurous rake with wool sweater and bowler hat. The red Harley lookalikes seem a bit garish but the energy is there!

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August 21, 2017

Red ‘n’ Green

On Show – there was some superb vintage cycles on show yesterday; here’s a small selection: a forest green Triumph TRW. The military 500cc side-valve developed for multi-use tasks: courier, sidecar, MP. A smart item that’ll keep service like a Sam Browne belt holding a holstered Webley revolver.


Orion’s Belt – This ’37 Ariel Red Hunter was parked up with a polished engine, gauge cluster, and high pipes. Tomato red tank accent and gold pin-stripe adds a splash of color. These were the sports bikes in the pre-war period. 


The Green Enduro – New knobbly off road tires behoove this ’68 Sachs powered Penton 125 Six-Days KTM built ‘crosser. Would be a good woods bike to hare through the forests of Michigan; which it looks like this one already does!

August 8, 2017

Rad V-Eight

Surfs Up! A golden varnish accenting on a cool 1940 Ford Woodie Station Wagon. Blue sky reflecting on polished hub caps and a long board strapped to the roof. Vintage destination decals adorn the rear windows and a Native American blanket covers the rear seats. So Cal here we come! Parked at a gas station forecourt in Wilmette IL.

July 18, 2017

The Swallow

Jet Fighter – this day in 1942 saw the Messerschmitt ME262 become operational. It’s shark-like appearance and brute speed must have been an eye opener for the allied pilots. A far cry from the bubble car a decade later as seen in yesterday’s posting.

June 13, 2017

Roundel Clad

Aces High – the little fighter is complete. Though I  rushed and mucked up the tissue a bit, it is presentable and probably decent enough to wind up and fly.  

June 9, 2017

Drum Roll

A Skin Game – delicate less than paper thin tissue  sheets glued over the spars, ribs and stringers; then a spray down with water and the covering becomes drum tight. Need to find a cellulose dope alternative to give the paper added strength.

June 9, 2017

Merlin Rubber Band

Supermarine – the balsa Spitfire is taking great shape. Indeed the classic elliptical wing designed by Canadian aerodynamicist Beverley Shenstone is obvious. RJ Mitchell’s overall layout is pure in form and elegant in execution. Tissue paper covering next!

June 7, 2017

Tour of Duty

War Machine – BSA M20 in military patina. In marvelous aged appearance; the greyed olive drab is ready to thump over European lanes. 

May 31, 2017

Airfix or Bust!

B.S.A. Scaled – just finished this little Tamiya BSA M20 model kit. First one I’ve built for thirty odd years. 1:35 scale with darned small waterslide transfers. I have the rider and bike in courier colors but this would have been the model my grandfather rode across North Africa during WW2. Next throwback hobby: balsa Spitfire!

May 5, 2017

Dame Rider

Pink Lady – Proud Helen Kiss Main on a her delightfully colorful Indian Scout. She was the first treasurer and one of the first 51 charter members of Motor Maids the oldest continually operated women’s motorcycling organization established in 1940.

(Bike make and model corrected)

April 20, 2017

Breath Easy

Whit a Gas! – Dusty trail across a rocky Mediterranean isle. An Indian Sikh despatch rider putting on his gas mask during a 50-mile motorcycle trial in Cyprus, 3 March 1942. A well worn BSA M20. The 

March 22, 2017

Supermarine 

Spitfire! The V12 Rolls Royce Griffon engine belches into life of one of the most marvelous machines ever created. This is a Mk XVI 

January 17, 2017

Doughnut Delivery

Giant Scarab – I spotted this patina-rich coffee & doughnut van scuttling about the City recently. Elegant hand painted script cheerily advertising a morning refreshment for construction and office worker alike. It’s a doughty International Harvester Metro Van, produced between 1938 and 1975 keeping its distinctive flowing form well into the sixties when its edges were squared off to meet a demand for something new. The flowing gumdrop lines were created by the capable hand of Mr Streamline himself, Raymond Loewy. 

December 18, 2016

Big Brother

Thought Police – a 1956 film adaptation of George Orwells dystopian novel published just eight years prior had the ThinkPol riding the then futuristic looking Vincent Black Knight. 

December 17, 2016

Orwellian musings

True Words – “all vehicles are equal but some vehicles are more equal than others” Napoleon