Camerton Crank up

There were about fifty of us at Camerton today & perhaps thirty engines, although I must admit to not actually having counted them.

I took a US Signals Corps genny, a hybrid Iron Horse genny with top fuel tank, not the gurt 'eavy cast iron base tank and my new toy, the WW2 Wermacht generator.

They are all 300 - 400 Watt battery chargers & I thought it'd make a nice contrast display.

First mistake, didn't take a battery - just forgot it, left it in the drive looking surprised & I think it was quite pleased to see me several hours later ;o))

The US Signals dynamo is a sophisticated device, there is a solenoid in the carburettor & I am pretty sure it is designed not to run for more than about a minute without a battery attached. It was happy enough when I attached it to the BMW's battery, but soon stopped as it perceived the thing was fully charged!

The Auto Union fired as soon as the handle was turned but showed typical symptoms of water under the main jet and as it requires spanners, screwdrivers and a good light to expose the peccant part, I went and bought a mug of tea & a bacon roll instead - much more fun! Although others had a wind at it, it did no more than "Brrrrm - duuuh" & retired hors du combat.

The four stroke Iron Horse started straight away after standing around under other engines for at least a year. It never missed a beat & ran all day on half a tank of go-juice. It was even game enough to have a go at cranking the Signals Corps genny, but lacked sufficient ooof.

So, from this I re-learn something I first found out when but a callow youth & partly responsible for keeping the RAC-ACU training fleet on the road in the early sixties. Two strokes are the work of the Devil and Mr Day was Mephistopheles in overalls.

I was spared much direct involvement with His Hellish Works, as I contrived to pass my test on the truly awful Trojan Mini Motor which I promptly traded in for a Triumph Speed Twin & had nothing more to do with them until I was a professional bike mechanic in the mid seventies. The Japanese had tamed them by that time & I came to quite like their Fiendish Ways, much as one might admire a King Cobra or Pit Viper, but not actually want to live with one.

It was largely dry all day, drizzling once or twice, but was (as promised) overcast & gloomy. Summer has departed, my friends & before us is the fimbral winter. Seek ye out the electric fire & encourage the missus to make up a roll of old socks & underwear stuffed into a tights leg to stop the draft whipping under the door of the workshop. Now. let me see, what's next for restoration?


J. Kim Siddorn,

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Kim Siddorn
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