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Vintage Three Speed Revival

August 12, 2012

So I didn’t get to the cruiser yet, mostly because I haven’t had time to think about the design much. Instead I decided to take on the old three speed that I have had for a couple years just waiting its turn. It is an mid to late ’70s (best I can tell anyway) Columbia Sports III and can been seen above in all its disjointed and rusty glory. Two busted tires, rusty everything, completely busted brakes and shifter cables and housing, broken front brake caliper, soggy seat, and wobbly rims. The wheels turn freely though, so there is hope!




Here it is with new tubes and tires after truing the rims. Notice the cables and housing. Next is to start taking off the broken stuff and a trip to the local bike shop.


Beach Cruiser Conversion

June 13, 2012

Feast your eyes on this weeks fabulous find. A mint condition all original American made banana seat from 1980.  When have you ever seen one like this? Never.

This is the inspiration for the newest RestoRevival project. The seat will be fitted to a fully customized similar vintage Huffy Monterrey beach cruiser using the seat as a jumping off point for color and final design. The Monterey is a very iconic cruiser shape within an otherwise budget cycle. Not quite sure of the age of the bike but my best guess is early 80s.  Here’s a couple pics of the bike and one more of the seat. I’ll upload my sketches of the proposed transformation soon.

The frame is clearly quite rusty and rough. It lacks handlebars and the wheels are super wobbly. No broken spokes but they’re real loose so the dry rotted original sidewall tires are nowhere near true. Single speed, coaster brake, sweet chain guard, and a kickstand. Perfect.

Another Day at the Races…

December 6, 2011

So I was just looking back at the old posts and noticed that I never posted about going to the Vintage Drivers Club of America race day at Road Atlanta raceway. I went back in February of this year with MacEachern Motorsports and assisted Brian in the paddock. It was an action packed weekend with some pretty serious mishaps, including one engine explosion and another near engine fire. Quick thinking and some good ol’ fashioned ingenuity got us past the close call that could have resulted in a fire, but there wasn’t much we could do about the engine exploding.

The reason that I’m thinking of this now is that I will be accompanying Brian again at this weekend’s VDCA event at Roebling Road Raceway outside of Savannah, Ga. The weather is set to be awesome and I’m super excited about being at the track again.

In any case, here are a couple pics and a short video from Road Atlanta to get you up to date. Keep an eye out for pics from Savannah soon!

The lineup

The would be arson: oil line shorted against the battery terminal

Involuntary "cutaway view" of the Sprite engine

What’s up, and a couple nice photos…

November 17, 2011

So things have been going pretty well lately with the RestoRevival projects. Craig’s bike is up and running well, new brakes and all. My bike is up and running, also with a newly rebuilt front brake caliper. Carbs tuned and it runs like a champ. Fancy has been doing very well lately, carrying me faithfully back and forth between Ashvegas and Chapel Hill where I have been working for the last several weeks with some high school students (check my other blog for some great fun and info on that project- And I finished restoring the ol’ Pugeot bicycle I promised to show you, too.

So in no particular order here are a few choice photos from the fall and maybe late summer:

3 of the family members: Fancy- '66 GMC, Honda- '76 CB750, and the Peugeot- '78 UO8

Another view of the terrific trio

Ridin' solo with new paint, new carbs, new brakes, old tires...

Carb tuning with my homemade manometer (vacuum synchronizer)

Assembly of the vacuum synchronizer


October 16, 2011

And no, I’m not going to confess to being just another one of those bloggers that doesn’t keep up with his blog and lets it whither and fade into the ethernet.

What I am going to confess is that I am addicted to craigslist.

Perhaps I should go on to say that it’s not so much craigslist as it is classified ads, it just so happens that craigslist is the most readily available, is free, and has a tremendous variety of stuff on there. I usually check it once a day, but sometimes more than once… Occasionally I skip a day. I like to think that it’s okay, since I’m not just looking for anything to buy. I’m looking for vintage automotive glory and literary gold.

Here is a prime example of why I am a craigslist addict:

“Selling Aston Martin Veyron 2011”

And in case the link is no longer active when you go there, here is the text exactly as it appears in the original and unedited listing:
“Well kept Veyron. Serious inquires only, it’s serious, it’s not a show car, SERIOUS INQUIRES ONLY.

Only damage on the car is a few bullet holes. (I do live in durham).

1,850,000. OBO “

WOW! I mean, for 32 words, this is an unbelievable amount of information! But first lets dissect: for starters, the Veyron is not made by Aston Martin; it’s made by Bugatti. The Veyron just happens to be the most expensive automobile you can buy. So maybe this person was just confused and meant to write Bugatti.

Then there is the part about the bullet holes… So, was this car part of a superballer shootout? Was it an innocent bystander victim of a driveby… in a ridiculously rich neighborhood? Why was it not parked in a garage? Was it used on the set of some gansgta movie or music video that got out of hand? The questions here are endless!

And finally, I refuse to pay $1,800,000 for a car that has bullet holes in it. I’m going to email them and offer to trade it for my motorcycle and see what they say. I just rebuilt the front brake caliper so it’s ready to roll.


May 3, 2011

Yes, it’s true. I have been dragging my feet on posting pictures of progress and changes lately, but not for a lack of progress or changes I assure you. (yes, I assure you).

The winter was slow in the RestoRevival shop just as it was for a lot of people, but the spring has brought on a flurry of activity! In the coming weeks I hope to post a little more frequently and get caught up on all of the goings on and put up a boatload of pictures of the current projects, both old and new. To give you a little teaser, here is what you can look forward to:

RestoRevival on a 1972 CB750

Conversion of a 1988 Grumman P30 step van into a mobile falafel restaurant for Flying Falafel Brothers

RestoRevival of a 1969 Vespa 90 Super Sport with a pretty amazing history…

Completion of my ’76 CB750 (with fresh carbs)

RestoRevival of a 1978 Peugeot U08 road bike

and perhaps most notably….

Completion of the ’81 C70 Passport! Check out this video I snagged a few days ago of the first time this bike has been started in almost six years!

More thrilling before and after pictures to come! Stay tuned…

Field Trip! – MacEachern Motorsports

January 16, 2011

I sauntered on down to Flat Rock yesterday and spent a little while visiting with Brian MacEachern of MacEachern Motorsports. Brian basically has my dream job. He restores and rebuilds vintage and classic British sports cars. When Brian gets to the shop, he spends his days doing what I try to do after work or when I can squeeze it in on weekends. Hence my posts only once every two to three weeks.

In any case, it was my first time visiting Brian at his shop so he gave me the grand tour. The first thing I noticed when I stepped through the doors was a shell of a car up on the lift, and Brian was tack welding on some sheet metal to presumably patch a rusted out area.

Extreme Makeover: Austin Healey Edition

The skeleton on the lift turned out to be an Austin Healey 3000, and as Brian started showing me around I began to  notice the body parts lying on the floor. Austin Healey body parts that is. It was then that I understood how comprehensive Brian’s shop is. I had been under the impression that he predominantly built engines for people who race these cars in vintage races (SVRA, VDCA, …), but that’s just part of the equation.

As we walked around the shop, Brian pulled the covers off of one super cool vintage racer after another. First there was this early ’60s Cooper Bobtail that he built the engine for and was in process of tweaking it to get it tuned and ready for the track.

Cooper Bobtail, without it's skin

The T39 or Bobtail earned it’s nickname from the abrupt termination of the rear end of the car just beyond the rear wheels. It was the first sportscar to utilize a rear engine setup, which made for more even weight distribution between front and rear wheels. This combined with a transverse leaf spring rear suspension resulted in less sliding and much better handling in the corners. The Bobtails utilized a small displacement Coventry Climax 4 cylinder engine.

Engine in back = more weight on the wheels

This one has a 1500cc (1.5 liter) motor that I think Brian said puts out about 105 horsepower, which is a lot for a car of this size and weight. The Coventry Climax engines are a modified fire pump engine, clearly built to take some abuse. Here’s a link to a pretty good pic of a Bobtail with its body panels on for reference.

Next to the Cooper were a couple of Austin Healey Bugeye Sprites under covers. We just peeked under one of them when he told me that it was probably going up for sale soon. It’s race ready and has green flames, which automatically makes it fast. A little out of my price range, but it has got me thinking… I always wanted one growing up, Sprite was my nickname when I was a kid. It came from the Sprite soft drink commercials of the early ’80s: the great Lyman taste.

Finally we rounded the workbench and walked up to two of Brian’s cars. A nice little red Bugeye Sprite and a 1956 Lotus 11.

Bugeye Sprite and Lotus 11

Brian started racing this Lotus in 1982 with his dad, and he’s been driving it ever since. It’s an all aluminum body and is also powered by a Coventry Climax engine, 1500cc, the same as is in the Bobtail.

'56 Lotus 11

The aluminum keeps the weight down of course, and all told this sleek ride only weighs 1000lbs! One more interesting thing to note is that the Lotus has disc brakes, way ahead of its time for 1956.

Rear view of the Lotus

To sum up, I had a great visit with Brian, and I appreciate his taking the time to show me around and answer my questions. It’s very clear that he gets a tremendous amount of personal satisfaction out of his job, and getting to hang with someone else who shares that value adds more fuel to my fire. It’s just a matter of time until I am able to reverse my roles and spend my work hours in the RestoRevival shop.

CB750 Carburetor Cleaning

January 9, 2011

Holidays are busy for everyone, and that’s true here at RestoRevival, too. I haven’t done any work on the CB750 for weeks. I did however meet with Matt last week and we finally got his ignition switch! It took about three weeks to get here as we found it in Malaysia, but it’s here and ready to go in. Will post pics on the progress there when we get in plugged in.

In the meantime, I took some time today and got working on the CB750 carburetor cleaning. Here are some close up shots of the step by step, and some old school “photoshop” so you know what parts you’re looking at…

Let’s start with the whole bank of carbs.

Carbs off, ready for cleaning

You can see upon closer examination that there is already some gunk buildup in the ports of the carbs. I’m expecting this to be a dirty job.


So let’s get these puppies apart. First remove the carb bodies from the backing plate via the 8 screws. This is what you should get:

Separate from backing plate

Then disconnect the choke linkage by removing (carefully!) the microscopic cotter pins. Be sure to put them back or store them in a clearly marked place, or buy new ones.

Cotter pins? You mean THOSE little things?

Four breaks down to two, then down to one by separating the vacuum lines and fuel tube joint. Next you can unscrew the cap and remove the throttle valve assembly. Pop off the bowl and see how much crud you have inside.


Enough to plug the drain screw? Perfect. Then you can assume your idle/slow jet is restricted or plugged, too. Good thing you’re patient and it’s too nasty outside to ride anyway. Once you’re done gawking you can unscrew the idle jet, main jet, float, float valve, and float valve seat. Inspect these for more crud.

Old School Photoshop

Now you can move on to the idle air screw and spring and the vacuum plug screw. Oh, be sure to not lose any of these. You have my permission to copy my handy dandy labeling techniques if you too find it faster than photoshop.

I used adobe Illustrator for this one.

Lastly would be to disassemble the throttle valve assembly, carefully. If the screws holding the jet needle set plate don’t want to come out easily, don’t force it. They’re likely gunked up too.

Small screws = easy to round out.

Flip it over and spray a tiny bit of penetrant into the hole where you can see the threaded tip of the screw (no picture for this step).

Now that you’ve got it all apart, the next thing to do is actually clean it. Then put it back together the way you took it apart. That will be for the next post…

Old Post

December 17, 2010

Well, thanks to one of my blog visitors I have moved the following post about the sled from the old blog address to this new one. I didn’t realize that I had posted it to the old address last week, so reading it now makes it strange since we did NOT get any snow last night. In fact, nearly all of last week’s snow has now melted. So no sledding for a bit. ‘Bout to go update something to this effect on the RestoRevival facebook page:!/pages/RestoRevival/173522235999798


December 17, 2010

Since it’s super cold and snowing out right now I’m starting a timely new project tomorrow. My first NoMoto for the blog: a Kalamazoo Sled Co. Champion F56! This thing’s super cool. I always wanted one of these, but we didn’t have much of a use for them in Florida. Picked this one up from the Salvation Army Thrift store.

Champion F56

Hopefully this li’l guy will do nicely around here. We got a lot of snow last night- 6 inches in some places- and it’s supposed to snow again tonight. It warmed up a bit today for things to melt off some so hopefully that water will refreeze tonight before it snows and give us a nice base layer of icey hardpack. Terrible for driving, but great for sledding!

It needs some repair to the crossbracing mostly. Then a little tightening here and there and a little extra RestoRevival luv. Should turn out nicely!