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Two-Wheel Tuesday: Victorian “Geared Facile” Replica Build is Workshop Porn

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A spectacularly talented craftsman from New Zealand (who goes by the catchy nom-de-web “Bob”) scratch-built this mesmerizing, handcrafted replica of an 1880s Geared Facile bicycle. And when I say “scratch-built,” I really do mean scratch-effin’-built. From making his own rolling dies to form his own oval tubing and machining his own bearing races to the painting and pinstriping, he did everything. And he did everything jaw-droppingly, meticulously, unnecessarily, gut-tighteningly well.

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Inside the Classic Remise in Düsseldorf, Germany

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Düsseldorf’s Classic Remise is a great place for anyone who wants to get up close with near-priceless classic metal. A brick building once built for locomotive storage, these days it’s a combination of a classic car dealership, car storage, restoration shop, memorabilia mall and car museum with a really nice restaurant thrown in as a bonus. Admission is free, and it’s one of the best ways to spend a Sunday in Düsseldorf. I especially recommend a Flammkuchen mit Speck with an Altbier as a companion, after a few hours of intensive classic car admiring.

In this photo-heavy post, I’ll show you the Remise as seen through a 50mm “Nifty Fifty” lens.

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Weekend Edition: 2014 Turkey Rod Run Road Trip: And Out Of Naples

IMG_2644 So one of the perks of my new gig, one that was unknown to this olelongrooffan, is that after six months employment, I was awarded two weeks paid vacation. The caveat is that those days of vacation needed to be used by the end of the calendar year. As I run the customer service division of my company for the new home communities we have in the southwest part of the Sunshine State and the snow birds having been fleeing the northern part of this great country in droves to my part of this world, my skinny white butt has been spread pretty thin. However, last week during my performance evaluation (four exceptional and four outstanding, thank you very much) I was chatting it up with the British monarchy I work for (Charles, Diana and Henry) about my workload for Thanksgiving week and they all agreed that my taking off for this coming week would be a great idea and to have fun. Well as I had planning on spending Thanksgiving weekend at the Turkey Rod Run at the Daytona International Speedway, this olelongrooffan thought I would road trip it up there trying to avoid Eisenhower’s Interstate System. If my fellow Hoons are so inclined, click on through to ride along with me and see some of the sights I saw on Saturday. … Continue Reading

DesignSchool Bookshelf:- RetroFuturism; The Car Design of J Mays.

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“When he sets out to design a particular car he considers, in order of importance, proportion, line and shape”

Mind blowing stuff. If only all designers were open to such radical thinking as J Mays.

The “well, duh” nature of that line immediately disgusted me when I initially picked this book up. Consequently I flicked through its highly-stylised pages, growing increasingly disinterested, before condemning it to a slot in the lower reaches of my bookcase. I hated it this book. And that was before I noticed the impossibly tacky silver-foil rear-view mirror on the reverse cover. Bleuurgh.

Several months later, out of morbid intrigue, I dipped into it for a second time, and, well…..an education was forthcoming.

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Death In The Family: A fond farewell to the Ka.

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Back in the late 20th century, a family walked out a small, local Ford dealership having placed a deposit down on two cars, a Ford Mondeo V6 and a Ford Ka. Six years later the Mondeo moved aside in favour of a BMW, but the Ka remained and would do for ages yet. Or, in fact, until this week.

The family I mention is my family, and it’s not without a few tears flowing that the Ka is leaving us. If you will, please take the jump to join me as I pay my last respects.

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Jan Anderle and The Dálník: Blurring the line between Bike and Car.

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Repulsive, isn’t it? A gargoyle among the sirens of steel and rubber that make up the historic motorcycle collection of the National Technical Museum, Prague. It may be redolent of the kind of creature that lurks at the bottom of the ocean’s deepest trenches, but it also happens to be one of the more interesting footnotes in European transportation development in the 20th century.

I covered the way-ahead-of-its-time ČAS Sc quite recently, and this, the Dálník 250 prototype is even more extreme in its concept. Find out more about it and what it led to after the jump.

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A Honda Zoomer….. from 1921? The ČAS Sc.

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The Honda Zoomer, available since 2002 on the Japanese and American market, is recognised by several people I’ve met as an iconic piece of micro-scooter design. I happen to agree with them. Its stripped-down form and the way its vital structural members are laid bare for all to see makes for a refreshingly different take on the oft-cliche’d scooter convention. It’s an expression of High-Tech Architecture on two-wheels.

So, when working my way along the crowded line of motorcycles on permanent exhibition at the National Technical Museum in Prague, I was quite taken aback to see this machine for the first time. It appears to be everything the Honda Zoomer is, yet was built some eighty-one years earlier. It being two-wheel Tuesday, take a closer look after the jump.

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The Surprising State Ride of Czech President Václav Havel.

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Striving for social status in life can bring many rewards. My 33 years on the planet have seen me ascend to ownership of a 1997 Rover 825si (which I try not to mention too often in case I’m seen as arrogant or aloof). Jeff Glucker, my elder (and better) has a Bugatti EB110 and a fleet of GM EV-1s scattered around the world (and you thought they’d been destroyed….).

But what happens when you suddenly find yourself elected president of a former Communist-controlled land? Czechoslovakia at the end of the ’80s was a country rich with engineering talent, so creating a car fit for a President wouldn’t be a significant challenge. So, after his election after the Velvet Revolution of late 1989, what did Václav Havel drive?

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Ride Onboard The Revs Institute’s Ferrari 250LM With Gunnar Jeannette

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It doesn’t take much for me to get really really excited. You should have seen me when I walked into the paddock area of Laguna Seca and saw this Ferrari 250LM. Even though it was the third one I’d seen in my life, and the second one I’d seen that morning, my hearts still skipped a couple of beats. The 250LM is unequivocally my favorite car (followed closely by the Porsche 904 and the 250GTO), and that beautiful shape never fails to get my engine revved up (pun intended).

While ogling the car, a chap from the Revs Institute (the Collier Collection in Florida) started chatting about all of the data logging they were doing on the car that week while they were running it on track. Imagine that, running a 10 million dollar car on a track with other cars valued similarly. He also mentioned that they would be loading some video from the racing sessions to their YouTube channel. It took me about 3 seconds to subscribe to their channel, but it was a slow burn, as they just recently uploaded this video. It was worth the wait. 20 minutes of professional racer Gunnar Jeannette running the little red beast through its paces. Click the jump to get the video.

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Forgotten Racetrack: Lake Garnett in Garnett, Kansas

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Fifty miles south of Lawrence, Kansas, lies a small city called Garnett. Aside from being the birthplace of American writer Edgar Lee Masters, Garnett hardly stands out from other county seats in the state’s flat expanse. Visitors will find a dine-in Pizza Hut, a turn-of-the-century courthouse, a main street lined with signless brick buildings, and—just within the city’s northern border—the 300-acre North Lake Park around small Lake Garnett.

Though you’d likely never know it driving through the city, from the late 1950s through the early 1970s, the road that ringed Lake Garnett made up a challenging road course with a surprising amount of elevation change and a foreboding sense of danger. The site of the Lake Garnett Grand Prix would host one of American sports car racing’s major turning points and thousands of club racers would compete there during the event’s 15 years. Those races eventually disappeared more than 40 years ago, but the temporary circuit has enjoyed renewed interest and enthusiasm.

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