Saturday, February 28, 2009

Castrol Achievements.... interesting booklets published over a wide time frame....

The major Oil companies, Castrol, Shell, BP as well as Ferodo often used small booklets to "trumpet" their achievements for the previous year.
I want to share some of the Castrol ones with you.

Called "Castrol Achievements". I'm unsure when they started or ceased printing them, but I have copies from 1931 to 1967 as well as two commemorative editions... 1988-1949 and "The First 50 Years"...
I've not got them all, but come close to it....
Interesting stuff....
I'm involved with book auctions, on a postal basis and haven't seen copies for come years. I don't actively chase them on Ebay, so it is difficult to comment, including prices.
"Keep a weather eye out" as they say....
Illustrated are covers from 1931,1933 and 1934 copies.
The front-i-piece from the 1933 booklet, two illustration from 1938, the Scottish Six Days Trial and George Eyston after a successful world speed record attempt.
A page from the 1899-1949 and 1955 booklets, and a view of the 1967 and the two special period booklets.
Of course the contents only illustrate those successful riders, drivers, pilots etc who used Castrol products.... if you were contracted to another oil company as for example Stanley Woods ( Mobiloil) then you don't feature......
Left click on the images to enlarge....

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How Japan became such a force in International Motorcycle Racing…..

Let me take you back to 1961….

The following photographs were scanned from a book published for Honda Motor at the time….

Titled, “The Race For Leadership”, the publication details are included in a scan below.

They clearly show the enormous effort the Japanese, in particular Honda Motor, made to be a force in motorcycle racing on the world stage.

The photo of the staff at Honda R and D in 1961 is staggering.

How could the British and European factories could hope to compete with this?

The fact that MV Augusta and some Italian factories did for as long as they did is amazing.

It was a steamroller unleashed.

The photos and items tell the story…

Read on…..

Left click on images to enlarge….

Acknowledgement is made to Mitsutoshi Kondo the editor and The Motor Sports land Ltd, publishers, for use of the items.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

More pen and ink from the Motorcycle Media...

Time for another

As I mentioned in an earlier foray into pen and ink drawings from the motorcycle media, graphic art has changed dramatically-- …. lets have another look into the1930s and onwards when graphic artists, cartoonists and the like, armed with pen, ink and pencil recorded the images of the day in concert with the film camera.
Acknowledgement is made to Mortons Motorcycle Media owners of the copyright for "The Motorcycle" and "MotorCycling" and to the families of the artists for use of the images.

The engine is Freddie Friths 1948 IOM Junior TT winning 350cc Velocette engine and the view of the motorcycle "cockpit" is a 1961 Velocette Venom Veeline model...a 500cc sports Velocette with fairing fitted as standard.

Left click on images to enlarge.......

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Design and Development of Small Internal Combustion Engines.... IMechE conference in IOM, May-June 1978....

I purchased this book, a compilation of the papers read to the IMechE conference held in Douglas, Isle of Man, on 31 May - 2nd June 1978, when I was browsing a bookshop in Auckland NZ in the early 1980s....
It was listed at NZ$70.95, but remaindered at NZ$10.
I purchased one as I said and drove around to Ken McIntosh of McIntosh Racing's workshop on the way to the airport to catch a flight to Sydney.
When he saw it and I mentioned there was still one left he begged me to go back and get it for him...which I duly did.
The cover and contents pages are illustrated .....
It contains some interesting scientific papers, not the least from Jack Williams of AMC on the development of the 7R AJS after he took over as development engineer.
Some items from the paper are included below.
Another interesting paper was from B.Johnson the technical manager of Amal Ltd., detailing development of the production carburettors for motorcycles.
The section I found interesting, and the relevant page is illustrated, is a comment on the Mk.1 Amal concentric carb.
Seems, because it doesn't have a jet block and so has an irregular bore shape, the bhp available when it is used is reduced by 2% - 4% usually at the peak torque area....
My memory when I was racing was that riders couldn't change their amal monobloc carbs for a concentric fast enough...
Just how you would get one of these , would I feel, be difficult, as I can't ever remember seeing a copy for sale since then.
I guess a check on the internet may find it on an IMechE or some such related site.
The publication was...
ISBN 0 85298 394 8
ImechE Conference Publications 1978-5
Left click on images to enlarge....

Friday, February 13, 2009

Continuing with another selection from Allan Schafer's literature collection, now in my custody....

I'm on a roll with Allan Schafers photos.... the letter from L.Pratt and the photograph are self explanetary.
The Williams Bros., picture is in Wentworth Avenue, Sydney, which recently was the "home" to many motorcycle businesses and there is still one left... Action Suzuki.
The picture is in 1923 and a notice on the shop window refers to a success by Douglas, locally during 1921, and another refers to the 1923 models. The line-up of Douglas motorcycles is an order of 15 for the Australian Gas Light Company Ltd.... presumably for their gas meter readers to ride...
Left click on images to enlarge...

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pictures from my Archive… a frequent dip into photographs that I want to share with you….

Continuing with another selection from Allan Schafer's literature collection, now in my custody....
Allan Schafer of Grafton, a town in northern NSW, Australia as a young man was a prolific letter writer to overseas motorcycling "greats". These are some replies to his letters together with an autographed photo, from Jim Whalley and another of “Ginger” Wood astride a new 1937 New Imperial…”Ginger” was a flamboyant character in English motorcycling.

Left click on images to enlarge.

Interesting the comment on the back of the photo of Jim Whalley..he seems to claim he is ( presumably in 1937 ) to be the only motorcycle agent to have entered a machine that won the Senior TT (1930).

Well my records show Walter Handley won on a works Rudge, not Whalley…but in my comprehensive pile of TT programs, the 1930 Senior program is missing, so I can’t check on who entered Handley….

He may be correct.

Whalley rode in the IOM TT races from 1921 to 1930, retired heaps of times and was 5th in the 1921 Junior TT on a Massey.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Smiths ATRC racing tachometer.......

Smiths ATRC tachometers….
Smiths, the UK based instrument firm, had made special tachometers for competition since the early 1930s.
Initially based on the chronometric principle and I’ve touched on these in earlier postings in my blog, they introduced magnetic mechanically driven tachometers based on the eddy current principle in production cars and aircraft, from the later 1930s culminating in the ATRC version in the mid 1950s.
The initials stand for Auto Tempo Racing ( and) Competition. The Auto Tempo part is from a company Smiths took over in the late 1920s and who supplied instruments utilising the eddy current principle and with a method of construction that Smiths continued with in their version.
Bentley and Rolls Royce cars used AT speedometers and tachometers from the 1920s up until the early 1970s when Smiths ceased production.
There was a London based company, Auto Tempo, that did instrument repairs, run by Joe Shaw, but I don’t believe they were connected in any way. I dealt with them in the late 1970s-80s.

The competition ATRC tachometers are 80mm (3”) in diameter…interesting this, as many of Smith’s instruments are in metric dimensions, having utilised this since the late 1920s when they acquired the French based Jaeger ED company, set up shortly before in the UK, and renamed it British Jaeger, who of course made their instruments to metric dimensions.
The bezel rim, same in construction as used on the Smiths Chronometric tachometer has an 80.00mm diameter x 0.90mm thread to screw on.. Yes it is not imperial and not 26tpi….
The bezel used on the ATRC has a Satin Chrome finish, to minimize glare from the sun blinding the rider or driver.
The body is an aluminium casting, machined internally, operating on the eddy current principle, each instrument incorporates a rotating magnet of special alloy and a movement carried on jewels. Individually manufactured and calibrated, the construction is such that variations due to temperature changes are within the limits of accuracy for this instrument. This is 1% of full scale in the temperature range 10-30°C. The mainshaft was carried in two ball race bearings, unusual for a tachometer or speedometer which are usually constructed using a bush assembly. This indicates the "specialness" of these tachometers...they really are "The Rolls Royce of instruments".

They were available in both clockwise and anti-clockwise dial scale ranges for 9000rpm, 10000rpm and 12000rpm, and clockwise only for 15000rpm, 18000rpm, 20000rpm and 22000rpm.

The last three were for Honda Motor Corporation who used them on their works racers in the 1960s.
BMW used a 10000rpm c/wise 2-1 version on their Rennsport engines used in the 1950s and 1960s.

The 12000rpm scales were used by NSU on their works racers and Sportsmax production racers ( 12000rpm anti c/wise dial scale), Gilera 4 cylinder factory racers ( 12000rpm anti c/wise dial scale), some MV Augusta racers, although they often used the 80mm dia. “white faced” competition tachos as did Moto Guzzi, although the V8 Moto Guzzi was supplied with an ATRC from Smiths.
CZ, Jawa etc also used Smiths instruments.
They must be used with an anti vibration mounting, code MS1001/00, manufactured for Smiths with the tachometer sitting on a central plate connected to an outer ring ( for attachment to the motorcycle fairing or cockpit, or car dash area) via an “O” ring in four places.
This provides a large amount of insulation from engine vibration and road shock.
The most commonly known use of the ATRC competition tachometer, was in the 9000rpm c/wise dial scale form ( code ATRC2652) used since 1956 to their closure in 1962 on AMC raceware…the 350 and 500 Manx Norton, the 350 7R AJS and the 500 G50 Matchless.

These were supplied with the cable connecting directly to the bottom of the tachometer via a 12mm x 1mm thread.
After 1962 as the dolphin fairing became utilised, Smiths made the ATRC tachometer with a built in 90° 1-1 non reversing angle drive fitted.
This allowed a better cable run to the tachometer drive on the AMC racers and was often utilised by others such as Honda Motor etc.
As well an interesting snippet is some time back, when John Surtees owned the ex works 500cc supercharged rennsport BMW that Georg Meier won the 1939 Senior IOM TT on, he was particular over his engine preparation and as the bike didn't have a tachometer fitted as standard in the period, he asked me to make him a 9000rpm ATRC 2-1 tachometer with a white face and the scale was as the normal ATRC, but the dial marking were from a German tachometer of the period, R.Muehle u.Sohn, Glashuettle/Sa.

A small Smiths screw-on 90° angle drive can be fitted to the straight cable entry tachometers, they are available as BG2410 a 1-1 non reversing type, or if you need to reverse the direction of the cable as it enters the tachometer because the scale goes “the wrong way” for your application, you could use the same small drive, coded as BG2412 a 1-1 reversing drive. These are pictured.
Pictured are some dial scale types from my dial catalogue….
How does this "eddy current principle" ATRC tachometer work?
Inside the tachometer is a magnet assembly driven by the drive cable.
As the magnet spins, it sets up a rotating magnetic field, causing electric current to flow in the aluminium detecting disc that closely surrounds it.This is called the speedcup which is the detecting disc. The electrical current that flows in the cup are small rotating eddies, known as eddy currents. The eddy currents themselves have a magnetic field around them and these are repelled by the spinning magnetic field from the magnet.

The cup and its attached needle turn in the same direction that the magnetic field is turning -- but the hairspring attached to the shaft in the centre of the speedcup resists the movement of the cup.The needle on the speedcup stops where the opposing force of the hairspring balances the force created by the revolving magnet.
What if the engine increases or decreases its speed? If the engine speed increases, the magnet within the speedcup will rotate faster, which creates a stronger magnetic field, larger eddy currents and a greater deflection of the tachometer needle. If the engine slows down, the magnet inside the cup rotates more slowly, which reduces the strength of the magnetic field, resulting in smaller eddy currents and less deflection of the needle.
When the engine finally stops, the hairspring , because of a zero error setting, holds the needle at a rest position ( which may not be “0”, as in the case of the ATRC whose dials start at 1000rpm, 5000rpm etc.)
I still manufacture these original type ATRC tachometers to the same specification as those from Smiths, with my manufacturing the case, bezel rim, dial, pointer, anti-vibration
mount and utilizing an industrial version of
this Smiths AT movement, identical in
operation to that originally used by Smiths.
I can repair the original versions utilising this parts source.
Also pictured are parts of the “internals” of the tachometer, with a movement with the speedcup and pointer assembly in a jig for setting the zero error to the dial.
As mentioned Honda Motor used these tachometers on their factory machines....pictured is a 16000rpm version on the former Mike Hailwood works 500/4 Honda, now owned by Virgil Ewings from California.

Included is part of a page from the notes of the late Jack Owens, last manager of the Smiths Competition Dept., Oxgate Lane, London, UK.
Left click on the images to enlarge…..