Silodrome http://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Wed, 19 Aug 2015 12:04:26 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.2.4 Kawasaki KZ550 by No. 8 Wire Motorcycleshttp://silodrome.com/kawasaki-kz550/ http://silodrome.com/kawasaki-kz550/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:01:14 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42330 Kawasaki KZ550 by No. 8 Wire Motorcycles

No. 8 Wire Motorcycles is a small but influential custom motorcycle garage based in Missoula, Montana. It’s run by a friendly New Zealander by the name of Colin Cornberg who draws his inspiration from two of the most iconic men in motorcycling – Burt Munro and John Britten. The name of the garage is a...

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Kawasaki KZ550 by No. 8 Wire Motorcycles

No. 8 Wire Motorcycles is a small but influential custom motorcycle garage based in Missoula, Montana. It’s run by a friendly New Zealander by the name of Colin Cornberg who draws his inspiration from two of the most iconic men in motorcycling – Burt Munro and John Britten.

The name of the garage is a reference to a gauge of wire used in farm fencing in New Zealand that would eventually be used for almost everything under the sun, it captures the can-do attitude of the Kiwis rather well, and their ability to keep things working despite a lack of spare parts, official suppliers or instruction manuals.

The Kawasaki KZ550 you see here is a great example of Cornberg’s work, he found it in the yard of an elderly gentleman in Bigfork, Montana and it had been sitting outside in the Montana sun, snow, rain and sleet for far too long. It also came without a title, which posed its own unique set of red tape challenges.

Colin and his friend Grant set to work on the bike, they decided to rebuild it into a monoshock rear street tracker that’d be ideally suited to the varying weather and road conditions found across Montana. The engine needed a full rebuild so the two men took it as an opportunity to add a Wiseco 615cc big bore kit, the top end was then rebuilt and all seals and gaskets were replaced.

In order to get the bike running better than new a Dynatek electronic ignition was installed, along with a lithium-ion battery, a new wiring loom, re-jetted carburettors and a custom exhaust capped with Cone Engineering mufflers. A Hagon monoshock was chosen to match the custom built swingarm, the front suspension was rebuilt and once the wheels had been powdercoated, they were dressed with Avon AM26 Roadrider Tires.

A set of Rental handlebars were chosen to give the bike the correct look and feel, a Rigid Industries headlight was fitted out front and the frame was powdercoated copper to bring out the cream tank and fender. The final feather in the Kawasaki’s cap was to be a custom made seat upholstered by Blue Ribbon Auto, also based in Missoula.

The completed bike was first shown at the Spirits and Spokes show held by Montgomery Distillery in June, and the bike is now used as a daily rider by Grant in Montana. If you’d like to see more from No. 8 Wire Motorcycles you can click here to visit their official website.

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All photography by Athena Lonsdale of Athena Photography.

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Jbird Collective Leather Sunglasseshttp://silodrome.com/leather-sunglasses/ http://silodrome.com/leather-sunglasses/#comments Wed, 19 Aug 2015 10:00:24 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42323 Jbird Collective Leather Sunglasses

Leather isn’t a material we’re used to seeing used for sunglasses, in fact this is the first 100% leather sunglass design ever offered for sale. It’s a new creation from the team at Jbird Collective, they spent months developing prototypes in order to get the correct amount of rigidity, along with internal stainless steel hinges...

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Jbird Collective Leather Sunglasses

Leather isn’t a material we’re used to seeing used for sunglasses, in fact this is the first 100% leather sunglass design ever offered for sale. It’s a new creation from the team at Jbird Collective, they spent months developing prototypes in order to get the correct amount of rigidity, along with internal stainless steel hinges and polarised lenses from Carl Zeiss Optics.

The project is currently on Kickstarter and it’s well on its way to surpassing its funding goal, $155 will pick you up a pair of leather sunglasses in your choice of 3 colours and there are a variety of other packages available.

Buy Here

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Chris Evans’ Daimler SP250 Police Specification Roadsterhttp://silodrome.com/daimler-sp250-dart/ http://silodrome.com/daimler-sp250-dart/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 10:01:29 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42303 Chris Evans’ Daimler SP250 Police Specification Roadster

The Daimler SP250, originally known as the Daimler Dart, was a car that had a huge amount of potential. Most automotive historians will agree that it never lived up to its potential, but at its heart it was a British roadster that could rub shoulders with the best of them – and probably even beat...

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Chris Evans’ Daimler SP250 Police Specification Roadster

The Daimler SP250, originally known as the Daimler Dart, was a car that had a huge amount of potential. Most automotive historians will agree that it never lived up to its potential, but at its heart it was a British roadster that could rub shoulders with the best of them – and probably even beat its direct competition in a race through the B roads of southern England.

The British constabulary recognised the speed of the car as a definite plus, when Daimler released the SP250 Roadster in 1959 the police throughout England were dealing with the scourge of the young cafe racers – men and women who piloted their customised motorcycles at obscene speeds, and flouted the law because the law simply didn’t have any vehicles that could catch them.

This would all change when Scotland Yard took a shine to the new Daimler Dart and ordered a few for their fleet, the cafe racer louts weren’t used to having policemen who could keep up with them. So it must have been a rude surprise for them to discover that the top speed of the new SP250 was in excess of 120 miles per hour – quite a bit more than the “ton”, and quite bit more than their Nortons, Triumphs, Tritons, BSAs and Ariels could manage.

The engine used in the new Daimler was a bespoke V8 with a swept volume of 2547cc and a power output of 140 hp, it was designed as a Hemi-head engine by Edward Turner and interestingly, it used a single, central cam shaft to operate the valves for both banks of cylinders. The chassis used was a slightly modified version of the same ladder-type chassis used on the Triumph TR3, this was fitted with a fibreglass body built internally at Daimler that both saved weight, and saved the tooling required to press sheets of steel into complex three dimensional shapes.

It has to be said that the styling of the new Daimler sports car wasn’t entirely well-recieved. It was voted the ugliest car at the 1959 New York Motor Show and its sales weren’t exactly brisk on either side of the Atlantic. This unfortunate lack of popularity has now resulted in the car being far more rare than it was initially intended to be, and original Police Specification cars like this that were actually delivered to Scotland Yard are now highly collectible and worth a pretty penny.

The car you see pictured here is currently owned by British icon and future Top Gear host Chris Evans, it was displayed at the CarFest North charity event in aid of the BBC’s ‘Children in Need’ in 2014 where it was driven by Annette Mason, wife of Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason. It’s now being offered for sale by Evans at the Goodwood Revival Sale due to be held by Bonhams on the 12th of September 2015, and it’s estimated to be worth between £50,000 and £60,000 – which I personally think is a bargain considering its rarity, heritage and celebrity ownership.

If you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here.

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Fire Design Extinguishershttp://silodrome.com/fire-design-extinguishers/ http://silodrome.com/fire-design-extinguishers/#comments Tue, 18 Aug 2015 09:00:59 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42292 Fire Design Extinguishers

Fire Design is a French company that was founded by artist and product designer Rodolphe Gimenez, his goal is to create fire extinguishers that people actually want to put in their homes – only 5% of residential buildings have fire extinguishers installed, and study after study has shown that having an extinguisher on hand can...

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Fire Design Extinguishers

Fire Design is a French company that was founded by artist and product designer Rodolphe Gimenez, his goal is to create fire extinguishers that people actually want to put in their homes – only 5% of residential buildings have fire extinguishers installed, and study after study has shown that having an extinguisher on hand can massively improve the probability of a positive outcome.

Each of Fire Design’s extinguishers is eco-friendly and is refillable, they use a dry powder fire retardant that can be used on paper, fabric, wood, liquid, gas and electrical fires. There are well over 100 designs to choose from, so almost everyone should be able to find something to match their house, apartment or garage.

Buy Here

Fire Extinguisher Design

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Custom Fire Extinguisher

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Zaeta 530 SE Flat Trackerhttp://silodrome.com/zaeta-motorcycle/ http://silodrome.com/zaeta-motorcycle/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 11:01:51 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42277 Zaeta 530 SE Flat Tracker

The Zaeta 530 DT is the two-wheeled answer to the question what would happen if the Italians decided to build a flat tracker? Dirt track racing is a sport not native to Europe, though its importance has been demonstrated by a number of superbike world champions from both the USA and Australia who grew up going sideways...

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Zaeta 530 SE Flat Tracker

The Zaeta 530 DT is the two-wheeled answer to the question what would happen if the Italians decided to build a flat tracker? Dirt track racing is a sport not native to Europe, though its importance has been demonstrated by a number of superbike world champions from both the USA and Australia who grew up going sideways on mud before transitioning to the asphalt.

The ability to control a motorcycle using throttle and steering input whilst sliding at a 45 degree angle is surprisingly valuable to road racers, and many MotoGP riders spend hundreds of hours each year on dirt tracks learning the art of King Kenny.

Zaeta started life in 2007 as a twinkle in the eye of Paolo Chiaia who was in the USA attending a shareholder presentation for Confederate Motorcycles. At a Daytona short-track race he met fellow Italian Marco Belli, and the two men began talking about what it would take to not only bring flat track racing to Italy, but to create their own uniquely Italian dirt track racer.

The goal for this Italian tracker was to ensure that it was state-of-the-art in every respect, so that the créme de la créme of MotoGP riders could use the Zaeta for slide training and take their newly acquired skills straight back to their superbikes.

A 528cc single-cylinder engine was selected as the power unit, capable of 55 hp (in road legal trim) and it was coupled with a 5 speed transmission.

Inverted Marzocchi forks were fitted up front and an Öhlins monoshock was used in the rear, the complex billet aluminium frame and swingarm was developed by a team of former MotoGP engineers at In-Motion – the frame uses the engine as a stressed-member which helps to keep weight down to just 115 kg (255 lbs).

As you’ve probably already realised, the power to weight ratio on this bike is roughly equivalent to uncut methamphetamine and easily on par with anything else you’re likely to find on the dirt tracks of the United States or Australia. The good news is that the bike also happens to be road legal and available in both Europe and North America, although it certainly isn’t cheap, it is reassuringly well-engineered.

If you’d like to read more or order a Zaeta 530 SE you can click here to visit the official website.

Additional information provided by Cycle World and Bike EXIF.

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All images by Paolo Carlini

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USS Macon Cutaway Wallpaperhttp://silodrome.com/uss-macon-airship/ http://silodrome.com/uss-macon-airship/#comments Mon, 17 Aug 2015 09:01:49 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42266 USS Macon Cutaway Wallpaper

The USS Macon and its sister ship, the USS Akron, were the largest helium-filled airships ever made. They were launched in 1933 and 1931 respectively, and each only had a service life of roughly two years – both were lost in separate severe storms. Macon had a hull made from structured duraluminum with three internal...

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USS Macon Cutaway Wallpaper

The USS Macon and its sister ship, the USS Akron, were the largest helium-filled airships ever made. They were launched in 1933 and 1931 respectively, and each only had a service life of roughly two years – both were lost in separate severe storms.

Macon had a hull made from structured duraluminum with three internal keels, it held its helium in 12 gas cells made from a lightweight gelatine-latex material and power was provided by 8 Maybach 12 cylinder engines each capable of 560 hp, and each able to be rotated up, down, left and right, as an early example of thrust vectoring.

Both the Macon and the Akron operated as flying aircraft carriers, they could carry up to 5 Curtiss F9C Sparrowhawk aircraft which were typically used for scouting. Interestingly, the water vapour was condensed out of each engine’s exhaust gasses and stored as secondary ballast – this compensated for the weight of fuel lost during operation.

If you’d like to read more about the USS Macon you can click here, and if you’d like to download the above desktop wallpaper you can click here.

USS Macon Bridge

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The GM Firebird III Gas Turbine Carhttp://silodrome.com/gm-firebird-lll/ http://silodrome.com/gm-firebird-lll/#comments Sun, 16 Aug 2015 08:01:47 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42254 The GM Firebird III Gas Turbine Car

The General Motors Firebird lll gas turbine car was a concept developed in 1958 as a progression of the Firebird I and Firebird II vehicles. None of these cars were intended for mass production, instead they were a testing ground for new technologies and drivetrains. The Firebird III was developed with a gas turbine drive...

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The GM Firebird III Gas Turbine Car

The General Motors Firebird lll gas turbine car was a concept developed in 1958 as a progression of the Firebird I and Firebird II vehicles. None of these cars were intended for mass production, instead they were a testing ground for new technologies and drivetrains.

The Firebird III was developed with a gas turbine drive system, a joystick controller in place of a steering wheel and pedals, a self-driving function and an early version of cruise control. It’s very likely that the engineers at GM thought that we’d have had self driving cars on the road within a decade of two of this film being made, of course the reality is that we’re only now on the cusp of it – 57 years later.

Click here to read more about the Firebird concept cars.

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GM Firebird lll Gas Turbine Car

GM Firebird lll Gas Turbine Car 2

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Auburn Speedster Barn Findhttp://silodrome.com/auburn-speedster/ http://silodrome.com/auburn-speedster/#comments Sat, 15 Aug 2015 10:00:07 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42238 Auburn Speedster Barn Find

The American answer to the lightning fast Bugatti, Bentley and Rolls-Royce automobiles coming out of Europe in the 1920s was the Auburn Speedster, a car designed by Gordon Buehrig that was audacious even in the heady days of the pre-Great Depression United States. It’s difficult to say anything about the design of the Auburn Speedster...

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Auburn Speedster Barn Find

The American answer to the lightning fast Bugatti, Bentley and Rolls-Royce automobiles coming out of Europe in the 1920s was the Auburn Speedster, a car designed by Gordon Buehrig that was audacious even in the heady days of the pre-Great Depression United States.

It’s difficult to say anything about the design of the Auburn Speedster that hasn’t already been said a dozen or more times. Essentially, it’s a staggeringly beautiful coupe with swept-back aerodynamic styling that allowed it to reach speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour. Very few people had travelled over the fabled 100 mph mark at the time, most cars struggled to reach 60 mph, and air travel was still very much a luxury.

Before the arrival of the Speedster, Auburn was in rather poor condition. Just 6 cars a day were being sold in 1924, when the enterprising car salesman Errett Lobban Cord took over executive duties. He brought in new designers and encouraged them to create something that would really create a stir – even when compared to models offered by companies like Duesenberg.

The Auburn Speedster was an immediate hit in the United States and won over some rather important fans in Europe too – including land speed record holder Sir Malcolm Campbell, who used one as his daily driver.

A number of engine options were offered over the 12 year production run, the naturally aspirated inline-8 was the most common and depending on the year, it could produce anywhere up to (and over) 125 hp. The three-speed synchromesh transmission along with the dual ratio axle gave the Speedster a 6-speed transmission, which was ideal for everything from long-range cruising to inner city driving.

The 1929 Speedster you see here has had a rather interesting life, it was discovered in a forest in New Jersey and saved back in the middle of the last century.

Local legend attributes ownership of the car to George Putnam, the New York publisher and more famously, the widower of Amelia Earhart.

Putnam owned a first generation Auburn Speedster and lived in the area where this one was discovered, it’s not known what happened to his car but local residents were adamant that he’d parked the car in the woods for reasons only he would ever know.

Although it’s clearly in very poor condition, the market for these cars is expansive. It’s impossible to buy one for even close to $200,000 USD so the estimated value on this one of $60,000 to $80,000 puts it into the affordable catgegory – and if the restorer was able to verify its Putnam ownership it would be worth well in excess of $1,000,000 USD.

If you’d like to read more about the car or register to bid on it, you can click here to visit the listing via Auctions America.

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Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1 Rally Saloonhttp://silodrome.com/ford-lotus-cortina-mk1/ http://silodrome.com/ford-lotus-cortina-mk1/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:01:39 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42219 Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1 Rally Saloon

The Ford Lotus Cortina is one of the beloved two door saloon cars that petrolheads almost invariably love, much like the BMW 2002 and the Datsun 510/1600. They’re cars that weren’t necessarily designed to go all that fast, but fate intervened and through some clever engineering and some lateral thinking, they actually ended up being...

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Ford Lotus Cortina Mk1 Rally Saloon

The Ford Lotus Cortina is one of the beloved two door saloon cars that petrolheads almost invariably love, much like the BMW 2002 and the Datsun 510/1600. They’re cars that weren’t necessarily designed to go all that fast, but fate intervened and through some clever engineering and some lateral thinking, they actually ended up being race and championship winners.

The story of the Lotus Cortina began in 1961 when Colin Chapman began developing a twin cam version of the Ford Kent engine as a replacement for the rather expensive Coventry Climax power-unit he’d been using previously. The newly modified engine was fitted to the Lotus 23 driven by Jim Clark at the Nürburgring in 1962 and it quickly began to appear in the production Lotus Elan.

In late 1962 Walter Haynes of Ford’s British arm asked Chapman if he’d be interested in fitting the engine to a specially modified Cortina, and despite the fact that he was already running close to full capacity, he agreed to produce 1000 cars for Group 2 homologation.

Production commenced in 1963 with Ford delivering body shells to Chapman, the team at Lotus then fitted a 1557cc version of the modified Ford Kent engine, as well as the close-ratio gearbox from the Lotus Elan, highly modified suspension front and back, lightweight alloy body panels on the boot, bonnet and doors, and finally, lightweight casings were fitted to gearbox and differential.

This new Cortina was a wild success. It was raced in Europe, the USA and Britain with Jim Clark winning the British Saloon Car Championship, Jackie Stewart and Mike Beckwith then won the Malboro 12-hour, two Lotus Cortina’s then took a 1-2 victory in the Motor Six Hour International Touring Car Race at Brands Hatch. Before the end of 1964 the little Ford had also won the Austrian Saloon Car Championship, the South African National Saloon Championship, the Swedish Ice Championship, and the Wills Six-Hour in New Zealand.

I could literally carry on naming both race and championship wins for the car right through to the present day, the Lotus Cortina Mk1 is still raced in anger in many global events, and it still wins more often than it doesn’t.

The rally-preppared Mk1 you see here has been fitted with an FIA-spec roll cage and fuel cell for use in vintage hill climbs, races and rallys and is due to be offered by Bonhams at The Beaulieu Sale on the 5th of September 2015. It has an estimated value of between £23,000 and £26,000, which is actually pretty good for a car as fun and well-prepared as this.

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U-boat Blueprintshttp://silodrome.com/u-boat-blueprints/ http://silodrome.com/u-boat-blueprints/#comments Fri, 14 Aug 2015 10:00:46 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=42211 U-boat Blueprints

In the post-WWII years Winston Churchill once famously said “The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril”, this was largely because of how reliant Britain was on supplies, manpower and equipment from Canada, the USA, Australia and further afield. If Hitler had successfully managed to close off the resupply...

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U-boat Blueprints

In the post-WWII years Winston Churchill once famously said “The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril”, this was largely because of how reliant Britain was on supplies, manpower and equipment from Canada, the USA, Australia and further afield. If Hitler had successfully managed to close off the resupply of Britain across the North Atlantic, he could potentially secured victory in Europe in a matter of months.

The early years of the war would later become known as die glückliche Zeit or “the happy time” by German U-boat personnel, allied shipping hadn’t yet developed effective counter-strategies for dealing with subs, and for the U-boat commanders it was all to easy to sink heavily-laden ships bound for the west coast of England.

As the was processed the Admiralty managed to turn the tides on the U-boats, all in-bound shipping arrived in heavily guarded convoys which were able to strike back and sink submarines with a high level of accuracy. Further help was provided by the cracking of the Enigma, high-frequency direction finding radar, active sonar, and ASW spigot mortars. By the latter stages of the war the U-boat fleet had the highest fatality rate of all of the German forces, and by war’s end 793 U-boats had been sunk.

This high-resolution U-boat blueprint is exceptionally well detailed, so if you have an interest in such things you can click the download button below to take a closer look.

Download Here

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