|1952-1955 Cushman||1955-1956 The Pisser||1960-1961 First Vincent Racer|
|1962-1963 First Blown Vincent||1965-1966 Magnesium Monster||1967-1979 Quarter Hemi|
|1979-1999 Fuel Injected Vincents||1983-1984 AJS Scrambler||1985-1989 Grey Flash Replica|
|1989-1993 Norton Manx||1990-1996 Black Lightning Replica||1993-1994 Norton Manx Double Knocker|
|2003-2003 The Copycat|
1965-1966 Magnesium Monster
|Click the photo above to view a photo album|
I had acquired a couple of more Vincents, a rider and a basket. The rider was captured by trading a 1955 Chevy two door that I'd restored. But Vincents were getting more and more expensive, and harder and harder to find.
About this time I was transferred from San Diego to shore duty in St. Joseph, Missouri. The Naval facility was on a hill, with three large Quonset huts, one containing a small machine shop, welders, lathe and so on. I was chief of the Center, and could do pretty much what I wanted. So with the basket, the shop, and the time, I decided to build another Vincent drag bike along the lines of Clem Johnson's "Barn Job". This was the first stroker motor I ever built, with the big bore and the one inch increase stroke, she was a healthy 93 cubic inches of Vincent power. Large valves, with special cams made for me by Weber Cams, and using the Vactury Carbs which I was familiar with. I had worked on the floats a lot to make them work on big percentages of nitro. The bike used a Norton clutch with extra plates, and six heavy duty springs. It was a one gear only bike, pulling a 3.0 gear, a magnesium frame, and a rider weighing 135 pounds soaking wet, Kenneth Sharp. Running 90% nitro made my creation a formidable package to be reckoned with at the drags. The bike would literally torture the 4 inch Avon slick the entire quarter mile.
Yeo! Weren't them the good ol' days? Smoke city all the way! What a show we put on.
Out of the box so to speak, the bike performed well, turning quarter mile speeds of 145 mph., E.T. was 9.50's. One time Kenny and I were in Kansas city, Missouri running the bike and a young kid, not more than 13 years old, who was on a bicycle, as I recall, after seeing us start the bike on the rollers and shut it off said, "The thing isn't running right, you're not burning all the nitro. What it needs is a little P.O." I said, "What's P.O.?" He replied, "Propylene Oxide". He then laid out his credentials, stating that he was the world champion and held several world speed records with model airplanes. I had never heard of such a thing, but was thoroughly impressed by the little guy. He then offered to go fetch some of this mystery magic in a bottle.
He returned shortly with a four ounce bottle of Propylene Oxide saying, "It won't take much, two to three ounces per gallon of nitro. Just put in an ounce to start with." He said he didn't want me to blow my bike up. I was thinking there's no way one ounce of anything, could hurt the Bike. So the mix was made, and poured into the bike. A start up was now in order, with a slight grin from the kid, who was saying, "It's going to sound different!" The bike fired and there was pandemonium! Kenny shut it off immediately. I jumped out of the old Ranchero to see what had happened. Kenny said, "It shook more and sounded different." After doing the normal checks I said, "Let's start it again, but keep it running." After the start, I went back, took control of the throttle, wicked it a couple of times, and shut it off... I looked at Kenny, "There's nothing wrong with the bike, we're making some real horsepower. Let's put another ounce of P.O. in it and make a run." We did. The pass was the fastest it had ever run, 150 mph., a 9.30 e.t. The next weekend at the St. Louis drag strip in Missouri we posted the bikes best ever time, with a sizzling speed of 162.36 mph and a 9.21 e.t. The only thing that I'd done from the previous weekend was bump up the timing to 60 degrees advance. I was finally turning speeds like the Big Boys.
I only have a few pictures of the bike, sorry that they aren't very good.
The only thing missing from the bike in the pictures is the fuel tank. It was round and made out of aluminum and mounted forward of the triple tree on the forks.