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Tag Archives: Reading Standard

  • 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!


  • Behind the Scenes look at a local Auto Museum's Collection

    Here in Eastwood country, we are spoiled with the diversity of all types of automotive enthusiasts. It seems we have everything from antiques, to brand new sports cars being tuned, modified, and restored. It's pretty common to see all sorts of unique enthusiast driven vehicles out for a drive on a nice Sunday afternoon. Many times when I have friends coming from out of town to visit, they comment on some sort of cool car that they saw as they got near my house. Often they are surprised at my unenthusiastic reply.... you could say we are a bit desensitized around here!

    I think our deep automotive heritage in this area is the answer to why it seems to be "in our blood" to tinker with our vehicles. Why, miles from Eastwood headquarters, Boyertown Body Works (also known as Boyertown Carriage Works) operated and produced many early commercial and industrial bodied trucks. Or, if you want to touch on 2-wheeled motorized history, let's not forget Reading-Standard Motorcycles that built some early motorcycles that are highly sought after these days.

    Because of all of this heritage, not only do you see a ton of vintage cars, trucks, and motorcycles around, we are also lucky enough to have some cool little antique vehicle museums in the area. Recently I was given an "all access" tour of the Boyertown Museum of Historic Vehicles. This museum specializes in primarily historic vehicles built in our general region. You will find everything from early horse drawn carriages, to very early coach built motor vehicles. This is the stuff you only read about in magazine articles and see in photos from prestigious shows like Pebble Beach.

    As I walked through the museum, I was amazed at how LITTLE I really did know about some of these vehicles. I consider myself to be pretty well versed in automotive history for my age. But I found myself constantly looking over the descriptions of these vehicles, trying to figure out WHAT they were, and WHERE they came from. I think this type of stuff is the most interesting when viewing cars at a museum. I want to see things I've never seen OR heard of before, and learn their history. That is what going to a museum is all about right? It's interesting to read the history on how these auto builders came about, many times they weren't even from a automotive background, but horse drawn coach builders, bicycle builders, or even industrial workers. I can only imagine how hard it was to design, and build an automobile with no prior designs to really look at, or experience on what "works", and what doesn't!

    Here are a few shots of some of my favorite installations on display at the museum when I visited. Please watch this space for my next post where I climb around some dusty cars in the private storage warehouse for the museum. I stumbled across some "electrifying" finds!

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