A walk around review of my 1958 Ariel Leader motorcycle. This is one of the earliest surviving Ariel Leaders, being built in July 1958. Often considered to be a lemon, the Ariel Leader was actually a revolutionary concept that saw every aspect of the motorcycle designed from scratch.
Another time filler over the lockdown was the Imperial German battlecruiser SMS Seydlitz. The Seydlitz fought notably at the Battle of Jutland (1916) in Admiral Hipper's battlecruiser squadron, taking a terrible battering and only just managing to crawl back to port, running aground in the Jade estuary. She was repaired and saw further action in the Baltic against the Russians. She was surrendered to the British along with other units of the High Seas Fleet and interned at Scapa Flow, where she was scuttled in 1919. A truly remarkable ship and I look forward to building her.
31st December 2019 drive in my 1959 DKW F94 where I provide an overview of DKW's contribution to the development of the modern two-stroke engine. Despite its reputation as a dirty and inefficient engine, the two-stroke is actually a model of simplicity and efficiency. Need to know more, watch on....
During the lockdown madness I decided to go all nostalgic and purchase a couple of plastic model kits. This is the Imperial German pre-dreadnought battleship the SMS Schelswig-Hostein, which served at the Battle of Jutland (1916) and later the bombardment of Gdansk (1939)
2019 and my DKW Meisterklasse project car is back from the panel beaters with new rust free floors and sills. Now it's time to begin working on the car. I also take you through my garage and showcase our other cars.
After an inordinate amount of time and effort the DKW's engine finally comes out! Hooray! It's only a 700cc two cylinder two stroke motor but it really put up a good fight. For me this a major milestone. I can now get the engine and gearbox repaired, which by all accounts should not be difficult then get the unit back in the car. Then it's the electrics. Then it's off to my brake specialist to get the brakes reinstalled. Then the exhaust fitted and then.... ignition, tuning, going... It sounds so easy. The car will be 70 years old in 2023 and it must be on the road by then.
April 2020 and Western Australia is a lockdown (like most of the western world), but at least that meant I had time to work on my DKW. I had hoped to make better progress but I was somewhat sabotaged by the postal services between Germany and Australia, which stopped completely, stranding my replacement crankshaft an pistons on a dock in Hamburg. Oh well, some progress was made.
Yes, the Troll. It's a real name and means 'Touring Roller' or touring scooter in English. The Troll was a large East German scooter built between 1962 and 1964. It's basically an MZ motorcycle in a scooter body. Large, lumpy with the stylistic grace of a Russian tractor, but just as hardy. You could just about plow a field with it. What is it doing in Perth, Western Australia? The mystery awaits.....
DKWs (and all old cars and bikes) are made to be driven regularly and if the car has been sitting a while, it is often difficult to start. Here are my tips on starting your DKW after it's been resting a while. I should also add here that using an ether based starting fluid is not a good thing to do all the time, but it does help if the car is extremely stubborn. If you're having long term starting problems, have a look at the fuel pump membrane. These harden up after a time and do not pull the fuel through. It's a good idea to check that the membrane isn't punctured or leaking as fuel leaking into the engine will dissolve the grease on the bearings of the front piston and... you don't want that!