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Author Topic: Beachcomber's Tales from the day  (Read 144505 times)

Offline Hoofhearted

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #60 on: Nov 29, 2010, 22:20:00 »
Great story BC!   If you ever get over this way you'd be more than welcome.
El Mirage record 500 APS/PG 129.817
El Mirage record 500 SC/PG   122.240
El Mirage record 500 SC/PF    120.157
Bonneville record 500 SC/PG  119.667
Bonneville record 500 SC/PF   117.186
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBG  111.494
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBF   112. 600
Bonneville record 650 SC/PF   128.703
El Mirage  record  650 SC/PG   130.224

Offline Wingspan

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #61 on: Nov 29, 2010, 22:32:44 »
Quote
we could see that the “flip up” visor had in fact flipped down – hit him in the mouth and neatly given him a virtual ear to ear grin. As he tried to talk, his ripped cheeks just flapped around.

OMG, this hurts just thinking about it. I know that's all you guys had at the time but why anyone would wear a helmet like this now so they can look "vintage" is just beyond me.
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Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #62 on: Nov 30, 2010, 06:36:29 »
On the subject of helmets.............................

I always wore one, even from my riding in the woods and trails from the age of 13 onwards.

However, if I needed ANY persuasion it came when I was 19 /20.

I belonged to a local motorcycle club, where there were a good selection of riders - but mainly younger [ loonies ]. We had one ancient guy [ must have been at least 30 ! ] who tried to pass on as much of his wisdom as possible in an effort to keep us out of hospital. He ALWAYS wore a helmet - albeit a "puddin' basin" style.

Anyway, one day at the clubhouse matey [ Don ] runs out of fags - at the end of the road [ 150 yds ] was a general shop selling ciggies. SO he jumps on his Ariel Huntmaster ready to set off to the shop. After catcalls of "Lazy bugger - walk" and similar, someone shouts "Where's your helmet".

"Ah, just going down the road " says Don.

He duly goes to said shop while we all stood and watched - actually listened, as his Huntmaster was done up like a Rocket Gold Star and sounded georgeous.

Out from the shop - fag in mouth. Hits the kickstarter, but his other foot slipped off the pavement edge [ kerb ]. Don does a Monty Python and falls gently to the side. - raising howls of laughter from the boys. Anyway - 5 minutes later and Don hasn't moved. "Ah fuckit he's playing with us" and all back into the clubhouse. 10 minutes later and still no sign of Don. Hmmm, better check this out, maybe he's stuck under the bike.

We all walked down - shouting abuse at him - and still no response. When we got there - he was stone dead as a result of hitting his temple on the kerbstone.. That as an accident at zero mph [ as far as the bike was concerened].

After that ALL the lads wore helmets ALL the time.
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #63 on: Nov 30, 2010, 08:07:54 »
Footnote to the helmet saga - as soon as The "Everoak Racemaster " was available [ 90 shillings or £4.10s in old money ] I bought one ! That was in the early / mid 60's [?]. What would today be termed an open face helmet, it was the canines cajones in the day, very comfortable with kid leather lining.
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Offline Rocan

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #64 on: Nov 30, 2010, 22:04:06 »
beachcomber... amazing story there!

and the second one... so sad, but thats life i guess. remember men, helmets. ALWAYS.


hoof! you got me there man! good point. ill take your words to heart, as i have all the others you have given me. thank you.
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Offline Hoofhearted

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #65 on: Nov 30, 2010, 23:20:45 »
When I started riding in 1960 I didn't wear a helmet.  A friend got hit by a car but he was wearing a helmet.  Not that that helped his broken leg and collarbone.  At some point his head and a tire made contact.  His helmet had a lovely tire mark across part of it.  But no head injuries.  After that I never went anywhere without wearing a helmet.

I've managed to hold onto some of the helmets I've had.  The pudding bowl on the left I bought in '67.  


By weslake at 2007-09-28

« Last Edit: Dec 01, 2010, 00:53:04 by Hoofhearted »
El Mirage record 500 APS/PG 129.817
El Mirage record 500 SC/PG   122.240
El Mirage record 500 SC/PF    120.157
Bonneville record 500 SC/PG  119.667
Bonneville record 500 SC/PF   117.186
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBG  111.494
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBF   112. 600
Bonneville record 650 SC/PF   128.703
El Mirage  record  650 SC/PG   130.224

Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #66 on: Dec 01, 2010, 07:03:56 »
Great story BC!   If you ever get over this way you'd be more than welcome.

Thanx for that Hoof - at some stage before I pop my clogs, I need to visit an old pal of mine in California - whereabouts are you?

My friend is a guy called Keith Harvie who I was in business with in the UK and then he went to the US to set up what became one of the biggest speed shops in the States - Performance Automotive Wharehouse - or PAW as it was known.

Keith and I started up the speed shop "Americar" in the UK - his money, my brains [ ha,ha ]. We ran one of the biggest US Speedshops here in the UK for a number of years until Keith decided he'd had enough of our English weather!

I went on to found my own Speedshop - "Muscle City", specialising in Muscle Cars [ no surprise with that name! ] - and especially Mustangs and Vettes.

Ahhhhhhhhh - more Rose tinted goggles.
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #67 on: Dec 01, 2010, 08:30:52 »
Come on guys, must be more BOF's out there besides me and Hoof !!!

OK - one more before Christmas - I'll be signing off for some chill time in Saxony and may well be too pissed to write anything coherent!

It'll be "The Crispy Daimler Dart" - sometime in the next week or so. Also, I'll re-write the "Fishing for Gold Stars" as the original left out many side plots.
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #68 on: Dec 01, 2010, 11:06:28 »
Hoof, just re-read the thread and noticed that you are in Riverside.

I know the area reasonably well as I spent some time in the late 70's / early 80's on business trips to the region.

Handy for me as you're not too far from my pal Keith.
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Offline Garage Rat

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #69 on: Dec 02, 2010, 03:22:38 »
Ive never met the guy, probably never will. I keep hearing stories about how Carroll Shelby thinks rather well of him self and likes to distort historical facts about the work done around him to better reflect on himself. Can you shed some light on this?

Also, how does one find himself in the position of building cars and professional race cars for that matter such as your self?

 
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Offline Hoofhearted

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #70 on: Dec 02, 2010, 03:42:44 »
Shelby and many others are "icons" of the automotve field and their contributions are immeasurable.  Many like their "exalted position" and do what is necessary to maintain it.  Blame some of it on huge egos.  If the truth requires a bit of stretching thats not a problem.  As more and more time passes stretching the truth becomes a lot easier.  The internet also makes it easy.  I've never seen anything better than the internet for turning crap into carved in stone fact.  Throw in the fact that people are gullible and its all too easy.

How they wind up in business is a mystery to me.  I guess I don't have much of a head for it.  A few years ago I was in LAX waiting for my wife to get in from Ireland.  The usual flight delays had me standing around.  Another guy was waiting for his wife to get in from Germany.  Turns out he was Frank Airhart of Airhart brake fame.  We had a long chat and I had to ask him how he got started making brakes.  Like so many he got ino the business by accident.

It was funny though to listen to him talk about the racers he knew.  Where we would say Mario Andretti or Dan Gurney he simply said Mario and Dan.  Long time personal friends.  Did I ever tell you about the time my Norton went 230 mph at Bonneville?  Now that its on the net its only a matter of time before its true. : - )


P.S.  I can understand Shelby's thinking well of himself.  He was a racer and a racers job is to beat others.  When you start to do that on a regular basis and in major races your ego does grow  proportionately.  He hasn't raced in yeas but the history is there and he will do his best to keep it current.  I hold three land speed records at El Mirage and two at Bonneville.  They are in the lower classes but I have noticed that since I have set these records the LSR community treats me somewhat differently.  I am no longer the dried up turd on the foor to be kicked out of the way.   Nobody bows as I pass by but there is a tangible difference and I'll admit to liking it.
« Last Edit: Dec 02, 2010, 03:50:28 by Hoofhearted »
El Mirage record 500 APS/PG 129.817
El Mirage record 500 SC/PG   122.240
El Mirage record 500 SC/PF    120.157
Bonneville record 500 SC/PG  119.667
Bonneville record 500 SC/PF   117.186
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBG  111.494
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBF   112. 600
Bonneville record 650 SC/PF   128.703
El Mirage  record  650 SC/PG   130.224

Online beachcomber

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #71 on: Dec 02, 2010, 12:35:26 »
Ive never met the guy, probably never will. I keep hearing stories about how Carroll Shelby thinks rather well of him self and likes to distort historical facts about the work done around him to better reflect on himself. Can you shed some light on this? Also, how does one find himself in the position of building cars and professional race cars for that matter such as your self?

Well ................. I've known the guy personally and done business with him for over 20 years, I've found him very down to earth and a friendly jovial guy on a personal level. I guess it IS easy to believe your own press and get a bit up yourself from time to time - but as Hoof says, If he can't - then WHO can?

Like most self made men, he won't suffer fools gladly and will dismiss the ass lickers double quick. He was an opportunist - he barely had the air fare to go visit Ford to put the proposition to them re: the Cobra - and at that time hadn't secured a deal with AC! However, with the Ford blessing in his pocket he was able to finalise a deal with AC - basically playing one off against the other until he had a firm deal. His favourite quote was "OPM" - or Other people's money, something he was a master at achieving. He gathered a good team around him - Bob Bondurant. Pete Brock and others - THEY developed the cars - Shelby was the ringmaster. Ommission - Phil Remmington deserves the highest accolade as the man who "made it happen" on the shop floor [ edit 1/4/2015 ]

I've also learned in my business life that there are several sides to any story - and you rarely get the truth once it's gone beyond 3rd or 4th hand, and I NEVER believe what I read in the press.

We [ RAM ] supplied Shelby American with one of our replicas [ ironic or what ! ] fitted with a Caddy Northstar engine that they'd sent over. The whole car was shipped out to SA for evaluation and passed with flying colours. Our own Cobra rep was the ONLY one [ outside Shelby's own ] that had his personal seal of approval, something we're exceptionally proud of.

There are a hundred and one stories from that era - but I'll wait until Carroll has passed on to save blushes !!!
« Last Edit: Apr 01, 2015, 08:30:13 by beachcomber »
"if at first you don't succeed, you've already been a failure once"

" we're not going back to the sixties - we never left "

"yep, nostalgia ain't what it used to be"

"I used to be indecisive - now I'm not so sure"

Offline 4eyes

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #72 on: Dec 03, 2010, 04:24:14 »
"The Crispy Daimler Dart"

There is a full restoration thread for one of these on the Grassroots Motorsports website, FYI  ;)
75% has been 25% wannabe :P

"Yep, nostalgia is not what it used to be."   Beachcomber

Offline Hoofhearted

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #73 on: Dec 04, 2010, 03:00:41 »
A gentle story from the Isle of Man.  1970 was my first trip to the Island.  I went over with three friends.  Growing up here  in SoCal I devoured every ariticle I could find on the TT.   Articles give you a certain knowledge of the course but nothing can prepare you for the real thing.  I was excited and eager to get there.  

We went up on the mountain for the Junior TT.  I don't know exactly where we went as it wasn't one of the spots that was featured in TT reports.  It was on a straight section of road and Frank decided this was the spot where we would watch from.  There was a low wall about three feet tall.  Perfect for sitting and viewing.  We had to go about 100 yards from where we were sitting to get the bikes in out of the way.

A slight tangent here.  At that time (and for all I know even today) hotels would give you a packed lunch if you were spectating.  For some reason it was the same thing year after year.  A small brown bag that contained an apple, a small bag of potato chips and an alleged pressed tongue sandwich.  I say alleged because I don't believe it was pressed tongue.  I think it was a piece of linoleum.  A fast rider could complete half a lap before you could bite through it to start chewing.  And could complete another full lap before you swallowed it!  It was useful as a sort of timing device.  If you were at Parliament Square in Ramsey and you heard that Mike Hailwood had just started his lap you started gnawing to see if you could get through the pressed tongue/lino and start chewing before he got to Paliament Square.

But I digress.  We were sitting on the wall waiting for the road closed car to come through when we heard the bark of an open meggaed single coming up the mountain.  We all craned to see what was coming.  A rider in full racing tuck looking quite stylish rapidly approached.  He saw us and suddenly sat up, braked hard and came to a stop right in front of us.  It was a very nice racing 7R A.J.S.   In a very broad Yorkshire accent he said "Give us a hand lads".  We hopped off the wall and quickly lifted the bike over the wall.  Being relatively careful not to grab anything hot.  He took his helmet off (an old puddin' bowl)  and sat down beside us.  While we were doing all this we heard the bells of a police car in the distance.  The police at the time used alternating bells instead of a siren.  Beachcomber will bear me out on this.

As the cop car got to us we gave them our best he went thataway and they cheerfully waved back.  As soon as they were gone we lifted the 7R back over the wall.  He pulled it into gear and back on compression.  Then a run and bump start and away he went back the way he came.  We never saw him again for the rest of the week.

Most stories end there but I was at the TT in '72.  I was staying in Ramsey as I left it a bit late and couldn't find a hotel in Douglas.  Mad Sunday is a day for the loonies.  I've done it a few times but it really isnt for the faint heartd.  Especially if you go over the mountain from Ramsey to Douglas.  Its so dangerous that the police make it one way from Ramsey to Creg ny Ba.  I wandered up to the Ramsey hairpin to watch the parade of bikes.  As you all know the Brits drive on the wrong side of the road.  Which reminds me.  Why did the siamese twins fly from New York to London?  So the other one could drive!!  That makes the racing line approach to the hairpin on the wrong side of the road.  A cop is stationed in the middle of the rod and if you come up to the hairpin on the "racing line" he stops you and gives you an earful and sends you on your way.  I have to say here that the Isle of Man cops are the most tolerant bunch of cops I have ever seen.  The dumb shittery they put up with during TT week is amazing!

There was about 20 of us standing on the outside of the hairpin.  Theres a large flat area where you can park and watch.  As we were watching the parade of bike we hear the sound of a single on an open megga.  We all shuffled to the left to look back down the road towards May Hill to try and see what was coming.  Here come a rider tucked in and on the racing line.  The cops started waving for him to stop but the rider sat up, hard on the brakes,down through he gears and right around the cop!  The cop spun around trying to get the guy to stop.  It was the 7R Ajay again!!  A big handful of throttle and slipping the clutch he disappeared off up towards the waterworks.  About ten seconds later here comes the cops.  I was shouting him on and the cop gave me a dirty look and came over to "enquire" if I knew the gentleman on the motorcycle.  I had to tell him no but if you couldn't carch him two years before you weren't going to catch him today.

I would love to know his name.
« Last Edit: Dec 04, 2010, 03:20:06 by Hoofhearted »
El Mirage record 500 APS/PG 129.817
El Mirage record 500 SC/PG   122.240
El Mirage record 500 SC/PF    120.157
Bonneville record 500 SC/PG  119.667
Bonneville record 500 SC/PF   117.186
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBG  111.494
Bonneville record 500 SC/PBF   112. 600
Bonneville record 650 SC/PF   128.703
El Mirage  record  650 SC/PG   130.224

Offline Rocan

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Re: Beachcomber's Tales from the day
« Reply #74 on: Dec 04, 2010, 15:47:15 »
haha hoof! great story.


230mph?! jesus man, you need to send me a new bag of salt. :D
PJ- Cafe's don't really work right until you get rolling 70mph +

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