Archive for the ‘vintage racing’ Category

I am hesitant to use the current buzzwords like epic, awesome, etc but my Good Lord in Heaven, you have to see this video.

I follow Shmee150 and sometimes to be honest he comes across as a privileged tosser (sorry) but in the end he puts down the money for some fabulous cars and shares the experience with us commoners who will never ever have the opportunity or means to do likewise. 

Tim my hat is off to you and your crew for absolutely nailing the experience of driving a supercar in a super part of the world and bringing us along for the ride.

Top marks indeed!


(and I apologize for the privileged tosser remark)


Who doesn’t like Mario, I mean really?


Fall can be a dangerous time as people tend to sell off bikes they don’t have the space for or just generally tire of looking at. Dangerous time indeed as I usually get snagged into a winter project that may or may not work out for the best.

It has been a few years since I entered a bike in the Moto Giro so I was intrigued when I saw a Yamaha 180 Bonanza pop up for sale on Craigs list. The YDS3 would be more of what I was looking for but good ones seem to be going for a lot of money these days. The YCS1 may only be 180cc but Yamaha twins tend to over deliver and this one is rated at 21 HP so it’s not exactly in the moped territory. They claim a 90 MPH top speed but I think that may be a little optimistic. 

The owner had rescued this from a shop in Vermont and it looked to have a good repaint and some new chrome. I made my usual low ball offer which he jumped at so I probably could have gone even lower.

To make a long story even longer, I did my usual routine of digging in way too deep and wound up doing more restoration than intended. New 2nd over pistons went in along with hours and hours of correcting earlier bodges. When I got it running I ran it up my street (between snowstorms) only to find out it was jumping out of second gear. AAAArrrrgggghhhh.

I cracked open the cases to find evidence of a previous hacker who only owned a hammer and chisel. The main fault was bent shift fork and some shoddy assembly work. The shift mechanism was a little iffy so that finally responded to treatment and after a quick freezing short test run it seems to work fine.

Anyway, here’s a video if the first startup but before the gearbox rebuild. So now she’s got new pistons, crank seals etc etc etc…..

I’d like to put some shakedown miles on it but it looks like another Noreaster snow storm headed our way (fourth this month) so I guess that plan is on hold

By accident I ran across the news that Dan Gurney had passed away on Jan 14. 

It should have been a day of mourning as far as I’m concerned due to the fact that he was one of the most accomplished personalities I can remember. He was a world class driver in many disciplines; F1, CAN AM, Indycars, Sports Racers etc etc. As a kid I was always in awe of the man, when he was interviewed on TV he unfailingly had a huge smile across his impossibly handsosme face  . Not to mention the fact he was one of the few successful race team owner/driver / constructors, and designers. I honestly have never read a report or interview that didn’t paint him as the guy you’d most want to have a beer with. 

He was an avid hot rodder when his family first moved to California and he just never stopped racing, building, and learning.

Rather than blather on about the man, just do an internet search or click on his picture for an Autosport obit.


God Speed Dan


We’re clearing out the Brooks leather one piece race suits we have left in stock. 

They are on EBay for $199.95 , give us a call if you want one, there are only a few left. Sizes are currently 40, 42, 46, and 48. These are first quality suits that are worth far more than the asking price but Brooks is clearing them out. 

One piece leathers are a big seller in Europe but not so much in the US. Take advantage of a one time opportunity.

Call Brooks @ 877-366-4659 or email me.


Yes yes yes I know this blog is supposed to be about vintage motorcycles but we all have to look outside the fishbowl occasionally don’t we??

I follow this Pommy git who goes by the moniker of Shmee150 on you tube and to be honest I live vicariously through him. He owns some very nice cars and shares a lot of his experiences. Fair enough but I was really and truly knocked out by his coverage of the new Ford GT at the Geneva show. Shmee150 has a spot in line to own one of these things which I found surprising as I wasn’t awfully impressed by the previous iteration.

This car is totally and hugely a different animal from the design brief to the execution. It’s all carbon fiber, well executed and thoughtfully produced. Have a look at the video and I think you will see what I mean, this thing is really a supercar. It’s fast, beautiful and a tour de force of aero. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a Ford fanboy at all, but I was impressed at the effort that’s been put into making this a competitive car in a world of Pagani Zondas, Lambo Hurricans and Porsche RS3’s to mention but a few.

I may update this post later, but for now, I thought I’d take a minute ad at least post this.


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…