Archive for ‘40’s’

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


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

May 24, 2016

Pans, Flats, Shovels & Knuckles

Harley Davidson – the local manufacturer made good attendance at the northern Illinois gathering on Sunday. Each was careworn with decades of roadwon patina. 

April 28, 2016


Knolling- a new verb to utilize in my life of disorder. I do it unconsciously already for some assembly tasks. It is the laying out in a squared away fashion all of the items and components of the thing to be built. Here’s a Knolled wartime Triumph TRW 500 from Burton Bike Bits.

It was coined by sculptor Tom Sachs who adopted the term from a janitor at Frank Gehry’s furniture workshop, Andrew Kronelow, who, whilst working on a range of Florence Knoll’s furniture, would lay all tools, materials and fixtures in a right-angled arrangement. 


  1. Scan your environment for materials, tools, books, music, etc. which are not in use.
  2. Put away everything not in use. If you aren’t sure, leave it out.
  3. Group all ‘like’ objects.
  4. Align or square all objects to either the surface they rest on, or the studio itself.
April 21, 2016

QE2 ninety

19 year old Princess Elizabeth riding slalom on a military 250cc BSA during the Second World War as part of the ATS (Auxilliary Territorial Service). Her main role was maintaining ambulances and ’tilly trucks.

April 3, 2016


Manned Torpedo: The Chariot. Controlled by British Commando frogmen these weapons were devised to seek and sink Axis shipping. Riding astride a warhead steering these pigs was for men of stern stuff. Hauling a Triumph Twin along a country road would be easy compared to this!

Bath time on Sunday night growing up I would play with my Britains torpedo, sinking boats and rubber ducks.

January 31, 2016

Zero to Sixty in THREE WEEKS

Solihull January 29 2016. The last Land Rover Defender rolled off the assembly line after 67 years of continuous production. The US have their Jeep and the British the ‘Landy’. Earlier Series’ models and latter day Defender utility vehicles have been used on farm and battlefield both. Slow, basic, rattly and draughty; it was a basic tool. I remember smaller grouped field trips sat in the rear bench seats of the LWB 12 seater.

Any color as long as it’s green with a cream roof… Desert or jungle expedition anyone?

The Pink Panther: effective desert carrier for the SAS. 

December 1, 2015


December 1st and Yule is approaching so I’ll look for some seasonal items to post. This late forties ad promoting models that won trials competition should suffice for now.

October 17, 2015

Eight Ball


Another wartime doll offering Lady Luck to this Indian motorcycle rider. Olive drab with perfect decades old patina for a nostalgic ride.


September 17, 2015

Doctors Orders

Fast Hauling? When you need a bit more oomph on the hill climb (or slant shooting) then light up a Camel cigarette. Clem Murdaugh certainly believes so. T for Throat cancer. T for Thrombosis. 

July 1, 2015

More Goodies

there was plenty of eye candy at Motoblot. Each belonged to a dedicated owner who loves showing off their steed. Each washed to a mirror shine reflecting admirers faces in their perfectly designed curves. Each represents a history unto itself.

What was old now is new:

Indian. The new cruiser looks set for a haul along Route 66 from Chicago to Los Angeles. The old police bike would be a great ‘big road’ rider. 

  Kawasaki? Team Green knows about power – like this canny Eddie Lawson bicep is set for action.  
The Purple People Eater:  two stoke powerband terror of the seventies would scare the mane off a lion. The Mach IV 

The bumblebee world traveller is the much desired BMW GS1000. Big legs for long distances. 

A weary looking edge worn Beemer yearns for Barvarian strasse to plod along…

 More fun than a barrel of baby sloth (look it up you’ll agree that’s a lot of fun!)