More stuff from the basement of wonders…

Metralla Hub

The rear hub of a Bultaco Metralla… well – a bit of a “Faux-taco Metralla”. Or would that be “Bultaco Faux-tralla”?  Gerald is building a Metralla he can ride and park regularly without concern, and thus, rather than making a stock bike, is cobbling bits together from different sources, while keeping the appearance of the original. Can’t wait to see the outcome.

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Bultaco 360 Astro engine

<Bultaco Astro

From Gerald’s basement, again. A wealth of sketching opportunity there…:-)

Click to enlarge. Am trying to remember to futz with the HTML so this works.

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Half an engine…

Half engine

… is better than none…

More stuff from Gerald’s basement.

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Gerald’s Basement


A wall in Gerald’s (the proud owner of the Metralla in the dining room) basement – apparently he’s watched the same movies as I have – references anyone?


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Volvo Amazon, Penang, Malaysia


This was supposed to have been a “quick” photoshop sketch, but I fear I got a little carried away. I think one of my problems with photoshop is the “zoom” tool – in that I tend to work at 3 or 400%, which means that while there is a nice “sketchiness” at that size, when reduced to size as all of that (or most) is lost. Next time I’ll try working only at size as… I think I overused the “smudge” tool too – especially in the “drapery”.

I was a little surprised by Malaysia -I was expecting far more “classic” cars – after all – they don’t have the winters we do. Interestingly though, the only really old cars I saw (and these were few and far between) were Volvos and Mercedes. Then it dawned on me – this is really not a country for convertibles or cars without AC… it’s simply too hot. The owner of this car had it partially covered – possibly to keep it cool, but I also heard it was to avoid it getting constantly photographed – there is a well known image of a Yellow Amazon taken against a wall in Penang, and it may be that this was getting too much attention.

Didn’t stop me from taking a shot though…:-)

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Happy Valentine’s Day!


…because, let’s face it, nothing say’s “Happy Valentine’s” better than a sketch of Audrey Hepburn in an Autobianchi Binachina convertible…

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Bultaco Metralla… in situ

Bultaco Metralla

My friend, Gerald, is an inspiration to all of us… not only does he have (quite literally) hundreds of motorcycles in various states of repair and disrepair (mostly the latter) , but he has a lovely vintage Bultaco Metralla in his dining room. Yes. In his dining room.

I visited recently and took loads of shots of his shop to sketch from, but this is, I think, the pièce de résistance… while the rest of us mediate discussions of the necessity, or not, of more pillows for the sofa, Gerald has a Bultaco Metralla in his dining room. Sigh. Evelyn rightly points out (with ill-disguised relief) that as we live in a condo, there is no possibility of me taking such liberties… but I wonder – if not a full motorcycle, why not just an old  BSA engine to put in the spare bathroom? Failing that, how about an old Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engine for the kitchen?


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Decomposing Honda

Destroyed Honda

I found this leaned against a wall somewhere in a side alley in Malaysia. It was obviously seized, rusted, ripped,  and dented, but there was something oddly striking about it, mouldering away, forgotten in the baking heat.

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Volvo Mystery Car, Malaysia


I came across this car in a covered parking lot in Penang, Malaysia.I recognized it immediately for a P1800, but as I approached it, noticed that it was missing the chrome flourish down the side and the “fins” on the rear end (red line, in the drawing). I looked at it closely and there was no evidence of obvious bodywork, so I presumed that this was a later model of the P1800 of which I wan’t aware that didn’t have those details, and endeavoured to look into it when I had access to the web.

When I checked, it seemed that this model doesn’t exist – at least – I couldn’t find it. I wished I’d taken a closer look and better photos of it , but if memory serves, the paint job was an old one (slightly crazed and lightly cracking in places). It seems an odd thing to have done – remove the most distinctive part of the car at what must have been great expense if in fact it is bodywork…

Any suggestions? Clues? Any Volvo experts out there who recognize this?

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2016 McLaren Concept

2016 McLaren

I’m a McLaren fan – and I know this is nasty, but I just couldn’t resist… :-)

Let’s hope their 2016 car is a lot less like this than last year…

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