Got a call from Dave Minerva Saturday night alerting me to a Fall Meet at the Oley PA fairgrounds. This is the same location as the National AMCA Meet in April. I oiled up the "Dirty Nine". Kelly and I headed out for a great afternoon ride. There were a couple hundred bikes there, mostly European and Japanese but there were a few old Harleys and Indians mixed in. They had a slow race course marked out and that seemed to be the gist of the event.
This Fall Meet has moved around from place to place over the years and is not advertised much, but maybe if it stays in Oley we can get some venders and more of an Antique turnout. I know a bunch of folks that would have come out had they known about it.
The Perkiomen Chapter of the AMCA hosted the day and provided food and drinks.
It was a great time and the weather was ideal...60's and sunny!
Advice right on the bar at the Crossroads Tavern...take it or leave it!
Old Bi-Plane at Van Sant Airport
Beemer at Van Sant's
Apple Jack's Basement Bar
"Dirty Nine" proudly leaving it's "Carbon Footprint" at Apple Jacks
It has been a beautiful Thanksgiving weekend. The weather is perfect for riding. We took a ride over to Van Sant Airport (Bucks County PA) which is a small grass runway out in the country that attracts gliders, Bi-planes and motorcycles. We then headed down to Route 32 (River Road) and took that south into Point Pleasant PA (not to be confused with Point Pleasant NJ) and one of my favorite watering holes...Apple Jack's. This bar used to be called the Black Cat back in the 1930's and was the hangout of the Black Cat MC (who are still in existence but changed their name to the Blue Comets and moved the Club House to Skippack PA).
We did a tour around Lake Nockamixon and over to Big Daddy's Wagon Wheel before heading back home.
Many years ago I came across a bunch of paper work and memorabilia from a Pennsylvania Harley Dealership from the late 50's into the 70's. Amongst the stuff was this Mechanic's folder with cutouts and instructions for performing his day to day job. There is a ton of cool stuff in this folder, however, the most interesting piece to me is this hand drawn dual Duo-Glide motorcycle powered vehicle that this fellow must have dreamed up after countless hours in the shop. It appears to be a sidecar body with a modified Duo-Glide attached on either side and a pivoting leaf spring suspension/steering design. Obviously in the early stage of conception ...Amazing.
The representative from New Jersey now has the floor...
No, those aren't whitewalls on the "Dirty Nine"...that's Jefferson mud with staying power...
Kick start competition in the parking lot...
Headed over to Jersey for a Chapter Meeting. We got booted from the normal watering hole at the last minute and the boys had to scramble to make other accommodations. They found a spot and the meeting commenced...it was a great November day for a ride!
The Letter, Envelope and the actual Shebler Carb discussed in the 1941 Letter
The Envelope post marked March 19, 1941
The March 18, 1941 Letter from the Factory to Larry Franz Sr.
Larry Franz Sr. busting the tape at Muskegon Mich. in 1941 (He placed 2nd)
Notice the Schebler Carb with the modified air scoop! Yes that is the same carb! This was the year he bought this bike from A.W. French and is the bike I have owned for about 20 years...
More hidden treasure in the boxes of stuff I acquired from Jerry Franz this summer! This was a real mind blower for me. It was amazing that I got the original Schebler Alchy carb that was on my Climber when Larry bought it from A.W. French in 1941. But, as I dug through the boxes of paper work I came across a picture of the bike from that year where the carb and modified air scoop are clearly visible...and then I found this letter from the Engineering Department at the Harley-Davidson Factory dated March 18, 1941. I read the letter and when I got to the last paragraph I realized that I was holding the actual Schebler carb that was being discussed in that 1941 letter...Un Friggin' Real! All of this from 1941 the year Larry bought the bike from A.W. French!
Every time I sift through this pile I am amazed at what was saved and the history it represents!
The receipt for the OHV Hillclimb Motor 1953 "Paid in Full Willard Bryan" (Famous Champion Hillclimber partner at AD Farrows H-D)
The letter from A.W. French AKA Frenchy to Larry Franz Sr.
A.W. French 1949 with the OHV engine in his bike!
(Thanks to his son Tom French for the photo)
Treasure! I was thumbing through a copy of Q&A by Uncle Frank that I got with all the stuff I acquired from Jerry Franz recently. There were various papers in the book and a letter. It turns out that the letter was from A.W. French to Larry Franz giving him pointers on setting up the OHV engine Larry had recently (Jan 1953) bought from Willard Bryan at A.D. Farrows H-D in Columbus Ohio. These three names are synonymous with Championship Hillclimbing in the 30's 40's and 50's.
Now if you read my previous posts on Hillclimers you'll see that one of my bikes belonged to Larry and before that Frenchy, who both won National Championships on it, so this letter has special meaning to me. The clincher was finding the receipt for the motor from 1953 Signed "Paid in Full -Willard Bryan"!
I love the instructions Frenchy gives to Larry and the diagrams he draws of where to cut the frame. Even throwing an after thought on the back of the envelope! COOL!
There is a bunch of other cool notes and info mixed in the pages of this book that I need to study...gear ratios, etc.