Thursday, December 03, 2009

DOWNUNDER AJS 10R?

Jim Scaysbrook, publisher of the excellent Old Bike Australasia (and really worth a look - order it here), sent along this photo of an 'AJS 10R' (click here to read the previous post about this mysterious 'never built' racer') which may or may not have come from the factory in this guise, ridden by Elmer McCabe. Jim adds:

"Loved the story about the AJS 10R . Attached is a photo of Elmer McCabe's version here in Australia. Elmer has always been a staunch AJS man and what was probably a G45 was raced for many years as an AJS, complete with AJS timing cover and his own, hand-made version of the massive Porcupine 'saddle' tank. The shot was taken at the old Amaroo Park track in Sydney in the late 1970s."

The wonderful illlustration below is from the late Alan Puckett, whose website is well worth a look (he passed away just last October). Puckett's description of the machine is a 'G45 with a Works Porcupine tank'...and a measured top speed of 136mph at the Bathurst circuit in New South Wales, Australia. The Australians always seemed to extract just that bit extra out of any British design, perhaps because the motorcycles had a longer racing utility than anywhere else.

The National Motor Racing Museum at Bathurst should be on any gearhead's tourist route when visiting Sydney, as several of the motorcycles on display are unique and memorable, including an incredibly developed Matchless G50 with four-valve cylinder head and very special chassis, reputedly the fastest single-cylinder racing motorcycle in the world in it's day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Paul, for the note on "another" AJS 10R that has emerged from
hiding. Great to read of Elmer McCabe as a "staunch AJS man," reminding
us of the healthy competition that lived on long after the Stevens
company was amalgamated with that of the Collier Brothers in 1931.
McCabe's 10R looks to have been a home-built one, perhaps much like
Aussie GP racer Allan Burt's G45, fitted with an AJS tank, that was
stolen along with a 7R and a G50 is Sydney in 1998 and remains, to my
knowledge, unrecovered. As best I can determine, the only factory-issue
10Rs that can be confirmed are those that went to Venezuela in 1954, as
Paul Mihalka has documented.

I had a lead on a story Bill Hawkins, ex-AMC works, wrote for _Jampot_
on the 10R, but could never track it down. There was also a report that
_Motor Cycling_ (the green 'un) published a story on the 10R in 1955,
but I haven't been able to find that either, despite inquiries with
Morton Media and Richard Rosenthal. You and I exchanged e-mails on this
in November 2008, without striking paydirt.

Jim