Tag Archives: motorcycle

  • Cult Classic Crosley Cars Featured at 2012 Macungie Das Awkscht Fescht

    We are lucky in Eastwood country to be located in a great location for the collector car culture. We have Carlisle about an hour from us where you can see some of the largest car and truck shows in the country, Maple Grove Raceway where we can see some of the largest drag racing events in the country, and a little town called Macungie, PA which houses a few of the largest classic car shows on this side of the country. Probably the largest is the "Das Awkscht Fescht", which occurs in the beginning of every August. This show has been one of our favorites here at Eastwood, and we decided to hit the 49th edition of the show and share what all the excitement is about.

    Each year the show organizers choose a classic, antique, or special interest vehicle to highlight at the show and give them center stage. Enthusiasts flock to show their vehicles and memorabilia, giving spectators a lot to see and learn about the chosen vehicle. This year the focus was on the U.S. manufacturer of one of the most delightful little microcars ever; Crosley. I've read a little about Crosley, but I wasn't aware there was such a following of these neat microcars!

    Crosley was originally formed by the owner of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team Powel Crosley, Jr. and his brother Lewis. The duo set out to make a subcompact car with a fuel efficient drivetrain, and they had much success during World War II when fuel rationing was crippling sales of larger automobiles. The Crosley models ran 2-cylinder aircooled engines originally and later were the first to mass produce a Single Overhead Cam engine (SOHC).

    Speaking of firsts, Crosley was the first in the US to equip its vehicles with certain features like 4-wheel disc brakes! They also built the first American sports car- the Hot Shot. They even went on to coin the term "Sport Utility". Years later their sales dwindled and they shut down after a failed merger with Nash. Their spirit still lives on with Crosley enthusiasts and their racing heritage is firmly planted after the Hot Shot and Crosley powered race cars dominated the race circuits in the '50's.

    Thanks to the enthusiasts that brought out some of the most rare Crosley vehicles and literature in the world and helped educate the classic car community! Below is a slideshow of some of our favorites from the event.

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  • Restoring a Classic Motorcycle- 1952 DKW RT125W

    During the 40's and 50's, many motorcycles looked more like large bicycles with motors attached, and some were just that. I've always been a fan of the "stripped down" look from that era and I decided to take the plunge and find a motorcycle project.

    Recently I traveled to a very large collector car and motorcycle show and swap in northern Germany to find my dream motorcycle. I'm a classic German car enthusiast and it only made sense to look for a bike that shared the same heritage. DKW and Auto Union were companies that eventually became what we know as Audi these days. In fact each of the companies that merged are marked by a ring in the Audi logo. Back in the 40-50's DKW was one of the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the world and they had a huge impact on the looks of motorcycles at that time.

    I was after their bread-and-butter bike, the RT125W. This bike is by far the most copied motorcycle in history. I recently stumbled across an article on Vintage Veloce where they listed and detailed all of the iconic motorcycles that were direct copies of the RT125 and RT200. Even Harley Davidson used the RT125 to make its Harley "Hummer". Many other "big boys" like BSA, Maserati, Moto Morini, Kawasaki, Peugeot, Triumph, etc all copied The RT125 and made their own version.

    After some searching and some translation help, I found the bike I wanted and a stack of Euros were exchanged. The motorcycle I ended up with is a 1952 RT125W that has some light patina. A nice Dutch collector was selling it along with 5 other similar style vintage motorcycles and they all were equally as nice! Even though the bike is missing the key, has flat tires, worn out grips, and has been sitting for quite some time dry, I saw potential. The key elements for me were there- it's mostly original with all of the key rare parts still intact including the tank, badges, headlight with speedo, engine, and fenders. It was love at first sight!

    Once I got the bike back to a friends shop, we quickly tore into the bike priming the carb and kicking the engine over until we got it to fire to life. SUCCESS! Once we knew the engine was good, we began tearing the bike down and boxing it up to ship back to the states. I'm patiently waiting as I type and I can't wait to start doing a light restoration on it. The first plan of action is to clean and reseal the original gas tank with one of our Gas Tank Sealer Kit for Motorcycles. Then I'll move on to degreasing the engine and mechanical parts with Chassis Kleen and getting things mechanically sound.

    Stay tuned for some tutorials as I work on the bike, and be sure to ask questions and make suggestions along the way!

    -Matt/EW

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  • Vintage Motorcycles, small engines, but big addiction.

    Recently I took a hop across the ocean to visit some friends in Germany, and of course hit some car shows, swap meets, and junkyards. One of my destinations was a large vintage auto and motorbike swap meet in the "North" of Germany. Before the meet I'd been toying with the idea of getting a vintage NSU, DKW, or Auto Union Motorcycle or moped/scooter to tinker with, restore, and drive around town for fun. Previously I've never been much of a motorcycle guy, I didn't really get "it", but I've always appreciated the work that went into them. The ones that did catch my eye were always "out of this world" price-wise (I seem to gravitate towards expensive obscure stuff!).

    I really started getting interested in vintage motorbikes when I recently visited the local Boyertown Auto Museum and saw some early motorcycles in person. I instantly was intrigued with how simple they were, not much other than a tiny engine, some sheet metal and the bare basics. They essentially were bicycles with engines back then. Simplicity in motoring is one of my favorite things, no fancy computers, electronics, or creature comforts... just you, the engine, and your wheels on the road! After some research I was determined to pick up one of these lesser-known vintage bikes on my journey to Germany.

    After some haggling, and almost making a few brash purchases, I walked out of the swap meet without a bike of my own. Although after chatting with fellow enthusiasts and trying out a few vintage bikes.. I now get it. It's all the same love of vintage motoring as cars and trucks, just on a smaller scale! I am hooked, and now I've begun shopping for the right bike for me to add to my "collection" of restoration projects waiting in the wings. I'll update as I come across one, it should be fun to put all of the great Eastwood products to work on a small vintage motorcycle project!

    Until then keep building, restoring and discovering those vintage projects, and share your work with us!

    -Matt

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