Hellcat | Birmingham, Alabama | Blonde | 2,163cc V-twin
Confederate P51 Fighter launched
Based in Birmingham, Alabama, USA the firm has three basic models in its range; the Hellcat (see Sump August 2014), the Wraith, and the P51 Combat Fighter (image immediately above).
Confederate reckon it will be building just 61 examples of the P51 (it was 65 examples for the Hellcat), and they want a £19,000 deposit before they switch on the CNC machines and carve this motorcycle from "6061-T6 aerospace billet aluminium".
Blonde Confederate P51
Of those 61 bikes, 31 will be designated "blonde" (meaning silver. The remaining 30 will be offered in black. In all instances, the carbon-fibre wheels are 17-inch (front, 5 spoked) and 19-inch (rear, solid disc). The front fork is a "double wishbone" fully adjustable girder. The frame is "aerospace inspired". The wheelbase is 62.5 inches. The weight is 500lbs.
What makes this bike extra-extra special is that it gets the Sump award for totally-pretentious-and-way-over-the-top-marketing-hype. Just listen to this:
"There are industrial giants in foreign lands claiming more horsepower through a process quite rightly labelled, by one of our rebel anti-heroes, Hunter [S] Thompson, as squeezing goo from a tube. We don’t care about that, because the rebel will always prefer being shot out of a cannon."
We did not make that up. Now try this:
"We know that the rebel says No; No to stasis, what is established, what is known to be true which is not, corruption, poverty, red tape, deceit, dishonesty, greed, and power. We know that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We know that art, at the highest level, moves you with such energy, that it changes your opinion.
Good grief. In its worst moment, Harley-Davidson doesn't come even close to this kind of gobbledegook.
So what's with the P51 designation? Well many (if not most) of you Sumpsters will recognise it as an allusion to the fabled North American Aviation P51 Mustang fighter jet (image immediately above) famed as a long range escort for the B29 Superfortress.
Built to a British specification, the Mustang was a superlative piece of Yankee aerial kit and was first flown by the RAF using the American Allison V12 engine. But it wasn't until the Rolls Royce Merlin engine was fitted that the P51 Mustang excelled (the Merlin engine was later produced under licence by Packard).
As pretty as a Spitfire? Some would say so. But in an effort to help preserve international relations, we've got a boot in either camp.
The earlier Confederate Hellcat motorcycle was named in honour of the almost-as-legendary Grumman F6F Hellcat carrier-borne fighter (image immediately above) that first took to the air in 1942, just in time to take the kick the $#!t out of the Japanese in the Pacific (the Grumman Hellcat is credited for scoring around 75 percent of all US naval combat victories during WW2). It ain't the most handsome fighter ever built, but it was extremely tough and durable and did the job it was designed to do.
The last words simply have to go to Confederate which take the 2015 Sump Bull$#!t award for sins against advertising prose:
"There exists both beauty and brutality in the P51 Combat Fighter aesthetic and the way it rides you. It is the metaphor for American rebellion."
Copyright Sump Publishing 2013