March 2016  Classic bike news


New BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt

VMCC Pip Squeak Run April 2016
Ed "Stewpot" Stewart: 1941 - 2016
Calling British spares manufacturers
Stupid biker gives away his KTM 690
Festival of Motorcycling autojumble

December 2015 Classic Bike News

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister: 1945 - 2015

"Motorsport" CBE for John Surtees

Rare Vincent 2-stroke Uniflow Engine

Mick Grant replica 961 Norton racer

Old Biker's Mantra T-shirt from Sump

Evel Knievel's XL1000 movie bike

H&H Chateau Impney Sale results

Broughs of Bodmin Moor to sell

Flying Tiger Moto Man poofy soap

Petrol drops to £1 per litre

Porsche Sunbeam S8 special to sell

Ural gets on the scrambler trail

Anthony Valentine: 1939 - 2015

Huge UK government tax disc loss

Optimate 5 Voltmatic charger on test

Watsonian Squire T100 sidecar

November 2015 Classic Bike News

Redesigned Sump Triumph T-shirt

Great service at Welders Warehouse

Ural's 2016 Dark Force combination

Wheelrider project seeks backers

Andy Tiernan's 2016 calendar is here

A blue plaque for Triumph founder

Victory Ignition Concept custom bike

Matlock Bath Mining Museum appeal

Swedish Italians head for France
Side view assist tech from Bosch

David Beckham's Outlaw movie

New Triumph Speed Triple for 2016

Steve McQueen's Chevy camper van

Kickback Show London Dec 2015

George Barris: 1925 - 2015

NMM to raffle a 1959 T120 Bonnie

Royal Enfield splined clutch drums

"Led Zeppelin" chop sold at auction

Have you seen this Ford Mustang?

Bonhams Hendon Sale Dec 2015

Movies we love: The Family Way

Bonhams 2016 Las Vegas line-up

Triumph's new Bonneville line-up

October 2015 Classic Bike News

Mark Howe Murphy: 1932 - 2015

Comet Classics' Pride at the NEC

Stand up for Owen

Old Empire Motorcycles Gladiator

Record money at Bonhams' Stafford

Richard Davies: 1926 - 2015

Gear Gremlin bandana fleece thingy
Yamaha 125cc Resonator concept
Odd things are happening on Sump...
Weise "affordable" Lima gloves

Triumph's 2016 Bonneville teaser

Another Hayward T140 belt failure

Second generation HUD for bikes

Marzocchi closes. It's official

Gordon Honeycombe: 1936 - 2015

Indian Scout IKON shocks

Harley-Davidson XA to Wheatcroft

The Complete book of BMW Motorcycles

So who's answering the Sump phone?

September 2015 Classic Bike News

Fat bastards. And skinny dudes

Fonzie's Triumph to auction. Again

Urban rider's workshop initiative

The NMM opens its doors for free

Great speedo cable fix from Venhill

BAD-ASS BIKER T-shirts are in stock
Buying a crash helmet; a Sump guide
Romney Marsh Classic Bike Jumble
New Goldtop silk scarf

Worst Netley Marsh autojumble ever?

New Kawasaki W800 buyers guide
Bonhams Beaulieu 2015 results
Lord Edward Montagu: 1926 - 2015
Triumph's $2.9 million US recall fine
New Fab Four coffee table book
Dean Carroll Jones: 1931 - 2015
Harley-Davidson test ride competition
Still awaiting your Skully AR-1 lid?
Two rare Italians headed for Stafford
Sump BAD-ASS T-shirt coming soon
Who the hell can you trust anymore?
Austel Pullman 1300 combo to sell
Oldtimer Motoren Museum
£4m government grant for Norton
BSH sells out to Mortons Media
Sammy Miller Run August 2015

August 2015 Classic Bike News

Jake Robbins Royal Enfield custom

Music we love: Everyday Robots

Ebay: Rare 1956 250cc Indian Brave

For sale: Ex-display team TRW?
91 English & Welsh courts to close?

"Tougher and darker" HDs for 2016

Yvonne "Bat Girl" Craig: 1937 – 2015

Confederate P51 Combat Fighter
Subscribe to Sump - it's free

Cheffins Harrogate Sale August 2015
Lambeth Council bans nitrous oxide
TRF's £10,000 green lane appeal
Harley Street 750 set for Sept launch
Trouble: Triumph bobber on Ebay
Great new T-shirt designs from Sump
George Edward Cole: 1925 - 2015
Sammy Miller at Donington Classic
185,272 Harley Baggers recalled
Fifth Classic Car Boot Sale, London
Mecum Harrisburg results Aug 2015
Mecum Monterey Sale August 2015
Ace Cafe Beijing has opened
Free disc locks courtesy of the Met Police

July 2015 Classic Bike News

Where BSAs Dare

Rare 1912 Pierce at Netley
7 pence per minute to talk Triumph
Cheffins Cambridge Sale: 25th July
Matchless sunglasses: "Only £299"

Cool BSA Bantam diesel special
Brighton Speed Trials 2015 re
New Royal Enfield despatch bikes
M.A.D X-ray Art Exhibition Matchless
1964 Speed Twin bobber on eBay
Chris Squire: 1948 - 2015
Movies we love: Smokescreen (1964)
Road race & exhibition for the gents

June 2015 Classic Bike News

Christopher Lee: 1922 - 2015

Triumph Motorcycles: 1937 - Today

News about Roy Bacon

France bans earphones on the road

Road deaths up: first rise for 14 years

Daniel Patrick Macnee: 1922 - 2015

Tri-Cor is now Andy Gregory

Matchless-Vickers to stay in Britain

Samsung truck video safety tech

First middle lane "road hogger" fined

Brando's Electra Glide to auction

Pulford® wax cotton jacket, in "sand"

James "Hansi" Last: 1929 - 2015

Suzuki's UK café culture campaign

Disappointing Historics June Sale

DVLA "paperless counterpart" fiasco

Classic face masks, Boken style

Vibrating steering wheel idea for dozy drivers


May 2015 Classic Bike News

Council streetlight switch-off warning

Twinkle: 1948 - 2015

Historics' Brooklands sale draws near

Classic bikes for sale reminder
Hope Classic Rally: all for charity
Riley "BB" King: 1925 - 2015
Grace Lee Whitney: 1930 - 2015
Stondon Museum April sale results
RE buys Harris Performance Products
Geoff Duke: 1923 - 2015
Classic Motorcycle Restoration and Maintenance
NMM's winter raffle winner details
Stafford Sale: "£2,262,109: 86% sold"

April 2015 Classic Bike News
Norman Hyde polished T100 headers

Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Harley's "Job of a lifetime" winner details

John Stuart Bloor is now a billionaire

BSMC Show, Tobacco Dock, London

"Rusty Blue" Route 66 motorcycle kit

Erik Buell Racing closes its doors

One of the Love Bugs is up for sale
Ronnie Carroll: 1934 - 2015
Sixty museum bikes to be auctioned
Goldtop classic fleece-lined gauntlets
Harley-Davidson Kansas lay-offs
Mecum's Walker Sign Collection results

March 2015 Classic Bike News

Ted Simon's website is "hacked by Isis"
Frank Perris: 1931 - 2015
ULEZ Zone charges for motorcycles
We're all down with a nasty disease
Eric "Shaw" Taylor: 1924 - 2015
E J Cole Collection at Mecum's

Rare 500cc Linto for Duxford Sale
Classic Car Boot Sale final reminder
DfT road safety website is to be axed
Autocom GPS bike tracker is "coming soon"
Jem Marsh: 1930 - 2015
New Triumph Thruxton book from Panther Publishing

New drug-driving regulations are here

HMS Sump is torpedoed!
New £350,000 Jensen GT for 2016

RE Continental GT, soon in black

February 2015 Classic Bike News

Lincoln bans legal highs in public places

Leonard Simon Nimoy: 1931 - 2015

Cheffins Cambridge Sale: Apr 2015

Race Retro Feb 2015 auction results
£4.7 million grant for Brooklands

Full size "Airfix" motorcycle kits
Two Francis-Barnett bikes "launched"
Gerry Lloyd Wells: 1929 - 2014

Harley-Davidson's "dream job" offer
Road accidents & preventable events
The velocity of money? What's that?
ACA auction Saturday 7th March 2015
Sump's new road safety stickers
Kickback Stoneleigh to be televised



January 2015 Classic Bike News

1948 Land Rover manufacture exhibit
UK Triumph Scrambler sales jump
Mecum Kissimmee Sale results
Ikon Basix shock absorbers
Sump BSA M20 metal sign—£14.99
Another great Marlboro Man has snuffed it

Mixed Bonham results at Las Vegas
Stolen Norton appeal for information
The Reunion by Jack Elgos
VMCC December 2014 raffle winner
Brian Horace Clemens: 1931 - 2015
Metal classic bike signs from Sump
Rod Taylor: 1930 - 2015
Derek Minter: 1932 - 2015
Tiernan's looking for a Flea crate
Jerry Lee Lewis Duo Glide to sell
"Killer drivers" sentencing review
Harley-Davidson recalls 19,000 bikes
Cutaway engine bonanza at Bonhams


December 2014 Classic Bike News

John Robert "Joe" Cocker: 1944 - 2014
British Bike Bits for Interceptor Mk2s
Billie Honor Whitelaw: 1932 - 2014
Mike Hailwood print from the ACU
Ian Patrick McLagan: 1945 - 2014
One million Ducati dreams: Official

Cool Ducati 60 limited edition poster
European H.O.G Rally 2015 details
Goldtop Large Leather Care Kit
Mann-Hailwood-Beart bikes to sell

Norton Dominator SS for 2015?
Akrapovič custom "World Premiere"

Andy's Tiernan's Triumph 3HW
New style police court bright idea

First seven Hesketh 24s set to ship
2015 Limited Edition Rocket Three X
"500 Nortons headed to Australia"
Swinton execs fined £928,000

Old Empire Imperial Ducati Typhoon
Sterling Autocycles replica flat tanker
Ultra Low Emission Zone update
Barn Built Cafe Racer Dot Com kit


November 2014 Classic Bike News

Noise complaint e-petition appeal
Bonhams Bond Street Sale 2014
Gold plated Speed Twin on eBay
"True Greats" sale at Coys
£12.50 per day classic bike charge
Frankie Fraser: 1923 - 2014

Driving licence changes for January 2015
"Last V1000 Hesketh" is produced
1964 Triumph TRW: asking £5,000

Warning: Have you seen this man?

Watsonian GT4 Sports Touring chair
Triumph recalls various 2014 models
Rare 1934 BSA R34-4 now on eBay
H&H Chateau Impney auction
Bell Bullitt RSD Viva helmet
Hedon crash helmets

Terblanche shifts to Royal Enfield
Greeves Motorcycles Ltd is for sale

Vapour blasting service by SVS ...
Andy Tiernan's 2015 calendar
NMM 30th anniversary Vincent draw
New Broughs unveiled at EICMA

Bernard Stanley Bilk: 1929 - 2014
Sump's moving. Expcet prolbems
New emissions threat from TfL
Stolen Triumph Tiger Cub alert


October 2014 Classic Bike News

Matchless Model X: new teasers pics

Time to switch off London's traffic lights?

Limited edition "space age" Ural MIR
John "Jack" Bruce: 1943 - 2014

London to Brighton Run Sale
UK adult minimum wage rise

Alvin Stardust: 1942 - 2014

Oops! We screwed up
£104,540 Flying Merkel at Bonhams
Cheffins Cambridge Sale results

Fonda's chop: $1.35 million. Sold!
New Sump T-shirt "spy shots"

Herb Harris Vincents for Bonhams

BSA M-Series clutch chain wheels
Samuel Truett Cathy: 1921 - 2014
Police bail time limits proposed
Slovak Aeromobil drives and flies
H&H Duxford Oct 2014 Sale results

Ace Cafe's "Ultimate burn up" ride
Venhill generic switchgear

Johnny Foreigner clampdown plan
Holly Ariel Cyclone makes: $457,500
Bikesure-Sump insurance link
Atalanta relaunched and unveiled
Plausible Ferrari safety fear recall
No deathanol increase before 2017, promise
Council vandalises Bansky artwork
Lynsey De Paul: 1950 - 2014
Metzeler Sportec Klassic launched
New Mitas motocross mudpluggers
October tax disc changes crash DVLA website
2014 London-Brighton Run reminder
Triumph unveils the T214 Bonnie

"Nurb's" by Fred "Krugger" Bertrand


September 2014 Classic Bike News

Bob Crewe: 1930 - 2014
Graham Coxon's bike collection charity auction
GSXR-powered Bond Bug for sale

Norman Hyde's half century, and not out
Distinguished Gents charity ride

Mole Benn Collection for Stafford

Battlesbridge urgently needs your support
British Customs "Cassidy" project
Andrew Victor McLaglen: 1920 - 2014
Captain America's bike is for sale
The DVLA wants your classic view

Triumph Thruxton Ace unveiled

H&H Duxford Sale: 8th October 2014
Donald Alfred Sinden: 1923 - 2014
British Customs gel saddle: $329.00
New Bristol car promised by 2015
Free vintage Brit movie screenings
The Scottish independence myth
Triumph 250cc single project "on hold"
Bonhams Beaulieu 2014: Top lot
Elvis Presley found alive on moon
Ex-Buddy Holly Ariel to be auctioned
Three car shows bought by Mortons
Worst ever Netley Eurojumble?
New "road tax" complications ahead
"Anti-social" Ace Cafe warned off
IKON shock absorbers/dampers


August 2014 Classic Bike News

Ken Rees, the real Steve McQueen?

Mortons buys Fast Bikes magazine
William Henry "Bill" Kerr: 1922 - 2014
Britain First "hijacks" The Royal Crown
National Motorcycle Museum robbery URGENT APPEAL: £20,000 REWARD
Ugly Fish Slingshot Ozzie shades
New Heritage Buses Festival 2014
Watch the Foley beheading video and get nicked—Met Police
1953 Triumph Terrier. £10,000. eBay
Richard Attenborough: 1923 - 2014
Don't forget the 2014 Brighton Speed Trials
New domestic abuse laws mooted
"Last Hughie Hancox restoration"
McQueen's 1930 Chief: $100,000. Sold
170,000 Continental tyres recalled
Bob Derrick, RIP
Matthew Thompson ePetition opened
The Empire buys Wrighty's Show
Confederate Hellcat Speedster X132
BMF 2014 Tail End Show cancellation

European Bike Week: 2 - 7 Sept 2014
Stephen Hill's off the wall design
Lauren Bacall: 1924 - 2014
Video recording at English local council meetings is "now legal"
Jean Panhard: 1913 - 2014
Harley-Davidson Road Glide returns
Romney Marsh inaugural bike auction 2014
Motorcycling in the 1970s - new eBook series
Foundry Matchless 500cc G9 bobber
2015 69-inch Indian Scout launched
Classic Car Boot Sale goes Olympic
The UK "tax disc" is soon to vanish
Savatech Sport Force tyre recall


July  2014 Classic Bike News

Ex-McQueen 1912 Harley X8E to sell
Half price Gasolina boots at Foundry
Dora Bryan: 1923 - 2014
The 42nd International British Biker Meeting
Harley-Davidson VRSC V-Rod guide
Kieran Shortall: 1959 - 2014
James Garner: 1928 - 2014

"Quadrophenia Lambretta" to auction
Electric cars for 10 Downing Street
Johnny Dawson Winter: 1944 - 2014
Cheffins' July Cambridge Auction
Northampton Classic Club Scramble
Coys Auction kicks off at Blenheim
Dave Bickers: 1938 - 2014
Government scraps 60mph limit plan
MyLicence insurance honesty checks
Ex-servicemen's charity Euro jolly
Mecum's July 2014 Harrisburg sale
So who the hell are you people?
Francis Barnett "makes a comeback"
2014 Indian Chieftain at Sturgis


June 2014 Classic Bike News

Ariel Motorcycles launches the Ace
Eli Wallach: 1915 - 2014
Francis Matthews: 1927 - 2014
Government set to limit CCTV cars
New Harley-Davidson Sump features
Harley-Davidson "LiveWire" concept
High Beech tea hut under threat
The Hesketh 24 is officially unveiled
Bonhams' Banbury "Record" Sale
Avon & Somerset Police's Ariel Atom
1937 Matchless Model X eBay scam
Cotswold Classics is bust
Northants Classic MX Club appeal


May 2014 Classic Bike News

VMCC petition seeks blood

£60 million left on TfL Oyster Cards

AJS Model 18 & Matchless G80 guide

London Congestion Charge hike

Banbury Run 2014 reminder

Maserati centenary celebrations

Mechanical Art Devices Exhibition

First UK Royal Enfield Store opens
Dangerous Dogs Act amendment
Police dog ePetition wants your vote
Fiat-Chrysler chooses London
New logotype for Royal Enfield?
Sump plates for Triumph T140s/T120s

Cheffins April Cambridge Sale results

Bournemouth Wheels Free Festival
Efrem Zimbalist Jnr: 1917 - 2014

Charges dropped against Les Allen

Two civic plaques for George Brough

48% of bikers want to vote away your right to decide—IAM

Clarkson utters the "nigger" word


April 2014 Classic Bike News

New political T-shirt from Sump
Mark Upham nabs Brough's Brough
Ex Hailwood/Surtees Sportmax sells
Reunion of the Rockers, 3rd May 2014

u r txtng. stp drvng u mrn
Looking for a Stafford alternative?

Another implied classic bike threat from London Mayor Boris Johnson?

Houston Motorcycle Auction results

Government to scrap camera cars?

Cheffins Vintage Sale: 26th April 2014

The Stranglers Bonneville raffle

Rare DKW SS250 leads Duxford Sale

BSA C15, B25, B40, B44 & B50 aficionados look this way
Johammer electric motorcycles
Death comes calling at Bonhams
Wal Handley's Lagonda to sell at H&H

Vincent Series C Rapide raffle

Classic British Bikes book

Stuff we like: Bell Bullitt Helmet - TT

Triumph Model P from Andy Tiernan

Foundry First Anniversary Ride In
April - Houston Motorcycle Auction
Ernest "Ernie" Lyons: 1914 - 2014
UK campaign to reinstate .22 pistols


March 2014 Classic Bike News
DVSA to name and shame ex-MOT stations
Mick Woollett: 1930-2014
Richard Edmonds Sale - March 2014
Captain Maurice Seddon: 1926-2014

Introducing Stephen Hill, pop artist

Classic bike tax discs are on a roll
Kempton Park bike jumble sells out
BSA Bantam 3-string steel guitar
Boris Johnson to ban classic bikes?
Gruppo Bertone's in trouble. Again
Paris bans cars and motorcycles
Southend Shakedown & Margate Meltdown:
2014 biker diary dates

Rabers British motorcycle parts
Agostini and Cooper to headline
Mallory Bike Festival

Second Classic Car Boot Sale rocks
Anthony Wedgwood Benn: 1925-2014

Hinckley bullish about 2014 sales
UK bike parts distributor now accepts bitcoins

New BSA M20 T-shirt from Sump

New AA-Halfords "safety" campaign

Bandit 9 customs - Made in China

Secret British Government webcams
in the home...

Anglia's first classic sale "success"

UK magazine sales continue to drop

De Bruir Parachuter leather backpack


February 2014 Classic Bike News

New Lotus Bike: Not Made in Britain
Met set to pay out huge rape compensation
Any information on this outfit?
National Motorcycle Museum appeal
"Whole life sentences" ruled legal
Brian Hampton appeal bid update
Tom Armstrong Manx Norton for sale
Martin Squires Sketchbook Volume 4
ACA's first classic motorcycle sale
New Rocker T-shirts from Sump
Alex Botwright steps down as Fenman Classic Bike Show chairman
"Droves" at Bristol Classic Show
Kool new Davida candy coloured lids
Rare 1930 MGC makes £15,297
Nobody hurt in small earthquake
Royal Enfield "Valentine's Day sale"
Chris Bushell takes over Nourish
SBS Harley-Davidson "Speed Demon"
New 69 Club T-shirt from Sump
Mr & Mrs Oil Drip: under the hammer


January 2014 Classic Bike News

Vintage Boot Sale, London
Chelsea Bridge tea stall petition
Stylish café racer T-shirt from Sump
Triumph again tops UK big bike sales
2014 Brighton Speed Trials is back on
First British motorway pub has opened
Hurricane tank from Burton Bike Bits
1936 Brough SS80 and chair on eBay
General Jumbo control freaks ahead
Festival of 1000 Bikes is cancelled
New congestion charge "con"
Bonhams Sale: "New records set"
Twenty jobs at Triumph Motorcycles
Cafe racer rival for Triumph Thruxton
Phil Everly: 1939 - 2014
Stuff we love: Vanishing Point (1971)
Derringer electric board track bicycle
Illegally fingerprinting the kids

Sump news archive



We've got plenty more classic bike news for you to enjoy. Check out the links below.


December 2013

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December 2012

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December 2011

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Check your spam boxes, please ...


We wouldn't normally interfere with what you and your hardware do in the privacy of your own home. But we've got a special interest.


Generally, we despatch orders from the Sump shop within 24 hours, or 48 hours if it's a weekend. However, a number of you Sumpsters have recently ordered T-shirts and signs and whatnot, but haven't responded to our query emails checking for details (sizing, correct postcode, etc).


Our usual policy is to give it a few days or so, and then, if we don't get a response, cancel the order and refund any monies. But we'd just as soon see that you get your desired goodies, and see that we get your coin.


So if you're awaiting delivery of an outstanding Sump order, we suggest you look in your spam box.

Del Monte


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1948 Tucker "Torpedo" to auction


Yeah, we can see it ain't a classic motorcycle, or any kind of motorcycle. But as most of you will know, Sump takes a slightly wider view of the world and looks at a lot of stuff that might interest boys and girls of a certain age, and possessed of a certain bent.


And that's why you're now looking at a Tucker 48, one of the rarest and, we think, most interesting examples of automobilia ever to hit Stateside streets. It was the (nearly) two ton brainchild of Preston Thomas Tucker (1903 - 1956) and was one of the most advanced cars of its age.


First the intended specification:


A Ben Parsons-designed rear-mounted flat-six engine

All-independent Torsilastic rubber-sprung suspension

Disc brakes all round

Twin torque converters (one at each rear wheel).

Styling (largely) by Alex Tremulis, ex-Auburn Automobile Company

A pop-out windshield (following an accident)

An under-dash front passenger pre-collision safety space

A centre-mounted third headlight to swivel with the front wheels

Self-sealing tubeless tyres



The 1947 brochure had gone a little further and promised a centre mounted driving position, doors that extended into the roof for ease of entry, and front fenders that swivelled with the steering. It was all clever, hopeful and ambitious stuff. But the production versions significantly shortened Tucker's wish-list.


Here's the actual specification of the production cars:


335-cubic inch, 166-hp flat six-cylinder rear-mounted engine
Tucker Y-1 four-speed pre-selector transmission.

Fixed centre-mounted headlight

Rubber torsion suspension

Styling (largely) by Alex Tremulis, ex-Auburn Automobile Company


Pretty much everything else was fairly conventional, and there were bespoke variances between models as and when development allowed. Preston Tucker's passion for safety had envisaged the development of a safety cage, a repositioned steering box (reducing injury risk in the event of a collision) and a padded dash. But as with all these things, the complete manufacturing picture is a lot more complicated with numerous hirings, sackings, industrial disputes, financial wrangling, legal challenges, engineering problems, etc.



The radical rear-mounted, twin torque-converter engine that Tucker proposed was pretty much stillborn (although a few examples were built). Features of this 589-cubic inch (9.2 litre) unit included a flat-six configuration, water-cooling, fuel-injection, OHV with the valves actuated by direct oil pressure (via an oil pressure distributor) rather than by pushrods or a camshaft. Heady stuff.


Only 51 Tucker 48s were built (including a prototype). The name "Torpedo" was never used on the production vehicles; not officially, anyway. And neither was the epithet "Tin Goose". It was always just a Tucker 48; a number that reflected the single year of production.



In the end, a combination of factors quickly put Tucker out of business. The U.S Securities and Exchange Commission indicted Preston Tucker for financial fraud with regard to his commercial activities and interests. Steel supply issues led to production delays. Other suppliers backed away. And negative publicity burst the bubble before technical, legal and political issues could be resolved. And there were other more subtle factors, many of which are reminiscent of the John DeLorean saga.



Eventually, any charges against Tucker were dropped for lack of evidence. But by then, it was all over. The dream was dead. Other wheels had turned. The momentum was lost. And the radical looking Tucker, in the wake of new Detroit styling and thinking, was suddenly less radical. Or perhaps it had always been too radical for a largely conservative market.




Either way, some feel that General Motors, the Ford Motor Company and Chrysler all played their part in ensuring that the game was rigged against this upstart from Detroit, Michigan who, in a small way, threatened their dominance. Some says that his reach simply exceeded his grasp. But we say, "Way to go, Preston".


Whatever the truth, this man (pictured right) carried his hopes further than most of us can possibly dream. The Tucker 48 was, and is, one helluva statement of intent that gave Detroit's Big Three a fright.


This car is one of the 50 examples built at the Tucker Chicago plant for one year only (1948). It was never completed by the factory, however. That task fell to other Tucker aficionados who did all that was necessary to gather the required parts and assemble the vehicle to the final production specification as intended by Preston Tucker.


It will go on the block on Saturday 2nd April 2016 at Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA. The estimate is a cool $950,000 - $1,250,000. That represents a huge leap over the final Tucker sales price which was intended to be around $1,000, but ended up near $4,000.


UPDATE: The Tucker sold for $850,000.



Big End


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Ducati Mike Hailwood Scrambler


Only 58 examples are to be built. The price is a little over £14,000. And, we hear, around half of the production run is already accounted for.


Ducati Thailand are behind this bike, and it's also said to be backed by the estate of the late Mike Hailwood, which essentially means his wife Pauline. Based upon the current 803cc Ducati Icon, this limited edition motorcycle features a Termignoni exhaust system, an Ohlins rear shock, a cockpit fairing, a unique saddle and tailpiece, a custom paint job emulating Mike the Bike's Ducati 900SS, a numbered aluminium ID plate, and a signature from the man himself.



So what would Hailwood really think? Well we don't know. But the scrambler connection is hopelessly misplaced. It just wasn't Hailwood's style. That said, maybe we should just accept that wife Pauline has (apparently) given it the seal of approval. And no doubt Mike would back her. But some might call it a pretty cheesy and cynical lash-up designed purely to empty hearts and wallets.


But that's the name of the game, isn't it? Therefore, die-hard Hailwood fans will simply have to suck it up and/or look the other way. Most of the likely buyers of this bike will quite possibly have little idea of who Hailwood was, and why he was so great. But you have to keep the money moving.


So if you're fairly new on the block, here are some Stanley Michael Bailey Hailwood, MBE, GM facts:


He was born in 1940 and died in 1981 following a collision with a truck. His daughter Michelle was also killed. His son was injured. The driver of the truck was fined £100.



Hailwood won 9 World Championships, 76 Grand Prix wins and 14 Isle of Man victories. Many fans consider him to be the greatest motorcycle racer of them all.


This scrambler-by-name-but-not-by-nature ain't really to our taste, but we wouldn't refuse a freebee in the shed or garage, and no doubt all 58 machines will find satisfied owners. We don't have information on where to buy one of these. So we suggest you talk to your Ducati dealer.


Finally, the current (2016) price of a standard Ducati Icon Scrambler is £7,386 (red) - £7,486 (yellow)


www.scramblerhailwood.com [Note: the link is disabled. Copy and paste}


Queen of Sump


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Kenneth Hugo Adam: 1921 - 2016


Pretty much everyone reading this obituary knows the work of Ken Adam who had died aged 95. We've seen hundreds of examples on billboards, in magazines, on TV, and (most of all) in the cinemas.


He designed the movie car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. He designed some of the most memorable James Bond movie sets ever contrived. And, in a roundabout way, he helped design the Cold War.


How so?


Well it was Ken Adam who created the scarily believable film set for Stanley Kubrick's masterpiece, Dr Strangelove (1964). So okay, the Cold War had arguably started cooling in 1947. And true, there were events such as the 1948-1949 Berlin Airlift, the failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1961 that had already pushed the thermometer to new and dangerous lows. But for many people, the image of Ken Adam's war room with the B52 nuclear bombers moving off their fail safe points to nuke "them damn ruskies!" brought our own scary monster out from under the bed and suggested that the West was also perfectly capable of pushing the button, accidentally or otherwise.


The sets in Dr No (1962) and The Ipcress File (1965) added to the general nervy Cold War/secret agent ambience even though neither movie was about the Russians. But it didn't matter; whatever the scriptwriters told us, we secretly suspected that Moscow was somehow behind all manner of spylistic shenanigans.


Adam also worked on Goldfinger (1964), Thunderball (1965), You Only Live Twice (1967) Diamonds Are Forever (1971), and The Spy Who Loved Me (1977).


But his career began further back in 1948 when he was training as a draughtsman. He worked on Around the World in 80 Days (1956) and Ben Hur (1959). And then came Night of the Demon (1957), a convincingly creepy (for its time) satanic cult horror flick starring Dana Andrews, Peggy Cummins and Niall MacGinnis.


Other film credits include Funeral in Berlin (1966), Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1969), Sleuth (1972), Agnes of God (1985), Addams Family Values (1993) and The Madness of King George (1994).


He was born in Berlin, Germany under the name Klaus Hugo Adam and came to England as a 13-year old. His family settled here, and Adam studied to be an architect. When WW2 began, internment was a very real possibility. But he joined the Royal Pioneer Corps (which was open to ex- axis power citizens) and helped design bomb shelters (which, arguably, concreted the way for his later film sets).



By 1940 he had been accepted into the Royal Air Force and was one of just three German born citizens to fly for the RAF. Had he crashed in Germany during that period, he would have been treated as a traitor and shot rather than accepted as a normal POW. But although his war was eventful (flying Hawker Typhoons), he came through it all unscathed.


For his professional work, Ken Adam won two BAFTAs and two Academy Awards. And to add to his accolades, the Queen knighted him in 2003 for services to the film industry.


He married in 1952, but he fathered no children.



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Sylvia Anderson: 1927 - 2016


Sylvia Anderson has died aged 88, which means that her joint creation, Lady Penelope Creighton-Ward, is gone too. Who else, after all, could hope to master that sexy, sultry, controlled, assured and oh-so-British voice?


So okay, we're talking about a puppet made famous as the London Agent of International Rescue in the hit 1960s British TV series Thunderbirds created by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. But many of us grew up with Lady Penelope and Parker, her trusty cockney driver-cum-sharpshooter, and these characters occupy that other reality shared by the likes of Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Hercule Poirot and Dr Who. Think of them a honorary members of the human race.


Sylvia Anderson, born Sylvia Thomas, voiced numerous other characters in the Anderson TV shows from Torchy the Battery Boy to Four Feather Falls to Supercar to Fireball XL5 to Stingray to Captain Scarlet to Joe 90 to Terrahawks. But she was more than just a voice. She helped drive the plots and focussed her energies on character development while hubby Gerry handled all the techy stuff. And without character, what have you got? Well, in this case, a lot of wood, plastic, wire, fibre glass stuffing and cotton.


She met Gerry Anderson in the early 1950 when they were both working for Polytechnic Films in Buckinghamshire. Following their 1956 founding of AP films, the couple set about developing a new way of animating puppets that led toward Supermarionation, as it was quaintly dubbed.


The next 10-15 years was the golden age of Gerry and Sylvia Anderson. Their legacy was some of the wittiest, most amusing, dramatic and cleverest puppetry ever enjoyed on British TV. On one level, those shows have dated. But if you were a child of that era, you can still be effortlessly transported back to a more innocent age when the future was still mostly bright, and when it was still possible to believe the unbelievable.


Gerry and Sylvia Anderson married in 1960, but the union ended bitterly in 1975. A wedge came between them, and they were never reconciled.  Gerry Anderson died in 2012 (see Sump December 2012).


In later years, Sylvia Anderson worked as a talent scout and did a little acting. But there was nothing as memorable as the Lady Penelope role she helped create, and made her own.


In 2007 she published her autobiography, My Fab Years. She was married three times, and is survived by a son and a daughter.


The Third Man


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Ariel Square Four back on the block


If you're a regular Sumpster, you've recently seen this handsome 1934 601cc Ariel Square Four. We used it as our headline bike for Sump Classic Bike News, February 2016. It went under the hammer at the Bonhams sale at Les Grandes Marques du Monde au Grand Palais, in Paris. The date was 4th Feb. The estimate was £32,000 - £37,000. But the bike didn't sell. We don't know why. Suffice to say that it simply didn't happen.



Well the seller is trying again, this time at the H&H Sale at Duxford Museum, Cambridgeshire on Tuesday 19th April 2016. Unsurprisingly, expectations have been significantly lowered. The estimate is now £25,000 - £30,000. But is that more realistic?


Truth is, we've got no idea. There aren't enough of these pre-WW2 examples on the market to get a realistic overview. But if it helps, in January 2011 Bonhams sold a 1934 model for £31,061. That was in Las Vegas.


In October 2011 Bonhams sold a 1935 Ariel Square Four for £23,000.


In August 2012, a 1932 example stalled at a Mid-America auction when the bidding failed to go beyond $24,500. And note that that's dollars, not pounds sterling.


Pretty much everyone agrees that Ariel Square Fours are great bikes and represent some of the best examples of original British motorcycle design. But it seems to us that these lofty sentiments are not entirely reflected in the sale prices. In other words, classic bikers and motorcycle collectors are not so keen to put their money where their mouths are.


Anyway, you've got the details. We'll be watching with interest to see what happens to this example.


UPDATE: The Ariel sold for £25,760.



Del Monte


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Triumph "Blueprint" classic T-shirt


Our recently released WD BSA M20 "Blueprint" T-shirt has been such a success that we hurried along the production of this second tee in our "Blueprint" range. More designs are on the way, so stay tuned.


We figure that we don't need to explain the design or the concept. You can work it out for yourself. So either you're ready to kill to get your hands on one, or you're just mildly desperate. Either way, we've got 'em in stock right now. But we've got a habit of underestimating demand, so make your move before the other guy does. You never know when the supply is going to run out (how's that for a little obvious high-pressure selling?)



The tees are clearly aimed at Meriden Triumph twin owners. But around these parts, we don't discriminate. We'll flog 'em to anyone, even people who ride two-strokes. Yeah. Seriously. See how generous we are?


The tees are silk-screen printed on 100 percent pre-shrunk cotton. The material is heavyweight, and these shirts should last a long time. They should also eventually fade nicely for a more authentic blueprint look, whatever that means to you.


The T-shirt colour is royal blue. The sizes are M, L, XL and 2XL. We didn't print small tees because hardly anyone wants those anymore and they sometimes sit for months on the shelf, unloved, unworn and unsold.


The price of the Triumph "Blueprint" T-shirt is £15.99 plus postage and packing. Click either of the images and you'll go to the appropriate buying page.

Big End


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Bike nicking copper gets



Okay, we admit it. We doctored the image of this copper. With Photoshop. That's because the only pictures we could find showed this guy out of uniform and looking like any everyday bloke. But we wanted to take a gander at him in a police outfit—and not to further humiliate him, but simply to put him in context.


So we gave him a policeman's helmet plus the rest of the gear and ... well, here he is.


His name is David Robinson. It used to be Police Sergeant David Robinson, but those days are done. He's 36-years old and was a Metropolitan Police Officer working out of Lambeth, South London. And the courts have just handed down an 18-month prison sentence for nicking one or more motorcycles and a couple of pushbikes from police custody, and from outside Brixton and Streatham cop shops.




That's not very PC, and it give a whole new meaning to the phrase "the long arm of the law". The total value of the purloined items—or is that doubly purloined?—was around £16,000.


At some point, he removed the items and then set about converting his ill-gotten assets into hard cash. What went wrong, as far as we can tell, was that his colleagues noticed some irregularities, then searched his house in East Grinstead, West Sussex. They found the bikes, one of which was said to be listed on eBay.


Anyway, all that happened earlier last year (2015), and by July the game was up and it was a fair cop. During a one-day hearing at Southwark Crown Court on 20th January 2016, robber Robinson pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft, five counts of fraud and two counts of misconduct in public office.


He was sentenced a few days ago and now has 18-months in the pokey to figure out his next scam. Given that almost no one serves a full sentence, and given that he'll probably behave himself, he'll be out in maybe six to eight months. Maybe a little more. Or less. And that doesn't exactly strike us as anything other than a slap on the wrist (or a passing clump with a truncheon).


But he's lost his job and a decent salary (around £38,000 - £40,000 per annum plus all the bikes you can nick). He'll probably get knocked around in jail. He's disgraced. And none of this will look good when he's being interviewed by his next employer. There but for the grace of God (or Plod) go us, etc.


So why did he do it? Pure greed? Psychiatric disorder? Bored? Well apparently, he was going through the divorce-and-custody-wringer and needed the funds to arrest his wife's ambitions. Something like that, anyway. And if you've been there, you'll understand how bitter these things can get, and how desperate you can become.


If you haven't got any sympathy at all for this silly sod, you're a lot tougher than us. But we ain't going to lose any sleep over his nicking either.


So what's the moral? In the words of the rozzers, LOCK IT OR LOSE IT! especially if you park it anywhere in or around a British police station.


They'll pinch any-bloody-thing these days.


Sam 7


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George Henry Martin: 1926 - 2016


Brian Epstein? Dick James? Allen Klein? George Martin? You can argue forever which of these pivotal industry figures had the greatest influence on the careers of The Beatles in general, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney in particular. But we're putting our money on the clear favourite, which is producer George Martin who had died aged 90.


Frequently referred to as the Fifth Beatle (although that's also been said of Billy Preston), George Henry Martin was undoubtedly the musical architect who added the extra necessary depth and dimension to the Beatles sound. It was he who took what Paul McCartney called "a great little band" and put it squarely on the world stage.



It's easy to forget now that what helped propel the Beatles so far and so high was the fact that the Fab Four crossed the generational boundary. The kids loved them. The teenagers loved them. Your mother loved them. Your grandparents loved them too. And it was largely George Martin's mature orchestration, arrangements and shrewd choices that made it happen.


You heard George Martin's work (notably) on Eleanor Rigby, a Day in the Life, Strawberry Fields Forever, Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite, Lovely Rita, I am the Walrus, In My Life, and Yellow Submarine. He was invariably responsible for the "classical stuff" via strings, horns, piccolos, choirs, trumpets and oboes.


He constantly experimented, improvised, cut, spliced, multi-tracked, pitch-shifted, key-shifted, played with time-signatures and generally pushed the boundaries of what could be done. Put another way, he was a musical alchemist capable transmuting base music into gold and silver discs.



When he wasn't "merely" conducting or writing music scores, he was right there in the studio playing instruments and laying down tracks beside the meisterwerks of Mssrs Lennon & McCartney. And arguably, it was largely the George Martin sound that underpinned the influence enjoyed by latterday bands such as Blur, Oasis and Coldplay. You might not always hear George Martin's work when listening to the Beatles, but you'd surely notice its absence were his sound removed.


In short, George Martin was the lynchpin between the Beatles, the studio engineers, the publishers, the music industry heads, the session musicians and, indirectly, the general public.


He also arranged and produced the instrumental music scores for the Beatles film Hard Day's Night, for the James Bond movie Live and Let Die, for the Boulting Brothers film The Family Way, for the Gerry & the Pacemakers romp Ferry Cross the Mersey, for the 1962 comedy Crooks Anonymous, and many others.


And he produced notable artists including Cilla Black, Jeff Beck, Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas, Matt Monro, Kenny Rogers, UFO, Cheap Trick, Gary Glitter (as Paul Raven), Ultravox and Elton John. And if you listen to the song Tin Man by America, that's George Martin on the piano.



George Martin was born into a humble working-class family in North London. From a very early age (just six) he was fascinated by the piano. For a while he took lessons, but most of what he learned was self taught. And crucially perhaps, he also learned to score music. That enabled him to properly understand and communicate his talents to those who provided the all-important meat of a song, but needed a suitable gravy.


His early ambition was to be a classical pianist, but among his first jobs was that of a quantity surveyor and a humble clerk-cum-tea-boy. He had also served time during WW2 in the Fleet Air Arm as an observer. But mercifully, the war ended before he was posted to a battlefront.


He worked briefly for the BBC, then joined the staff of EMI which owned Parlophone Records. At age 29 he was the head of that label and was soon recognised as a pioneering producer, frequently at odds with EMI's management as he struggled to update the brand and introduce new sounds and artistes.


His early work involved producing various comedy records from the likes of The Goons, Charlie Drake, Bernard Cribbins, Terry Scott, Michael Bentine, Flanders & Swann, Bruce Forsyth and Lance Percival (and if you remember more than three of these guys, you might want to check that you've made a last will and testament).


It was George Martin's meeting with Beatles manager Brian Epstein that led the way onto a new musical avenue that eventually made Martin one of the world's leading music producers. After all, with The Beatles on your CV, who would not want to employ you?


George Martin wrote numerous books, one of which was a memoir, All You Need Is Ears (1979). In 1988 he was appointed CBE. In 1996 he was knighted for his services to music. He officially retired at age 72, but for the next 18 years was still a figure much in demand by the media, authors and music producers looking to rework and re-explore his professionally golden years of the 1960s when the Four were Fab, largely thanks to George Henry Martin.


He was married twice and fathered two boys and two girls. He is survived by his second wife and his children.



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Race, Rock'n'Ride


Race, Rock 'N' Ride at Santa Pod


From the tone of the email press release we received, you'd think this was a new Mortons Media event. And truth to tell, we're still not 100 percent sure that it isn't. Certainly, the Mortons Empire wants to have a tidy slice of this cake. It currently owns Back Street Heroes magazine and Fast Bikes magazine, and these august journals are on board in some capacity. But Principal Insurance from Sale, in Greater Manchester has, to mix metaphors, also got its thumb in the soup. Then there are the organisers at Santa Pod to factor in.


What we do know for sure (well, for fairly sure) is that the event is called Race, Rock 'N' Ride and is scheduled to take place at Santa Pod Raceway on the weekend of 21st - 22nd May 2016. Advance tickets are £13, or it will cost you twenty quid on the gate. Mortons appears to be handling trade stalls. But the ticketing, we think, is being managed by Santa Pod Raceway.


Regarding what's actually happening on the day, we don't know yet because someone jumped the gun and sent the press release out before the facts were in. All it says on the event website is: MORE INFO COMING SOON.




But given that it's Santa Pod, said to be the best known drag racing strip outside of the USA, we figure there's going to be a lot of noisy motorcycles thundering around, plus some rock'n'roll type happenings plus food plus drink plus trade stands, etc. You get the picture.


If it sounds like your kind of thing, you might want to check the link at the bottom from time to time. And if anyone from Mortons is awake, perhaps they could drop us another press release to explain what the first one was all about.



Del Monte


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Motorcycle Outreach Brough idea


Firstly, who or what is Motorcycle Outreach (MoR). Well, it's a UK based charity founded in 2002 that supports healthcare projects in developing parts of the world. You've heard of the flying doctor? Well this is about motorcycling doctors. And motorcycling nurses, midwives, clinical volunteers and whatever.


Sounds like a worthy cause. And motorcycles, as everyone knows, can be a very cost-effective way of gadding about. In fact, pretty much anywhere a man can walk, a bike can go. Only faster.


Well MoR's latest wheeze is to buy a Brough Superior motorcycle; specifically one of the Bodmin Moor Broughs as reported in Sump, December 2015. These machines are considered suitable because they're "virtually derelict" (MoR's words) and there's a lot of potential headroom, profit-wise.


That's the thinking.


Regardless, MoR then wants to commission a mechanic or engineer to restore the bike, and then the organisation plans to sell it at a profit, the proceeds of which will go to the charity to buy some more day-to-day gadabout machines to be used in Africa and Indonesia and wherever.


However, MoR is looking for your cash to underpin this plan. The group call it a crowdfunding scheme, which is one way of putting it. We can think of a few other names, but let's be generous.


And charitable.


Aside from the fact that the value of these Broughs might well lie in their originality, there's the very significant cost of restoration, not least the labour. The number of guys who know how to sympathetically and credibly restore a Brough isn't exactly huge. And the restoration could even devalue the motorcycle. It happens.


Then there are the parts which don't come cheap, and don't always come easy. Or at all.


Next, there's the issue of raising a lot of money from supporters only to be outbid when the auction goes down. In other words, what happens to the donated money? Is it used on some other scheme? Returned? Parked in a bank account awaiting another suitable "derelict"? Or what?


Well, MoR has answered this. It says that the money would be used elsewhere, or returned if required. But returning donations could take time, and could cost money. So clearly it's hoped that the cash stays put.


Nevertheless, we people are odd creatures. We might get excited about a project if we feel it will definitely be carried through to the end. But we're not so enthusiastic about projects that start on shaky ground.


That isn't to say that it couldn't work.


In theory.


On paper.


Over a pint in the pub.


But in the real world, the odds are heavily stacked against raising even a small fraction of the dosh needed.



Here's what Simon Dufton, Director of Motorcycle Outreach, has to say:


“The restoration potential for any of these bikes means that this is not just a hopeful project - it is a project based upon sound history of the assets involved alongside the time-proven skills of our restorer Craig Carey-Clinch.” Craig, also a Director of MoR and a well-known motorcycle industry figure, already has a strong track record of restoring classic motorcycles.

Simon continued; “All it takes is time and a good motorcycle restorer. We have both! What we now need is the funding to make this project happen .... and that is why we are launching this Crowdfunding appeal - we believe that it will be possible to generate a strong return from this project, but we can only realise its ambition if we get support.”


Anyway, this is a charity that appears to be doing some good work, and we're happy to give it some publicity. So if you've some spare change, holiday euros, coins down the back of the sofa, or whatever, you can help get this scheme off the ground if you're so minded. It could save lives.


Or you can just donate some money to MoR without strings and tell 'em to come up with something a little less niche, and therefore a lot more credible.



We know Craig Carey-Clinch a little (that's him pictured above opposite the Houses of Parliament), but we don't know anything about his restoration skills. And that's the point. With no disrespect intended, we can't see how his name would add much kudos to this plan that's looking for big money.


The Brough Superior world is small, exclusive and incestuous. Provenance is everything. Reputation is paramount. Expertise is treasured. Track records are expected. And naivety has no place here.


It ain't often that we like to be proved wrong. But we're hoping that in this instance, that's just what happens.



Big End


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Perth & Kinross council pothole ruse


When is a pothole not a pothole? When it's a Perth & Kinross Council pothole. Or at least, when it's a much shallower Perth & Kinross Council pothole. A budget for 2016-2017 newly published by the Scottish local authority reveals that a pothole up to 40mm (1.5 inches) deep will no longer be considered a suitable case for treatment. Instead, that hole will now have to be at least 60mm (2.3 inches) deep before it gets filled.


It's an attempt to annually save £120,000 of ratepayer's money, and you can understand that imperative. All UK local authorities are currently seriously under-funded. There are widespread threats to library services, OAP support networks, rural transport schemes, community health and social projects, waste collections, etc, and all local authorities are currently devising dodges, stratagems and ruses to deal with the deficit.


However, the policy of redefining a pothole has naturally been widely criticised by everyone from the RAC to local MPs to cyclists, drivers, motorcyclists and everyday folk with and without personal mobility issues.


Aside from the obvious concerns relating to increased (and more severe) injuries, there's the intractable issue of road deterioration, meaning that little cracks in the tarmac simply lead to little potholes which lead to bigger potholes and ever more expensive repairs. During the past five years, Perth & Kinross has paid out over £80,000 in compensation claims to people who've fallen foul of the mini craters.



And here are some other numbers to help put those costs in perspective. Below are the top four highest earners in that esteemed local authority, and in both real and relative terms, they're all doing very nicely, thank you.


Chief executive annual salary: £124,128

Depute (deputy) chief executive annual salary: £113,766

Environment service executive director annual salary: £108,519

Executive director annual salary: £108,519

Total Perth & Kinross council annual salary bill. £1,905,408


But do these salaries really have any relevance to the ailing roads repair budget? Or are council chiefs simply paid a fair rate given their peculiar skill sets and contribution to the community as a whole?


You can decide that for yourself. Clearly, Bernadette Malone, Chief Executive (image immediately above) has made her own decision and is comfortably placed to weather the worst that her local highways can throw at her. For everyone else, just remember that it's not only later than you think. Up in Perth & Kinross, it's quite possibly deeper too.


Queen of Sump



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▲ Morgan EV3. Is the future really electric? The Morgan Motor Company based in Malvern, Worcestershire is certainly hedging its bets. The rearranged headlights ought to be LEDs, but no doubt that will come. That's a finned battery in the engine spot. Click on the image for a closer look.


Morgan goes electric with the EV3


An electric production Morgan? Are they kidding? Well apparently not, and we like the idea. Electric vehicles were out there at the birth of the motor car, and they've been whining around the streets of the planet ever since.


But recently, as pretty much everyone is aware, there's been a renaissance, and electric propulsion is currently available on everything from push-bikes to buses, trucks, trains, ships and even aircraft.


So it was only a matter of time before Morgan served up a three-wheeler for the electroheads, and the image immediately above is the result. It's a pre-production model (as opposed to the soft launch Phase 1 EV3 mule revealed in 2015). The vehicle is debuting right now at the Geneva Motor Show (3rd - 13th March 2016).



Power is derived from a (front-mounted) 20KWh lithium battery via a 46kW liquid-cooled electric motor. The vehicle, it's claimed, weighs less than 1100lbs (500kg), and naturally it will weigh 500kg whether it's got a full charge or is near empty, such is the Achilles heel of electric transportation). That said, the weight is still less than the (dry) weight of a conventional petrol-powered Morgan three-wheeler. That's the story, anyway.


Top speed is reckoned to be in excess of 90mph with a 0 - 60mph time of around 9 seconds. In other words, the EV3 is around 10-15 percent slower than its petrol-powered brethren, both at the top end and in acceleration. The range is, say Morgan, 150 miles.


The body, meanwhile, is a mix of carbon fibre and aluminium panels stretched over an ash frame. The firm has developed a new lightweight dashboard and appropriate instruments for the EV3, but has thrown in a conventional looking magneto type switch for traditionalists.


There are two driving modes. Full-on and ... well, half off. Or whatever. Regenerative braking is also available to eek out the range. Standard recharging takes around eight hours. But on a fast charge, that will drop to around one hour.



We can see a small market for this EV3. But the real wonder in our minds is why Morgan has been so conservative with the design. Here, after all, is a golden opportunity for the company to really project itself into the brave new electric future. But instead, it's fallen back on relatively safe territory with a tricycle that, the lack of a visible engine notwithstanding, looks pretty much like its current three-wheeler fare.


The price is likely to be around £25,000 - £28,000, which is pretty much what you'd pay for a petrol version. The first ready-for-sale vehicles are planned for the autumn of 2016.



Del Monte



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Minder Daimler and Capri to auction


Never mind Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, the Batmobile and James Bond's Aston Martin, most of you Sumpsters on the British side of the pond grew up with two very different "motors" in your field of vision. We're talking about Arthur Daley's 4.2 litre Daimler (Jaguar) Sovereign, and Terry McCann's 2.0 litre Ford Capri, and that means we're talking about the long-running TV series Minder which was first aired in 1979 and was finally chopped in 1994.


In total, 114 episodes were produced, and we watched them all at least three times, and we'll probably watch 'em again when they next air. That's because Minder is not so much a TV comedy drama as a historical document. It's as much a part of our lives as The Beatles, or Triumph Motorcycles, or the National Health Service. Or, looked at another way, it's a ruler for measuring the progress of our lives as we look back at how things have changed, and how young everyone once was.


Well now you can own a part of Minder when these two vehicles come up for auction on Wednesday 20th April 2016. The venue is Duxford Air Museum, Cambridgeshire. The auctioneers are H&H. There are no estimates. And we haven't seen a reserve posted.


Both cars are restored, incidentally. The Daimler driven by late actor George Cole (see Sump August 2015) was a familiar sight in the show. You'll recall that Cole, as Arthur Daley, played a spivvy London car dealer with his fingers in a lot of very dodgy pies. He was always upsetting someone, or getting into highly unlikely and dangerous situations. That was why he needed Dennis Waterman, as Terry McCann, to be his "Minder", meaning the bloke who looked after his personal and professional interests and spent much of his on-screen time giving someone a knuckle sandwich.


Cole, we understand, had wanted to buy the Daimler. But the producers had other ideas and it was won in a TV Times magazine competition. Then it was donated to a hospice, was won by some lucky soul who didn't much fancy it after all and stuck it on eBay.


That was 2003. The Daimler was bought by someone else, and as far as we know, that's the guy who's selling it now. But before you get carried away, you might want to be reminded that George Cole drove a lot of cars on the Minder set, including half a dozen Daimler-Jags, a couple of Rollers, a Ford Granada, a Mercedes Benz and (in one memorable episode) a Chevrolet Corvette. Also, the registration number shown on the Daimler at the top of this news item never actually appeared on TV. As a viewer, you would have seen DYO 979V.



But does it matter? You can decide that for yourself. Meanwhile, the white 2.0 Ford Capri driven by Terry McCann (Dennis Waterman) was once destined for the scrapheap, but was saved and restored by a Minder and Ford Capri fan.


The registration number SLE 71R was also used on a Mk1 Capri. Additionally, actor Gordon Jackson from the hit TV series The Professionals carried that number on a Rolls Royce that, we believe, was privately driven by him.


Anyway, that's the story as best we can figure it. And no doubt there are other angles here. But none of it detracts from the fact that these two cars are, to a greater or lesser extent, part of the national consciousness. And if the producers have mixed and matched over the years, the "spirit" of Minder is nevertheless embodied in these eight wheels.


We were trying to round up this story without using Arthur Daley's "nice little earner" catchphrase. But sometimes, you just have to say what's on your mind, no matter how hackneyed and obvious it is. And someone could well make a few bob from these motors. That's the plan, anyway.


UPDATE: "Arthur Daley's" Daimler Sovereign sold for £32,000. "Terry McCann's Ford Capri sold for £52,000.



Big End


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Harley-Davidson's Good V Evel pitch


It's a pretty obvious ploy intended to woo you into your local Harley-Davidson dealership. But you can't blame a motorcycle firm for trying to flog a few bikes.


Here's the skinny. Last August (2015) a documentary called Being Evel was released for general showing. It refers, of course, to legendary motorcycle daredevil (or high-flying lunatic, if you prefer), Evel Knievel.


Harley-Davidson dealers in the UK and Ireland (and maybe elsewhere on the planet) will be hosting a free showing of the aforementioned documentary at a series of events called Good V Evel.




It's claimed to be a premiere. It runs for 1hr and 39mins. And you can view the footage between Thursday 10th -  Sunday 13th March 2016. However, Harley-Davidson's hopelessly klunky press release has told us almost nothing else about the film showing.


Standing? Seated? Straddling a Hog? Popcorn? Cartoons? Audie Murphy main feature? TV screen in the littlest room?


We've got no idea. Instead, the firm was too busy reminding us that each dealership will also be unveiling its entry in the 2016 Battle of the Kings customisation competition.


The idea behind this is for dealers to take a standard Sportster Iron model and customise the hell out of it. The top five entries will turn up at the Bike Shed Show (London) in May 2016, and then there will be another competition round or something and eventually a national champion, or Custom King, will be crowned. This auspicious event will happen at the Wheels & Waves custom lifestyle event in Biarritz, France in June 2016.


Does it all sound a little passé?


Well, maybe we're being a little mean. Some folk like competitions. So if you're one of them, go talk to your Harley-Davidson dealer. And take note that the first 100 punters who step through the door at each dealership will be handed a limited edition print by "up and coming visual artist" Ryan Quickfall. And you can be sure that a Harley-Davidson salesman will call.



2016 Harley-Davidson Sportster Iron. H-D dealers will soon be offering specially customised versions of these for £12,995. But does anyone really wants a dealer custom? The current UK price of a standard Iron is £7,495.



We haven't seen the documentary, by the way. We'd love to, but there's a lot of paint around here at the moment, and someone's got to watch it drying. So we'll probably sit this out. And besides, we've seen all the other tell-it-like-it-is Evel Knievel biopics, and we're all Knieveled out for the time being.


One final thing. Harley-Davidson dealers are restricted to building their custom bike entries for no more that £12,995. After the show, those bikes, at that price, will be available to anyone who wants one.


Don't get us wrong. We love Harley-Davidsons. But just reading the press release gave us a nose bleed, and beyond that it all seems to get more and more complicated, and life's so very, very short.




Big End


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