Silodrome https://silodrome.com Gasoline Culture Fri, 06 Dec 2019 10:04:50 +0800 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.3 18077751 927 HP – An Original Ex-Works Triumph TRS 24 Hours Of Le Mans Racer https://silodrome.com/triumph-trs/ Fri, 06 Dec 2019 09:50:53 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=100889 The Triumph TRS was a special works-built racing version of the Triumph TR3, though it has to be said it shared little with the TR3 other than the chassis, and even that was significantly modified. The two most important aspects of the TRS was the fibreglass body, and the advanced 20X “Sabrina” double overhead cam...

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The Triumph TRS was a special works-built racing version of the Triumph TR3, though it has to be said it shared little with the TR3 other than the chassis, and even that was significantly modified.

The two most important aspects of the TRS was the fibreglass body, and the advanced 20X “Sabrina” double overhead cam engine capable of 150 bhp in racing trim – a significant figure for a 2 litre engine at the time.

The Triumph competition department had long prided itself on competing with vehicles that were almost entirely unmodified road cars. Though in order to compete and achieve results at the 24 Hours Of Le Mans they knew they were going to need to create something more competitive than a stock TR3.

Development on the Triumph 20X twin cam was originally intended to be first used in racing, and then modified for use as a production car engine in much the same way that MG had done with the MGA Twin Cam.

Triumph TRS Sabrina Engine 4

Sabrina - Norma Ann Sykes

Although the engine’s original code name was 20X it was nicknamed “Sabrina” by the engineers due to the two domed covers on the cam covers on the front of the engine – they felt there some some resemblance to Norma Ann Sykes, a popular model from the era with large bosoms who had the stage name Sabrina.

The engineers in the Triumph competition department developed a strengthened, modified chassis sourced from the TR3, their new twin cam 2 litre engine was capable of 150 bhp in racing tune, and the new fibreglass body was styled after Giovanni Michelotti’s Zoom concept design.

The cars that were built to compete at Le Mans were undeniably handsome, though they didn’t achieve great success during their first attempt at Le Mans in 1960. It wasn’t until a year later in 1961 that they would show their true potential, finishing 9th, 11th and 15th overall – this result was good enough for Triumph to win the prestigious Manufacturer’s Team Prize.

Despite the notable team success at Le Mans, the Sabrina twin cam engine never made it into production. No one knows exactly how many of them were built but they’re now highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike. Funnily enough, MG would have no shortage of problems with their own twin cam engine, eventually pulling it from production after a little over 2,000 had been sold.

The 1959 Triumph TRS Shown Here – 927 HP

The Triumph TRS you see here is commonly known by its original registration number of 927 HP, which it still carries today. The car is a two-time Le Mans entrant, it was driven in 1960 by Peter Bolton and Ninian Sanderson, then by Les Leston and Rob Slotemaker to 11th place in 1961.

After retiring from competition life 927 HP made its way to the USA where it was rarely used, the decades passed and in 2008 it was sold into the ownership of its current owner. The car had been previously disassembled as part of an abandoned restoration, which meant it was just waiting for the restoration to be completed.

The current owner set about restoring it back to the exact 1961 Le Mans specifications using historic images and films, as well as documentation. In total, the restoration took two years which included a comprehensive rebuild of the Sabrina twin cam engine – a highly specialised task in and of itself.

In the year that the restoration was completed, 2010, the it was shown at the Le Mans Classic retrospective. Since then it’s been shown publicly a number of times, and driven on the road. 927 HP is now up for sale for the first time since its restoration, it’s being offered by the team at Pendine Historics and you can click here if you’d like to read more about it or enquire about buying it.

Triumph TRS Steering Wheel

Triumph TRS Side

Triumph TRS Side 3

Triumph TRS Side 2

Triumph TRS Sabrina Engine

Triumph TRS Sabrina Engine 3

Triumph TRS Sabrina Engine 2

Triumph TRS Rear

Triumph TRS Rear 2

Triumph TRS Interior

Triumph TRS Interior 2

Triumph TRS Headlights

Triumph TRS Grille

Triumph TRS Grille 2

Triumph TRS Front

Triumph TRS Dash

Triumph TRS Back 2

Triumph TRS Trunk

Triumph TRS Tail Lights

Images courtesy of Pendine Historics

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The Spidi Vintage Leather Jacket – A Timeless Italian Motorcycle Jacket https://silodrome.com/spidi-vintage-leather-jacket/ Fri, 06 Dec 2019 09:38:04 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=100921 The Spidi Vintage leather jacket is a new design from the Italian company that was developed to offer full modern protection, whilst being styled classically so it wouldn’t look at all out of place if it was worn in any of the last 8 decades. Spidi started making motorcycle gear all the way back in...

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The Spidi Vintage leather jacket is a new design from the Italian company that was developed to offer full modern protection, whilst being styled classically so it wouldn’t look at all out of place if it was worn in any of the last 8 decades.

Spidi started making motorcycle gear all the way back in 1977, enjoying their first moment in the global spotlight when “King” Kenny Roberts won the 1979 500cc World Championship wearing their gloves.

In the decades since Spidi has grown to become one of the world’s leading motorcycle apparel makers, known for good quality, long-lasting gear.

Spidi Vintage Leather Jacket Front and Back

This jacket has a primary chassis of 1.0 to 1.2 mm thick premium Italian waxed leather, with a natural cotton lining for comfort, and a removable quilted waistcoat with hollow fibre 80 gr. insulation.

The Spidi Vintage is CE prEN 17092-2:2017 Class AA certified and it comes with removable Warrior Lite protectors (certified En1621-1 level 1) in the shoulders and elbows, it also has a pocket for an optional level 1 or level 2 Warrior back protector which is sold separately.

There are zippered hand-warmer pockets in the front, the main closure is by heavy duty zipper,, and there’s a press stud at the top to keep the collar securely fastened.

Visit The Store

Spidi Vintage Leather Jacket Model 2

Spidi Vintage Leather Jacket Open

Spidi Vintage Leather Jacket Model

Spidi Vintage Leather Jacket Label

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A Brief History of the MGA – Everything You Need To Know https://silodrome.com/mga-history/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 13:01:23 +0000 http://silodrome.com/?p=97077 The MGA – An Introduction + Background The MGA was born out of two strands of activity; one was the American’s discovery of British sports cars in the years after the Second World War with the car responsible for that being the MG TC of 1945-1950. The second was MG’s quest to be recognized as...

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The MGA – An Introduction + Background

The MGA was born out of two strands of activity; one was the American’s discovery of British sports cars in the years after the Second World War with the car responsible for that being the MG TC of 1945-1950.

The second was MG’s quest to be recognized as a serious sports car maker which meant that the company needed to be involved in motorsport and such things as setting speed and endurance records.

MGA Twin Cam

In the post World War II years the British Government faced a dire economic situation resulting from not just one world war, but two world wars with an economic depression sandwiched in between them.

The upshot of this for the British automotive industry was that they needed to create products for export so the nation could recover financially, and not only that but the steel required for production was rationed by the government with preference given to export products, so to manufacture anything an industry needed to be willing to “export or perish”.

The economic pressures led Morris along with the M.G. Car Company to join together with the Austin Motor Company in 1952 to form British Motor Corporation. This merger led to product rationalization with many Austin and Morris car models being largely identical save for the badges on them. This was referred to as “Badge engineering” and it served to keep the Austin, Morris, Wolseley, Riley, and MG brand names alive.

There was however a real risk that the MG as a sports car would be made to disappear. The MG Magnette sedan was updated in 1953 to be a remodeled Wolseley, and the successors to the MG TC, the MG TD, and MG TF were becoming as old fashioned as the British Morgan and in dire need of post-war modernization – but there was scant money or motivation available to create a new car.

MGTF roadster sports car

The major obstacle to the development of a new MG occurred because of the 1952 merger between Austin and Morris/MG. Leonard Lord of Austin had attempted to create a car specifically aimed at the American market.

But instead of being a sports car oozing character and excitement the car that Austin’s boffins created was the Austin A90 Atlantic: a car so awkward looking that only its creator could love it, a car that didn’t so much accelerate as “gain momentum”.

The Austin Atlantic had been an unmitigated disaster and by 1952 Austin’s Leonard Lord was rather desperate to find a real sports car with which to wow the Americans and save his company.

Austin A90 Atlantic car convertible

The Austin A90 Atlantic – A sales failure and a car with a divisive design.

It was as he wandered from stand to stand at the 1952 London Earls Court Motor Show that Leonard Lord had seen the car that could save his company. The car was at the stand of the Donald Healey Motor Company, it was made using predominantly Austin parts, and it was drop dead gorgeous.

It was so gorgeous that French actor and singer Sacha Distel would later buy one and use it to chauffeur actress Brigitte Bardot around.

Leonard Lord and Donald Healey Healey sports car

Leonard Lord (left) and Donald Healey (right) at the 1952 London Earls Court Motor Show in a Healey 100.

Leonard Lord and Donald Healey came to a mutually beneficial agreement over dinner that night and the Austin-Healey was born. That was good news for Leonard Lord and Austin, and good news for Donald Healey, but very bad news for MG and any hopes they had for producing a new MG sports car for the post-war era.

A new, modern looking MG sports car would be a direct competitor to the Austin-Healey and so senior management would be unlikely to support it.

The Development of the MGA

Despite its old fashioned looks the MG TD of 1950 was a fairly advanced sports car. It had an independent front suspension with coil springs, rack and pinion steering, and its engine was an MG XPAG 1,250cc OHV producing 57 bhp at 5,500 rpm.

This was the basis on which MG’s Chief Designer Syd Enever built a streamlined body for the 1951 24 Hours Le Mans motor race. This car was given project designation “EX176” and is typically referred to by its registration number UMG 400.

MG racing car UMG400

The Le Mans car proved to be so inspiring that two new chassis were created for a prototype future production car to replace the rather “old school” MG TF, and one of those was developed into a full road registered test car.

These two were designated “EX175” and the road registered test car was HMO 6. The new chassis was necessitated by limitations of the original MG TF chassis which placed the driver’s seating position up quite high, something that was not a problem in the MG TF but something that was a problem in a streamlined Le Mans car for which getting the driver’s seat lower was needed both to improve the car’s aerodynamics and lower the center of gravity.

The new chassis had its side members placed further apart so the driver’s seat could sit between them, and thus sit much lower. This meant that the cockpit floor was attached to the bottom of the chassis members instead of on top of them as in the MG TF.

MGA prototype EX175 HMO6

The new prototype was just as “drop dead gorgeous” as the Austin-Healey 100/4 but with the 1952 merger with Austin and their desire to push ahead with that car the going got rough for the prospects of a new MG sports car.

What tipped the scales was a precipitate nosedive in sales of the MG TF by 1953 that brought about a “something must be done because we’re losing lots of money” motivation factor that management were forced to act on. The new car was to be called the MGA, because it was to be the first of a new modern post-war breed of MG.

The new car did have features that originated from the Austin merger however. The MG T series XPAG engine was done away with and instead the MGA was fitted with an Austin B series inline four cylinder of 1,489cc capacity breathing through twin SU H4 carburetors producing 68hp.

MG MGA Twin Cam

This was improved on to give the engine 72hp fairly soon after production commenced. This engine was the same as the one used in the badge engineered Wolseley derived MG Magnette saloon/sedan with which the MGA shared many common parts.

The front suspension was independent with wishbones and coil springs at the front and a traditional semi-elliptic leaf springs with live axle at the rear. The steering was by rack and pinion, much preferred by sports car enthusiasts, just as had been used on the MG T series cars: brakes were Lockheed drums front and rear.

So the end result was an aerodynamic car with head turning modern looks and subtle engineering improvements that was just as much fun to drive as its predecessors: it looked completely new, but it drove like an improved “real MG”.

MG MGA Twin Cam Wheels

The new MGA 1500 tried hard to make “the ton” (i.e. 100mph) and almost made it with top speed on test being 97.8mph. Standing to 60mph time was 16 seconds and fuel consumption a modest 26.7 miles to the Imperial gallon (22mpg – US gallons).

The car made its debut in 1955 and was priced at £844 with taxes included. The first production cars were made as roadsters with the option of a detachable hard top. However BMC quickly also introduced a fixed head coupe complete with wind-up windows and good weatherproofing.

The coupe model was sold as an alternative style of car for the entire production run of the MGA and there were coupes produced of all models including the Twin Cam.

Le Mans MGA race cars Abingdon

To make the MGA’s debut an event that would cause the sports car enthusiasts to take notice four cars were to be built, three to compete and one spare car prepared as entries in the 1955 24 Hours Le Mans. This group of cars were given the company designation EX182 and three competed in the race with one crashing and the other two finishing in 12th and 17th places.

That success was however clouded by the accident at the 1955 Le Mans which led to horrendous casualties when a car crashed at the end of the high speed Mulsanne Straight sending parts of the car including its engine and transmission hurtling through a spectator grandstand.

MGA LeMans car diagram

Prior to this in August and September of 1954 a specially prepared streamlined record breaking car, EX179 was created and taken to the Bonneville Salt Flats in the United States for a crack at a number of speed records. This car took no less than seven international records and 24 American National Class F records including a 12 hour and others between 250km and 200km.

MGA EX179 Bonneville record car

The speed records and the creditable performance at the 1955 Le Mans served the purpose to launch the car with an appropriate level of “streed cred”.

MGA EX179 speed record car

The MGA Twin Cam

With the MGA established as a production car there was, of course, motivation among the enthusiasts of the design and engineering heart of MG who wanted to turn it into an even more impressive performance car.

This was in part due to a desire by the North American dealers for a more powerful car, a desire that might have been best provided for by fitting a nice alloy V8 into it, something that would have to wait until late in MGB production. But the history, although veiled in mystery, tends to indicate that development work on a twin cam high performance MG engine predates the 1955 debut of the MGA.

MG MGA Twin Cam Engine

The twin cam MG engine was the result of a vision held by Director and General Manager John Thornley, Design Engineer Syd Enever and Alex Hounslow. The story of that engine begins in the design office of Morris, Cowley, and was the work of Gerald Palmer who was the design engineer in charge of MG and Riley development.

It was Palmer who designed a new twin OHC top end for the Morris “B” engine, something that could pretty much be bolted straight on. Palmer obtained the go-ahead from his director Vic Oak and the design was sent to Morris Engines Branch for creation of a prototype.

So it was by June of 1955 the project had been designated EX187 and plans were proceeding for that Morris “B” engine twin cam to be the star of a new high performance MGA model. The first entry in that project journal was for the “Dunlop Centre Lock Type Disc Wheel” that would be used on this new model.

MGA Twin Cam sports car Dunlop Centre Lock steel wheel

The MGA Twin Cam was created as a special performance model and it had been originally envisaged that it would be primarily sold to more knowledgeable enthusiast drivers who would know how to look after such a temperamental engine.

That lofty idea was quickly pushed aside however as the demand for this rather exotic high performance MGA was quite strong and so these cars finished up being purchased by drivers of all levels of knowledge, or lack thereof.

The MGA Twin Cam was fitted with the Dunlop Centre Lock Disc Wheels and had Girling disc brakes at the front and rear giving it much improved high speed braking. Other than that, some chassis modifications, and being fitted with the somewhat experimental Twin Cam engine the car was like the other production MGA’s. The Twin Cam engine had a compression ratio of 9.9:1 and breathed through twin SU B6 carburetors producing 108hp.

MGA Twin Cam sports car engine

Once the MGA Twin Cam was in production in 1958 the gremlins reared their ugly little heads with the main problem being the engine’s propensity for getting holes in pistons, a holey piston being a cause for much wailing and gnashing of the teeth by both owner and dealer alike.

The reason for this was not discovered and would seem to be a mystery through to the present day. The Twin Cam’s pistons were quite highly domed and it was thought the problem was caused by detonation occurring, perhaps if the mixture became too lean under certain circumstances.

Various things were studied and tried but even a car which had the original SU carburetors removed and replaced with Webers produced the same holey piston problems. The problem was ameliorated by reducing the compression ratio from 9.9:1 to 8.3:1 but was not satisfactorily solved. The lower compression ratio engine produced 100hp.

MGA Twin Cam sports car cockpit interior

The performance of the high compression MGA Twin Cam was brisk: the car had a top speed of 113mph, could do a standing to 60mph in 9.1 seconds, and consumed fuel at a rate of 27 miles to the Imperial gallon (i.e. 23mpg US). The later lower compression ratio cars were of course a tad slower.

The Twin Cam was taken out of production in 1960 after only 2,111 cars had been produced. The price was £1,283 including taxes.

MGA Twin Cam sports car

MGA 1600 and 1600 De-Luxe

The MGA 1600 first appeared in 1959 and was fitted with a 1,588cc producing 79.5 bhp. The car was also fitted with front Girling disc brakes, like its Twin Cam sibling, but retained drum brakes at the rear. This was a common layout during the 1960’s and 1970’s and may have been done for cost saving, but also may have been done given that drum brakes tended to provide better handbrake grip.

Externally the MGA 1600 looked much like its MGA 1500 predecessor with differences being in the badges and in parking and turn indicators depending on the market the model was sold in.

With the premature demise of the MGA Twin Cam there were Dunlop Centre Lock steel wheels and Twin Cam parts and chassis left over which were not to be allowed to go to waste. So these left over chassis complete with four wheel disc brakes and the Twin Cam center lock wheels were fitted with the 1,588cc engine and sold as the MGA 1600 De-Luxe. These are a fairly unusual model with only seventy roadsters and a dozen coupes being built.

MGA Ad

The top speed of the MGA 1600 roadster on test was 96.1mph with a standing to 60mph time of 13.3 seconds and fuel consumption of 29.7 miles to the Imperial gallon (24.7mpg US). The MGA 1600 base model sold for £940 including taxes.

MGA Mark II and Mark II De-Luxe

The MGA Mark II was introduced in 1961 and was the last of the line being superseded in 1963 by the MGB. The MGA Mark II was fitted with a 1,622cc bored out version of the 1,588cc engine. This engine had other improvements including larger valves and re-designed combustion chambers.

As a result of these upgrades the engine power was raised to 90bhp and in-line with the road car’s primary use for high speed country touring the rear axle ratio was changed to 4.1 to reduce engine revs at speed and improve fuel consumption.

The main visual change for the Mark II was the inset front grille and the use of tail lamps from the trendy Morris Mini.

Top speed of the Mark II was 105mph with a standing to 60mph time of 12.8 seconds. These figures mean that the Mark II could achieve about the same level of performance as the low compression Twin Cam.

MGA Classic Car

The MGA in Motorsport and the Speed Record Cars

The MGA came to be used quite extensively in motorsport despite the fact that BMC ceased participation in racing after the 1955 Le Mans crash. Preparation work had already been ongoing with a view to entering the 1956 Le Mans with a more streamlined MGA fitted with a Twin Cam engine and this car was given the project designation EX186.

With the ending of works participation in motor racing one of the EX182 1955 Le Mans cars was taken for an outing at the TT at Dunrod in Northern Ireland. After that BMC concentrated on rallying which would see the MGA being used prior to the Mini taking over as the mainstay rally car.

MGA EX179 Twin Cam speed record car

In addition to the record setting work done in 1954 prior to the MGA’s public release EX179 was prepared for another crack at some speed records, the attempts being scheduled for August 1956.

The car was fitted with a then experimental 1,489cc Twin Cam engine, not supercharged, and it managed a 12 hours run at an average of 141.71mph, with a maximum average speed of 170mph for 10 miles.

MG EX171 speed record car

The speed record setting did not end there however and a new mid-engine car EX171 was created powered by a 1,489cc Twin Cam engine fitted with a Shorrock supercharger.

The new chassis and aerodynamic body meant that the only part this car shared with the MGA was the Twin Cam engine but it was taken to Bonneville and despite difficult weather conditions was driven by Stirling Moss to achieve a 245.64mph Flying Kilometer and a 245.11mph Flying Mile.

MG EX171 Sir Stirling Moss speed record Bonneville

Stirling Moss with the EX171 at the Bonneville Salt Flats

The MGA has been privately been campaigned in racing and rallying and has proved itself to be a great track car. In Sports Car Club of America competition the MGA has won a number of championships most notably the car driven by Kent Prather attained a string of G Class wins over the years. The MGA began being used at Sebring from at least 1957 onwards.

Conclusion

The MGA stands out in the history of British sports cars as one of the iconic models of the post-war era along with the Austin-Healey and the Triumph TR series. It was derived from a design for a racing car and despite the business merger and the pressure not to create it the car was too good not to build. With its great performance, classic looks, and ease of maintenance this is a car that is very popular in classic racing circles.

For those looking for an iconic British sports car of the 1950’s and 1960’s an MGA would be a great choice.

MGA sports car advertisement

MGA Car

MGA Brochure

MGA Coupe

MGA Ad 2

MGA 1600

MG Vintage Ad

Photo Credits: MG, BMC, RM Sotheby’s.

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Laser Cut Wooden Vehicle Blueprints by Simply Cut Art https://silodrome.com/laser-cut-wooden-vehicle-blueprints-by-simply-cut-art/ Thu, 05 Dec 2019 11:42:06 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=100874 This series of artworks are each designed by Jeff and Lisa in their studio near the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Their designs are entirely unique and they feature some of the most iconic vehicles of the modern age including the P-51 Mustang, the Series 1 Land Rover, the Toyota FJ40, the...

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This series of artworks are each designed by Jeff and Lisa in their studio near the city of Valencia on the Mediterranean coast of Spain. Their designs are entirely unique and they feature some of the most iconic vehicles of the modern age including the P-51 Mustang, the Series 1 Land Rover, the Toyota FJ40, the Datsun 240Z, the Citroën 2CV, the Ford Mustang, and many more.

Jeff and Lisa used to sell their art on Etsy however demand grew to the level they decided to go out on their own and set up their own store, and fulfill all of their orders personally.

Each piece starts with a more traditional 2D blueprint, they then laser cut wood to shape and integrate it with the design, adding a 3rd dimension and creating a conversation piece at the same time. Custom design requests are welcome and they do what they can to fulfill them, the process of creating one of these works requires the ability to work with paper, wood, printing, and laser cutters.

Sizing and pricing does vary, and each piece comes with a backing card to keep it rigid and avoid damage. There are dozens of designs to choose from including planes, cars, spacecraft, boats, tanks, and more.

Visit The Store

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The Rare Harley-Davidson VR1000 – A 135HP Quad Cam Milwaukee Superbike From The ’90s https://silodrome.com/harley-davidson-vr1000/ Wed, 04 Dec 2019 11:37:14 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=100849 The Harley-Davidson VR1000 was a race bike developed in the late-1980s and early-1990s to take on the best in the world. We don’t typically associate the American motorcycle maker with performance machines, but the VR1000 was an exception to this – with a 996cc 60º, liquid-cooled V-twin, quad cams (double overhead per cylinder), four valves per...

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The Harley-Davidson VR1000 was a race bike developed in the late-1980s and early-1990s to take on the best in the world.

We don’t typically associate the American motorcycle maker with performance machines, but the VR1000 was an exception to this – with a 996cc 60º, liquid-cooled V-twin, quad cams (double overhead per cylinder), four valves per cylinder, Weber fuel injection, and 135+ bhp at 10,000+ rpm.

Building The Harley-Davidson VR1000

Harley-Davidson is known for their simple, air-cooled pushrod V-twin powered motorcycles that tip the scales at approximately the same weight as a medium sized three bedroom house with a double garage and a small verandah. The VR1000 was intended to begin the process of changing this perception, and turning Harley into a builder of technologically advanced world class motorcycles.

Harley-Davidson VR1000

The story behind the development of the VR1000 is fascinating and well worth the read if you have time, to cut a rather long story short the chassis and engine were developed by a slew of significant names including Erik Buell, Cosworth, Roush Industries, Mike Eatough, and a number of others.

The plan was for the Harley-Davidson VR1000 to compete in the AMA Superbike series against some of the best in the world, using a 100% American-developed V-twin designed and built in house. This was a huge undertaking considering how little experience the company had with modern engines.

The VR1000 featured an alloy perimeter frame with fully adjustable racing Öhlins forks up front with a Penske monoshock in the rear, the swing arm was also alloy, and all the bodywork was carbon fibre. The racing versions of the model used 6 pot AP Racing calipers with AP master cylinders, and the homologation-production bikes used 6 pot Wilwood brakes and lightweight Marchesini wheels.

Harley-Davidson VR1000 Side

Every part of the new motorcycle needed to be developed from scratch and it would be fighting against large, experienced, and well funded teams. Although Harley was never a small motorcycle manufacturer, they were a significant underdog in this instance.

Racing The Harley-Davidson VR1000

The development team had anticipated the first season of competition being 1991, however the VR1000 wasn’t ready until the 1994 season. The relatively long racing career enjoyed by the model was characterised by a series of almost-wins, with many retirements from 1st position in the final few laps.

Although the VR1000 was slightly down on power compared to the competition, it did handle exceptionally well and often made up time in the twistier sections of circuits only to lose the advantage on the straights.

By 2001 the writing was on the wall for the VR1000 and the program was cancelled by Harley-Davidson, interestingly the engine wouldn’t die with the racing program. Instead it was sent to Porsche in Germany where both Porsche and Harley engineers worked on creating a modern street legal engine.

Harley-Davidson VR1000 Front

The fundamental dimensions including the 60º architecture of the VR1000 engine was kept, but the 1,131cc Revolution engine which was publicly shown in the summer of 2001 shared no parts with the original VR unit.

The Revolution engine was used in the VRSC V-Rod platform, it was the most advanced production engine ever used in a Harley, and it allowed the Milwaukee firm to claim it was a race-bred motor. It wouldn’t be until 2019 that Harley-Davidson would announce a series of all new models with liquid-cooled, DOHC, fuel injected motorcycle engines – a move many have been clamouring for since the 1980s if not earlier.

The surviving examples of the Harley-Davidson VR1000 are now much sought after by collectors, they’re not road legal and it’s rare to see them on track, with many having very low mileage as a result.

The 1994 Harley VR1000 Superbike Shown Here

The VR1000 you see here is offered in original condition, including the signature split paint scheme, with orange on one side and black on the other, separated down the centre by a white stripe.

With the recent announcements from Harley (as of 2019) that they’re launching a number of new models with liquid-cooling, DOHC, EFI, as well as modern chassis and suspension, the interested in the VR1000 has increased. In some respects this is the model that could have been the beginning of something new for the venerable American motorcycle maker, before the current period of stagnation and operating losses.

If you’d like to read more about this bike or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on Mecum.

Harley-Davidson VR1000 Exhaust

Harley-Davidson VR1000 6

Harley-Davidson VR1000 5

Harley-Davidson VR1000 4

Harley-Davidson VR1000 3

Harley-Davidson VR1000 2

Harley-Davidson VR1000 Gauges

Images courtesy of Mecum

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Henry’s Hatchet by Roark Revival – A Buy-It-For-Life Hand Axe – $60 USD https://silodrome.com/henrys-hatchet-440-stainless-steel/ Wed, 04 Dec 2019 11:36:24 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=100833 This is Henry’s Hatchet by Roark Revival, it’s a 440 stainless steel hand axe designed for regular use, with a full tang handle wrapped in army green woven nylon cord that can be used as rope in emergencies. For the uninitiated, a full tang handle is a term that refers to a knife, axe, or...

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This is Henry’s Hatchet by Roark Revival, it’s a 440 stainless steel hand axe designed for regular use, with a full tang handle wrapped in army green woven nylon cord that can be used as rope in emergencies.

For the uninitiated, a full tang handle is a term that refers to a knife, axe, or other tool where the metal of the blade runs all the way down into the handle. This does tend to increase weight slightly, but it also means that the knife/axe/tool is considerably stronger and far less likely to break.

The weakest part of most axes is the wooden handle, they’re prone to breaking and once the handle is broken the axe becomes useless for chopping wood until a new handle is fitted. The full tang handle used by Henry’s Hatchet eliminates this problem, and means the hatchet will last through decades of regular use.

Henry's Hatchet by Roark Revival Sheath

The team at Roark Revival make each of these hatchets from premium 440 stainless steel, a hardenable high-carbon chromium steel often referred to as “razor blade steel”. This is the same grade of stainless steel used in medical scalpels, dental instruments, and high quality knife blades, it’s valued for its ability to hold a razor sharp edge, and to resist corrosion.

A good hand axe is an essential camping and survival item, oftentimes doubling as both an axe and a knife when needed. It’s typically not possible to take a full sized axe with you when hiking or motocamping, but a hatchet can be stashed away in a backpack or a pannier bag without any trouble.

Each of these hatchets comes with a leather sheath with button-snap closure for protection, and they measure in at 11.5” long, with a blade length of 4.5”, and an MSRP of $60 USD.

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Henry's Hatchet by Roark Revival Handle

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This Is The 1976 Citroën Indecision – The Car That Jules Verne Would Drive https://silodrome.com/1976-citroen-indecision/ Tue, 03 Dec 2019 14:08:08 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=100802 If there were a car from any point in history that would be driven by Jules Verne, it would be this, the 1976 Citroën Indecision. Although it’s based on a French car it was actually built in 1984 in Britain by world renowned car creator Andy Saunders. The bodywork and interior are all bespoke, rather...

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If there were a car from any point in history that would be driven by Jules Verne, it would be this, the 1976 Citroën Indecision. Although it’s based on a French car it was actually built in 1984 in Britain by world renowned car creator Andy Saunders.

The bodywork and interior are all bespoke, rather than using more common and far easier materials to work with like fibreglass, the Citroën Indecision has a full steel body frame with a full steel body – all formed by hand.

The Citroën DX

The Indecision is based on a 1976 Citroën CX Pallas, the CX model was originally released in 1974 and sold all the way until 1991. The CX based on the same technology as the Citroën DS, with similar styling, a hydropneumatic self-leveling suspension system, wind tunnel-tuned aerodynamics, and a front engined, front wheel drive layout.

Citroen Indecision Interior

Citroën was a more avant garde automaker than their arch rivals at Peugeot, and the DX was a great example of their oftentimes wildly experimental approach.

The DX was originally intended to be powered by a Wankel rotary engine, namely the Comotor three-rotor rotary which the company spent a huge amount of money developing before realising it was never going to be efficient enough for use in a mass-produced automobile.

The large amount of money spent on engine development, as well as on the development of the DX model itself contributed to Citroën’s downfall and eventual acquisition by Peugeot in 1976. That said, the DX is widely regarded as an excellent vehicle that was technologically advanced for its era, and its suspension system was so good it was licensed for use by Rolls-Royce and “emulated” by Mercedes-Benz.

The 1976 Citroën Indecision by Andy Saunders

Andy Saunders built the Indecision on DX and was careful to keep the fully-functional, ride-height adjustable suspension in place. The car is now capable of being raised or lowered when required, which allows a sleek, low ride on smoother roads while still being able to clear speed bumps, kerbs, and steep driveways.

The design of the Indecision leaves nothing on the drafting table, it’s a jet age fever dream in all the right ways, with wild rear wings/fins, deeply scalloped openings in the grille, wheel covers, and sweeping lines that make the car look like it belongs on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1959.

The DX is a front wheel drive car, this allowed Saunders considerable flexibility with the interior and rear end of the car. An entirely new steel frame was fabricated to carry the wings and sloped rear bodywork, with long rectangular brake lights along the rear trailing edge just above a license plate.

Citroen Indecision Rear

The car was originally painted white with an opulent red interior, but in more recent years it was changed to metal flake sliver – a change that suits the car far better.

When it was first built the car won the Best in Show at the Devillbiss Show, more recently it appeared at Goodwood Festival of Speed Concours in 2004, it was the subject of a number of magazine features, and it’s been a hit at motor shows all around Europe.

The inside of the Citroën Indecision looks like the royal bedchamber of 1970s disco king, it’s all red with some white piping on the seats, thick red carpets adorn the floors, and the steering wheel is an open topped chrome steel design with twin spokes at the 6 o’clock position.

If you’d like to add the Indecision to your garage it’s due to cross the auction block in London with H&H Classics on the 4th of December. The price estimate is just £16,000 to £20,000, making it a genuinely affordable show car if you happen to be in the market for one.

Citroen Indecision Front

Citroen Indecision Construction 2

Citroen Indecision White

Citroen Indecision Wheel

Citroen Indecision Construction

Citroen Indecision Vents 2

Citroen Indecision Logo

Citroen Indecision Engine

Citroen Indecision Interior 6

Citroen Indecision Interior 4

Citroen Indecision Interior 3

Citroen Indecision Interior 5

Citroen Indecision Interior 2

Citroen Indecision Hood

Citroen Indecision Interior 1

Citroen Indecision Vents

Citroen Indecision Grille

Citroen Indecision Fins

Citroen Indecision Back

Citroen Indecision Rear

Citroen Indecision Side 2

Images courtesy of H&H Auctions

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Survival Solar Hand Crank Phone Charger + Emergency NOAA Weather Radio – $30.90 USD https://silodrome.com/survival-solar-hand-crank-phone-charger-emergency-noaa-weather-radio/ Tue, 03 Dec 2019 14:00:35 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=100735 This device was developed for use in emergency situations when you’ve lost power to your home, or when you’re on the road getting away from natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and unfortunate zombie outbreaks. The radio receives AM/FM including emergency NOAA broadcasts, it also has both a solar panel and a hand crank for...

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This device was developed for use in emergency situations when you’ve lost power to your home, or when you’re on the road getting away from natural disasters like earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, and unfortunate zombie outbreaks.

The radio receives AM/FM including emergency NOAA broadcasts, it also has both a solar panel and a hand crank for charging, a built-in 2000mAh power bank and a USB port which allows you to charge your phone or other devices from the hand crank, built-in lithium-ion battery, or the solar panel in an emergency.

Many of us rely almost entirely on electrical power from the grid, and in the event of a power outage we would lose all of our communications devices and our ability to stay up today the news on TV or on the internet. What this small emergency radio does is act as a backup system, allowing us to stay abreast of the news via emergency broadcasts and charge our devices, it also has a built-in flashlight that can double as emergency room lighting if needed.

Survival Solar Hand Crank Phone Charger + Emergency NOAA Weather Radio Collage

Approximately 1 minute of cranking the handle provides 20 minutes of flashlight power or 10-15 minutes of radio. It can also be charged via the solar panel or via a standard mains outlet when the power comes back on.

With an MSRP of $30.90 USD (at the time of writing), this emergency radio is an excellent addition to any disaster preparedness kit. Due to its relatively small size it can also be carried in an automobile glove compartment or trunk, just in case you ever find yourself needing it.

The radio comes with a 12 month warranty as well as free lifetime technical support, and it has overwhelmingly positive user reviews – currently 4.5 out of 5.

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Survival Solar Hand Crank Phone Charger + Emergency NOAA Weather Radios

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Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Is For Sale – With A Working NOS System https://silodrome.com/eleanor-gone-in-60-seconds/ Mon, 02 Dec 2019 14:08:02 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=100768 This is one of the original cars built for the 2000 film Gone in 60 Seconds, a car famously nicknamed “Eleanor” by Nicholas Cage’s character Randall “Memphis” Raines. Eleanor, Chip Foose, and The Dream Car 11 examples of Eleanor were either fully or partially built for filming and 5 were destroyed during stunt sequences, all...

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This is one of the original cars built for the 2000 film Gone in 60 Seconds, a car famously nicknamed “Eleanor” by Nicholas Cage’s character Randall “Memphis” Raines.

Eleanor, Chip Foose, and The Dream Car

11 examples of Eleanor were either fully or partially built for filming and 5 were destroyed during stunt sequences, all of the cars were Dupont Pepper Grey 1967 Ford Mustang Fastbacks, which were depicted as a Shelby GT500s. Interestingly the cars had bodykits built by Chip Foose with initial design work by Steve Stanford, and a special additional car was built with a 428 Ford V8 for the film’s producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

The car you see here was labelled by the studio as “The Dream Car” during filming. It was used for many of the interior and exterior sequences including the iconic chase scenes through the shipyard, through the city, and along the Los Angeles River – it’s also the car that that outran a helicopter in the film.

When developing the look of the car, Chip Foose later said he wanted to build what he thought Carroll Shelby would have built if he was creating the GT500 in the year 2000.

Eleanor uses more modern alloy wheels with lower profile tires, high-performance Wilwood disc brakes, a blueprinted HiPo 351 CI V8, a 5-strut system over the engine bay to improve shell rigidity, headers and stainless side-exit exhausts with Magnaflow mufflers, a Tremec TKO 5-speed manual transmission, a hydraulic clutch, PIAA lights, Total Control Products suspension, a roller camshaft, an Edelbrock Performer intake, and a fully-functioning NOS system with that memorable “Go Baby Go” red button on the shifter.

All of the cars used in the film were built by Cinema Vehicle Services, though it should be noted that a few were built somewhat minimally as they were intended to be destroyed during filming. The team at CVS recently gave this car a full rotisserie restoration back to original cinema specification, it’s done just 90 miles since.

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Engine

Gone In 60 Seconds

The 2000 film Gone in 60 Seconds was a big-budget remake of a 1974 H.B. Halicki film of the same name, which featured a similar plot, plenty of chase scenes, and of course, Eleanor. The 1974 film was made on a far smaller budget and it’s well worth a watch if you have the time. Of course the remake from 2000 was a big budget Hollywood film featuring an all-star cast including Nicolas Cage, Angelina Jolie, Giovanni Ribisi, Christopher Eccleston, Robert Duvall, Vinnie Jones, and Will Patton.

The modern Gone In 60 Seconds was made with a budget of 90 million, it received mixed reviews from critics however the public loved the film, and it was a significant commercial success – taking in over a quarter of a billion dollars at the box office globally.

Some have attributed the surge in interest surrounding restomod vehicles to Eleanor, Chip Foose’s dream Shelby GT500 evocation, and it’s certainly likely. Many restomods follow the styling cues laid out by Foose with Eleanor, and American muscle cars like the Mustang are popular targets for restomodders.

This Eleanor, “The Dream Car”, is due to be auctioned by Mecum in early January, there’s no price estimate listed but it’s probably safe to say that bidding will exceed $1,000,000 before a buyer is found. If you’d like to read more or register to bid you can click here.

Go Baby Go Shifter Knob

Nitrous System

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds 1

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Dashboard

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Engine 2

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Overhead 4

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Side

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Overhead 3

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Side 2

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Overhead 2

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Rims

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Overhead 1

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Rear

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Interior

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Rear 2

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Overhead

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Interior 3

Eleanor From Gone In 60 Seconds Interior 2

Images courtesy of Mecum

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For Sale: Ayrton Senna’s 1988 McLaren Honda Formula 1 Helmet https://silodrome.com/ayrton-senna-f1-helmet/ Mon, 02 Dec 2019 08:20:45 +0000 https://silodrome.com/?p=100755 Ayrton Senna remains one of the most beloved Formula 1 drivers of not just his own era, but in the entire history of the sport. He died tragically at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, a fateful weekend that also saw the death of Roland Ratzenberger, as well as injuries to driver Rubens Barrichello and...

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Ayrton Senna remains one of the most beloved Formula 1 drivers of not just his own era, but in the entire history of the sport. He died tragically at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix, a fateful weekend that also saw the death of Roland Ratzenberger, as well as injuries to driver Rubens Barrichello and several mechanics and spectators.

It’s almost certain that Ayrton Senna’s helmet livery is the most famous in the history of motor racing, the distinctive yellow shell with a green and a blue stripe was designed by Sid Mosca as a reference to the Brazilian flag. The yellow was said to represent youth, and the the blue (sometimes black) and green stripes symbolised motion and aggression.

Senna used a number of helmets over the course of his Formula 1 career, they were mostly made by Bell but he did wear other brands in the later years. The helmet you see here is from the 1988 season, it’s a Bell XFM-1, the model worn by Senna between 1983 and 1989. 1988 was a seminal year in Senna’s career as it would be the first time he won the Formula 1 Driver’s Championship after a season long battle with arch rival Alain Prost.

Ayrton Senna McLaren Honda Helmet Signed

The Bell XFM-1 was developed specifically for top flight motorsport, it features a fibreglass shell with an impact-absorbing EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner – the same basic architecture used for almost all modern helmets.

There are notches in each side of the helmet just below and to the side of the eye port to allow drivers to open and close the visor easily even when wearing gloves, and the visor has three position settings – closed, open, and half-open.

Senna’s sponsors changed over time, so there is typically some variance in the brands displayed on his helmets from the course of his career. With McLaren Honda in 1988 his helmet featured Marlboro, Nacional, Honda, and Hugo Boss branding. Nacional (Banco Nacional) was one of the largest banks in Brazil at the time, and one of Senna’s most faithful sponsors throughout his career.

This particular Senna helmet is currently for sale through RM Sotheby’s, it’s being offered without reserve and the sale ends on the 2nd of December.

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Ayrton Senna Signature

Ayrton Senna McLaren Honda Helmet 3

Images: ©2019 Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s

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