BADGES AND LOCATION

Well I have plenty of room up front for all the acquired assets with a double row of grille space

Just need to plan it all out in the “mind’s eye”

The only two badges of memrobelia that I have not got are Donnington Raceway and Thruxton Circuit, very close to where I lived in Andover, Hampshire. Yes, there is a story here!

During my 8 cherished years on BBMF with the Lancaster our support crews did their duties in somewhat less than elegant RAF transit vans, which, although adequate for the task, did little for the “Image”. Time for some “loaner vehicles” which were acquired from British Areospace who also controlled British Leyland and all the various marques of British cars, including, Rover, MG, Austin, Morris, and a host more. We got three Rover Montego Estates and I think one MG 1300.

We get invited to go to a Trade Day at Donnington and fly the Lanc over there and a standard photo shoot takes place with our support vehicles.

Donington Park Raceway for both cars and bikes

Now this promotional day is to showcase all the company’s new ranges of cars and 200 members of the trade are invited to test drive any of the available cars. After a few laps of the circuit  with an instructor, people can come and go, driving whatever they fancy by themselves, or drive the more powerful variants with an instructor.

Of course there were some hazards and “moments”, some wild arse driving from so called professionals entering corners way too fast while others appeared to be on a Sunday drive and seem to know nothing about “the racing line, or double de-clutching and heel and toe techniques”. The Track Marshals would wave a flag at you if you were solo and going like a bat out of hell, but if you were with an instructor they would just carry on with their lunch. I do remember that race tracks had that “rumble strip” on the edge of the track and now we see it everywhere on our modern day roads.

I think I drove about 3 of the more mundane cars to keep my mind on the line and recognise the braking points and then it was about 10 sessions with the instructors who were taking notes as you went round.

Craner Curves Donington

Come the end of the day a massed buffett and liquid refreshment which we could enjoy as we were night stopping, and then the CEO of British Leyland gives his speech and thanks to all the invited guests and “professional trade drivers”. During the course of the day (we) were all entertained by our Lancaster Captain, Squadron Leader Tony Banfield , telling us how to handle fast cars, how GOOD HE WAS without any modesty, and many other tricks of the trade.

The CEO rambles on “…. and now we come to the winner of the best driver of the day ……… by unanimous verdict of the Instructors, and is in fact a member of our visiting Lancaster Crew ?………… Squadron Leader ……….( wait for it) ……… TONY ………. (I see Banfield pushing back his chair) ……….. DOWN, well Banfield was suddenly gracious as if he were clearing the way for me and started the applause……. good recovery!

The Prize was a day at the Thruxton Racing Circuit, near my home in Andover, driving a Single Seater open wheel Formula Ford Race Car and as a momento of the day a pair of very nice engraved drinking tumblers.

Formula Ford Open wheel & Cockpit

Once again a few runs around the Circuit in those pretty punchy MG Maestro Turbos which were quite delightful apart from the too narrow screaming tires.

Time to get dressed in full Racing Attire and get briefed on the car that I’ll be driving. A few other drivers on paid courses, one or two know alls, and a load of mechanics and Instructors. Get strapped in which of course doesn’t phase me flying the F4 Phantom.

Biggest problem is clutch/power, wrong ratios here and you stall or jerk away like a startled horse! Couple of stalls for me but then get it sorted. Incredible narrow “H” gate which I’m not too happy with on the gearbox, vision OK, steering wheel good, and off I go.

First couple of laps getting the feel

Keep getting passed by the MG Maestros as my machine is decidedly down on power.

These MG’s are Quicker!

Get waved in after a few laps, situation explained, YES, they have detuned them as we don’t want any lunatic behaviour, little horns poking through helmets, or any crashes. Drink and smoke later, invited to drive a different car. Well the colors are better, and it does seem to have some extra WOOF !!

This is more like it! even manage to pass a few MG’s !!

All too soon the day is over. Always thought I was better on a bike, so stick to Trials and then when I came to the USA joined up with TEAM ARIZONA in Phoenix becoming a Motorcycle Safety Foundation Instructor/Rider Coach  which also made you a MVD Motorcycle Examiner (More stories!)

The MV Augusta Italian Racehorse with 186 HP and only weighed in at just under 400lbs. 4 exhausts under the seat for an orgasmic howl and over 200 mph. It also said “Running in, do not exceed 9000 RPM!!!!!!”

This one was perhaps my favorite, an Erion Racing Honda 929RR which had been all chromed out at vast expense and I rebuilt it in Rothman’s Racing colors. About 160 HP 170 mph and a joy to ride

Teaching my son, Edward, the joys of a high speed bike. No the MV was not involved!

Well enough, well nearly, of my motoring experiences, time to sit back and remember as I await my next toy! Should be here this week and I’ll carry on the global search for those two badges. Here is one I just missed at a UK auction!

I know they are out there!

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVEN CLOSER

 

Only thing in the way is the weather

12″ on the rail, WINTER STORM WARNINGS until Wednesday, will they come or will common sense prevail?

Even though we had a plow out yesterday there is still a mega load of snow everywhere and I’m not even sure where the Jag could go?

I was wondering what was happening on ebay as nothing sold this last weekend compared to 7 items last weekend  but eventually at 2130 last night the TY175 Carb sold at the asking price just after someone put in an offer. No post today as the Post Office is closed.

The Logo looks closer

A bit of a melt but more on the way! Patience IS a virtue, and in this case I’m more than happy to wait as I see the roadway disasters, mostly caused by reckless driving and excessive speed, but some of the black ice situations are more than difficult to deal with no matter how good you maybe behind the wheel!

The overnight Winter Storm Warning did all it said and another 5″ joins the pile. Today’s WSW says 5″ today then fizzling out around 1700.

If common sense takes over then hopefully Wed/Thurs look better days assuming the roads get cleared, getting to be one of the biggest storms we have had here. Another warning, this time High Risk Avalanche Warning just up the road at Rico !! NO THANK YOU!!

This is what happened 2 years ago when the ice melted! Just a mile up the road from where I turn round on the bike!!

Tuesday and a full 30 minutes to clear all the snow off the Cadi so I can get to the hospital for the bloodwok. Get home and little old lady in space 5 can’t start her car or get the snow off. Car cleared, hood up, battery a bit down but that click and nothing from the starter. I can’t get close enough with my jumpers so out with the charger and boost her up to 12.5v and now it starts. Need another set of jumpers with longer leads. Duly ordered.

Jumpers Coming

Wednesday and yet another day in the chemo chair, roads all clear and dry, a few snow flurries in Durango and the Summit area but all clear so no problems.

Thursday, not much change, 1F but can’t complain as I have power and wood to burn later, unlike those poor souls in Texas, my heart goes out to them.

Shipper drivers still greedy, but I’ve seen so many big rig accidents on the freeways I can hardly blame them, but caution doesn’t seem to be their strong suit. Dealership getting understandably pissed off with current inflated prices. They have been very accomodating to me so a few extra days in this cold snap won’t make much of a difference.

That was the Rock Slide 2 years ago, fotunately not a soul injured

It seems its all coming together and Big Red could be here sometime this week. Should be good and by then and the driveway well may be clear of snow and ice and even dried out. More Scans for me this week and the second Covid shot tomorrow which is a Sunday.

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLOSER & CLOSER, ALMOST THERE

Sitting wondering why two ebayers have not paid only to find one is in Brazil and the other in New Zealand ! Well that answered that, so I’ll carry on listing and I now have 63 listings up for people to peruse and make a purchase.

Off to Brazil

Another Lazer helmet gets sold! Money from all my checks now in my bank and by 1115 I had managed to transfer the money to the dealer! So far the day is going well and I actually enjoyed a good reasonable nights sleep! Better be careful with the chainsaw this afternoon as we need a load of logs but I must say I’m very happy to get all the business issues done!

Paid at last, one week late, but DONE!

Would be nice to declare tomorrow a rest day but I have several things left to do and the world of ebay waits for no man! Still need to have my final rumage in the loft and see what is sellable but judging by what I’ve seen it all goes! Another Cup Cake Bakery deal is causing a problem, I do hope this is not another SCAM

A light dusting of snow overnight but I suspect it will melt fairly quickly. A good night’s sleep again so into town and see if I can get my 3 spare watches new batteries and also check on a little sewing I would like done.

My Breitling I bought at London Airport on my way out to Saudi

New battery required, and others in a Citizen and last one in an old Seiko, but they to could find their way onto Ebay. Then I want to find out about Sewing or Ironing patches onto the new Jag jacket which is satin.

Don’t want this melting! 

Bit of a change of mind here as I have “Pins” which will look neater and more professional. Do the Cup Cakes look genuine ?

Three have gone missing?

Meanwhile, I still have my two new cycling helmets to personalise so a nice period indoors laughing at the ridiculous lamentable Trump lawyers trying to come up with a defence. Accept INSANITY!! Well now we have a sudden change in the weather, yes, predictably it’s started snowing again.

Of course it would NOT have made any difference whether he was there or not as the Trump Arse Lickers are going to vote NOT Guilty regardless, of facts or testimony!

Two batteries fitted, credit card declined!     Over to Walmart for car essentials, snow brush, deicer, chamois, and a duster    ….. card declined AGAIN!! back to the bank ……. Manager does it all over and off to the outside cash withdrawal machine ….. and this time it works so I’m armed with a working new account card and a fistful of cash.

No word yet on when the delivery will be but we are under a current WINTER WEATHER ALERT and they claim 10-20″ of snow between 0700 Saturday morning until 1100 PM Sunday night. Methinks it should stay in a nice warm garage until these 3 mega storms clear out. Time to test fire some more of these Cup Cakes.

0900 and the snow begins, now 1330 and it has snowed all morning generating about 2″ in town but I had to go back to Cortez for the Valentine Orchid which is now safely home and in pride of place on “her” desk. Where do these Cup Cakes keep going ?

The Valentine Orchid

Only 6 ?????

By 1700 the balcony rail was showing around the 5″ mark and no let up other than changing from resort snow to snizzle and then back to the heavy stuff.

0300, another Cup Cake has vapourised! and now there are only two left, it has to be a conspiracy theory from that rude Trump lawyer, more religious cults in space with their lazer.The snow is now around the 9″ mark and supposed to continue until 2300 later tonight.

This is serious!

0700  and 12″ on the rail

Open Outside Dining for Breakfast

0700, now the snowmometer is showing a solid 12″ on the rail and we are confined to camp! The cup cake mystery continues as one by one they are vanishing, both the dog and cat have been questioned by the Police.

Wasn’t ME!

Was it you? no point in asking WE KNOW you are going to lie!

Now Sir, You say you can’t eat sugar, is that correct ? and you don’t know what a Cup Cake is ?

None! one of the great mysteries of our time

Well here is another one! During my 8 years on BBMF one of my sideline jobs was “upping the image” to match or exceed our other national display team, the famous RED ARROWS. Some lengthy work and very soon we were in Black Flight Suits, 2 per year, and nicely embroided name plates, insignia and NO more sew on patches! I also acquired, cosmetics, full luggage from Samsonite, Boelle sunglasses, and after flight evening dress wear of slacks, blazers, shirts and ties, and really top of the line German Leather flight Jackets in Black. LEST WE FORGET! I also took delivery of about 15 very expensive Irvin Leather Flight jackets that Wartime Aircrew were all issued with to combat the cold of high altitude and lengthy operations on the massed bomber raids. We wore them for  a few photo shoots but were far too warm for our summer display season. As you wait, with baited breath …………… ……….. …………

Here I am with PA 474 City of Lincoln, the BBMF Lancaster, that’s me in the Boelle  Sunglasses

and here I am again in an advertising campaign by an American Company now selling “knock off” versions of the famous Irvin Leather jacket. The Jacket usually goes a darker color closer to black and the tan sheepskin liner changes color to a dirty white but everything goes much softer with use. Needless to say this picture they are using is the ORIGINAL IRVIN and how they got permission to use it, as though its their product, is quite beyond me!

The Lancaster is real, so am I, and the Jackets were supplied by Irvin and I signed for them!

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

MORE POKING ABOUT IN DARK PLACES

More to come up in that, there, loft! Wasted a bit of time polishing a front and back TY set of spindles only to find the threads had been ruined by someone hammering them out. A little grease is the way to go when fitting after you have decruded same, also applies to the faces of the brake shoes and the actuator they fit on. Makes such a big difference.

That’s how clean I like them to be, and now add a little grease

Good start in the house and found my entire stock of Yamaha TY stickers in all engine capacities and Majesty. Also found a load of Harley sew on patches, and my collection of old watches, and their instruction manuals.

Tank decals

Majesty if you are that lucky

Quick trip into town as the only engine enamel I didn’t have was, believe it or not BLACK! Reds, blues, yellows and silver but no black. Well about 10 different  items to photograph and list……. YIPEEEE!

Cleaned up and ready to paint

The head gets cleaned and sprayed along with a 1974 set of cable guides, a rear shock, only one, gets a bit of reconditioning and three bicycle helmets are cleaned and ready to photograph. More paint stripper on 4 brake plates. I’m done now and its champers and shrimp to kick off SUPERBOWL 55.

Great game, rather pleased Brady won, youth will get it’s day. Poor night’s sleep with the wretched running eyes. well lets see what today can bring as yet another (the last) oil reservoir sells.

Three sold, truly amazing

Today’s mission, finish the TY Cyclinder head along with cable guides and clean up two useable axels. Not going to happen! but the good news was that the Medical Insurance cards arrived meaning the Auditor has finished rummaging through accounts and life can go back to normal.

A bit of a surprise when the check arrived!

Checks all paid into the bank including another as my beautiful Beretta shotgun down in Phoenix also sold!

No more nosing about in Bank Accounts

Another awful night’s sleep and ended up sitting up in the lounge where I could close my eyes without them stinging. I think I got about 4 hours. It really is the limit !

Better have a nice slow day and get back to normal. Maybe the TY head and a couple of axels and decorate my two new posh cycling helmets. A lot of questions about my old Lazer helmet so another load of photos for the potential buyer so they can see everything.

My favorite Lazer helmet getting a lot of interest … SOLD!

Just to prove YOU CAN sell anything, I had only 1 rear shock of the standard pair, and yes, believe it or not it’s SOLD!!!

SOLD

Some progress on the Head as the fins get cut, the broken one removed, and now the cutting back to bright metal to give them that new look.

All painted and dried now watch this!

Bright metal appears

Two plugs or a decompressor

You might remember this one was a bit scruffy

Repainted and varnished

Original front brake cable guides from 1974….. lot of interest!

A Clutch case could sell between $50-70

What will see today? I have a few more items to get ready and as I’m knee deep in all this stuff time to start putting it away in places that I can find it. Still convinced there is a lot more up in the loft so I think I’ll try up there again and see what I have. Another dusting of snow overnight and daily showers all week.

Closer, and closer, on the car deal, tomorrow or Friday and transfer funds then await delivery, but it’s still so bloody cold I don’t want the poor thing covered in snow, now of course I wish I had a garage.

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S IN YOUR LOFT?

Today is the day! I don’t care what it takes but, by hook or by crook I’ll get up in there today!

While I’m packing up the 6 packages from weekend E-bay sales, it has to be a record, my bicycle rack that I have on Craig’s List got another enquiry and by the time I had got back from a few measurements of the wheel racks yet another of the “spare parts” departs at the asking price of $75, its going crazy round here!!

Be  nice to sell this one by Thule

Don’t ask! Its crazy what people will pay, but I’ll just carry on

Apart from that loft, need to relist tensioner blocks, brake/foot pedal Hanger actuator, coils, and headlamp brackets, maybe some axles and swinging arm bolts. To finish the day an oil pump sells!!! well I couldn’t believe it so another relist.

Finally got into the loft and from what limited access I had I could see some front wheels, old fork legs which will need some work, two frames, a whole load of rear wheels, and a box of triple trees and brake backplates. The Harley pipes are there but I ran out of time.

Tuesday and two overnight sales with the first a set of headlamp brackets along with the oil pump, yes they really are nuts

Headlamp brackets

First of the oil pumps!

Having just woken up with these stinging watering eyes I’m even more surprised to find someone has bought an oil reservoir !

Well what can I say after all my comments?!!

Now I have a question from Australia re the headlamp brackets. When My bike arrived as No1 in the UK in 1974 the first thing to go was the lights! When I Started rebuilding Yams around 2000 I always took all the lights off. I sold a ton of them on ebay and one sold for over $200 to someone in Belgium. Badly dented tanks, put on ebay at around $5.00 could sell for $50.00 or $60.00 so you never know!  One guy did an exchange with me for 3 TY250s plus cash for the first “Glitz” and these incomers had never seen a trial and all came with luggage racks

The First “Glitz” that sold for 3 more TY250s and $500 

They, (the luggage racks) all sold for about $120 so you just never know what some people want.  Now it seems there is an almost manic desire to put these old bikes back in their original condition??? Better list a load of spindles, brake plates, and swinging arm bolts and then move on to some engine cases and even a TY175 head with either second plug or decompressor hole.

Another day of Chemo yesterday and so far no changes of side effects or other misery. Main issues are paying for the NEW toy and not being screwed around by an auditor running behind! Just when you think you have all your bases covered!!!

Well my super car dealer says he understands the issue, which just adds to the pleasure of doing business with him, and I shall be giving him a GLOWING reccommendation when we conclude the deal hopefully by next weekend.

Bloody Auditors screwing things up

Coming soon I hope

 

Hurry up YOU!

This morning another set of headlamp brackets to Australia and a tensionner block to Kansas. Time for some more relisting and try and get axles, swinging arm bolts, air cleaner top box covers and the TY 175 head spruced up.

Damaged fin cut off the head, need to repaint and supply with 175 Plugs (BE9ES) which I have some of. Air cleaner Tops listed. Some Cycling helmets will go on today. Time to clean up some axles after checking the thread! Caught me out, twice! Cleaned the unit but the thread is buggered by someone hammering it out and not doing maintenance with a bit of grease. No doubt that’s why it was in the box!!!

Better keep listing

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DONE THE BUYING, NOW THE SELLING

Almost there

With trinkets, badges and fluffy animals on their way now time to get on with the motorcycle spares parts and recoup some of what I’ve spent.

Monday morning, snow overnight, and the Winter Storm warning gets extended another full day. Poor night’s sleep, not sure why but the changeover of the chemo cocktail and steroids may have upset the system. Overall, though, I felt an urge to do more over the weekend so that was good. Today absolute Zero! However I did buy front and back license plate holders for  Big Red.

This one is for the front and I’ll put my campaigns up on the grille

and of course I was out in Saudi for Operation Granby, Desert Shield, and Desert Storm along with Enduring Freedom

On the back where I will be having some of my “gold” things I bought a rather nice brass number plate holder which I will have to buff up and then varnish a couple of times

Should keep me busy

Another I couldn’t resist was the Veteran Motorist badge which my father had and changed the number on a yearly basis. I like 53 as it was my riding number on the Yam in the SSDT in 1974

Needs a little repainting

ME on 53

I have had my eyes on a Jaguar watch and also this one which is a bit flash, but cheap

I haven’t ordered this yet as it may be another of those scams, seems its another No1 SCAM

This will be the center piece but there is another one I like a bit more but the site owner is away and his store is closed! 

It just says it all for me

Too cold and unpleasant to get in the workshop today but it will be the No1 priority tomorrow as without further exploration into the loft I have already identified over 30 items I can put on E-Bay so the camera will be must tomorrow getting everything shining and ready to list.

and still snowing

1130, and bright and sunny! It was ZERO at 0700 this morning and crisp and crunchy but we have now made 36F and things are melting and dripping.

Time to get the act in gear with some washing and scrubbing of a few items and a lot of camera work for the afternoon. First up clean some paths and make some others so that I and the feral cats can get in and out of the workshop. One full load of E-Bay goodies in the laundry room sink soaking so time to start scrubbing and see what I have.

Pathways cut to the Workshop and the last of the Woodpile

Running out of firewood so a lot of time spent brushing snow off wood before it gets too wet to burn. Not much left in the main pile but I have a reserve that will need a day or so with the chainsaw.

Quite a lot cleaned so onto the photo session tomorrow and just maybe get up in the loft!

Well the plan didn’t quite make fruition but an awful lot of spares were cleaned, polished and brought over to the photo shop where battle commences tomorrow.

Friday, and another 4″ in the forecast for tonight, but then its clear for the next week. While all the cleaning and preparation is going on a few more items arrived. The red Jacket which looked good and claimed to be my size says XL but is either a woman’s or a youth model. No matter, will sell it again, and while looking found a better one !

Let’s try this one and although I’m not big in jewels and pins there are some that I just seem unable to resist

Nice jags

King of the jungle

and just to prove its not all about the car I had said to myself I need a couple of NEW cycling helmets for the coming year after my 16,000 miles and my Lazer has lost the buckle so this $300 Helmet from Kask was a sure bet at $110.00

Even comes in USA colors. These are great helmets as worn by the old SKY TEAM and with any luck the Yam spare parts should cover all my wild indulgent expenditure

The Helmet has arrived today along with the last back seat occupant so we are full on the car front as the other two passengers are here already.

Steve over in CA has just scooped the pot with a truckload of spares for his collection of Yams and the Cub so now I must check on shipping costs and compare USPS and UPS to see who gets the job.

Time has flown by and now I could be only a week away from having the RED BEAUTY sitting outside. Perhaps Red Devil is not a good  name so how about BIG RED which we can associate with GOLD mining.

After dealing with Steve’s list and a spot of haggling we ended up with a “job lot” of parts for a handsome sum of $350.00 which is a nice start and then I get round to some listings. No sooner complete 7 and one item sells! Total for the day 377.53 and another item has a bid.

Well all 3 Yamaha front brake cables SOLD within 24 hours, methinks  I should have been asking a little more ? No matter I’ve now got 40 active items on E-Bay and haven’t even scratched the surface.

Well I did have,  during the course of the day the less than Magical rear shocks got snapped up and a chain tensioner block has also gone! Total for the day, another $150.00 and I still haven’t got up in the loft!

All 3 of these sold in one day!

The less than Magicals at $110 !

OEM Chain block for $10.00

Just when you think the day is done the Rear Brake Pedal Mount sells for $30.00 and a jacket from my first batch back in early December sells at $45.00 giving a new daily total of $225.00, and with that I went to bed.

I have some more of these

Hardly ever used this one

6 items to get in the post today, must be another selling record, so without fail I’ll be up in that loft later this morning.

TONY DOWN