Archive for October, 2016

Well, I haven’t had a Norton in the garage for a while but I ran across a suitable candidate on Craigs List of all places.

It was local, had a title (wonder of wonders) and looked like a diamond in the rough.

One owner from new, low miles, I couldn’t help myself.

It went on the lift so I could check it over and I couldn’t resist giving it a once over with the Mother’s cleaner Wax. Lo and Behold, the original red paint still has a pretty good sparkle. The paint on top of the tank is a little checked but I think it only adds to the story. They’re only original once!



It’ll be a nice fall/winter project to revive it but not restore it.

Stay tuned!


The wife wanted a trip to France this year so I figured I’d plan to see some things that might interest me this time. (what a concept!)

Classic and Sports Car magazine had run an article on the Musee de Sanxet not far from where some of our friends are located so the light bulb went on and I proposed the idea of stopping by for a visit. Located in Pomport, it is in the general area of Monbazillac and you can’t swing a cat around there without making contact with a vineyard, chateaux and grape vines. My kind of place in other words.

We found the joint easily enough only  because a friend was familiar with the area and was able to navigate the twists, turns and random wildlife through the vineyards to the museum.

Bertrand de Passemar who owns the Chateau was a gracious host and gave us a guided tour through the stables and main museum. It was a gorgeous old building and was home to some lovely old cars. These kinds of collections had fallen out of favor merely because the cars are in some cases as raced and not restored to within an inch of their lives. These days more and more people are searching for cars exactly like these and I was more than happy to wander around the patinated cars and try to be open to the stories that they could tell.

Since Bertrand spoke almost no English I was glad to have some fluent French speakers with me but it was still difficult to ask the questions I wanted to ask in the alotted time. We only stayed for an hour but I could have spent much longer, it really was a magical place. I was a little cranky that I didn’t even get a chance to buy a bottle of the Chateau Sanxet wine. Fairly priced and I bet it was darned good.

Any way from what I could gather, there was movie filmed on the premises about Jappeloup a famous race horse. You can catch it on you tube. It’s in French so I have to have the wife fill in the details; haven’t watched it yet. The area is beautiful, just like what you’d expect, rolling hills, acres and acres of grapes everywhere and Chateaux abound.



Entrance to the stable on the left and the main museum straight ahead


Carriages, tractors, you name it

Cassimir Ragot racer and Mr Passemar on left. The Speciale racer was 1500cc and ran on a witches brew of alcohol and benzolene. No smoking please…

Supposedly the first supercharged four cylinder motorcycle also produced by the Bordeaux engineering firm Casimir. The 1000cc design was later sold to Vauxhall and reputedly could reach 150mph!

Period pictures of the car and Mr Passemar


A rally takes center stage, popular with the kids due to its diminutive scale

An AC Ace with the correct Bristol BS3 engine, a welcome sight instead of the usual tarted up Cobra.

In this condition you can appreciate the purity of the design which is rare these days

Correct French blue 1968 Matra barquette next to an early Lotus



Ghia bodied Jowett next to a gorgeous Citroen Decapotable


1923 Citroen “Tank”

Pair of Cords

No French collection is complete without a Cadillac.

1911 Clement-Bayard also

Rather fuzzy pic but you get the idea

Beautiful door, tiny electric car and surprised wife…




Ear Plugs

Posted: October 13, 2016 in Uncategorized

Haven’t written anything for ages so I guess it’s time…

Wear earplugs,

I’m using 3M EARsoft plugs lately, from EBay of course. You can get hem by the hundreds for reasonable money. The softer rounded style work for me, YMMV.

Years ago a friend recommended them and at first it takes a little getting used to but once you’ve used them for a while, there’s no going back.

I noticed much less fatigue on longer trips right away. Modern helmets are generally quieter than they used to be but still produce quite a roar.

Try a few different brands before you commit and then even if you don’t like the idea you haven’t spent wads of cash, but you’ll probably wonder why you didn’t start using them a long time ago.