* 5. Why Fit an Engine? The BUMP & other Strange Contraptions

What appeals most to me about the 1910’s is that, with vehicle production still in its infancy, chaps all over the place were not satisfied with what was on offer from the manufacturers. So, after buying a machine, a new owner would often adapt it himself to improve design and functionality.

These days such activities would be known as ‘customizing’ and such deviations from original specifications would be frowned upon by purists. But customizers today and pioneer vehicle enthusiasts of the early years have much in common. For a start, they hammered away at all hours of day and night in their sheds up and down the country resisting calls of spouses and families to engage in normal social intercourse.

What is it about vehicles that turn a man so obsessively that he has no choice but to discard reason and commonsense to prove his personal ingenuity in vehicle knowledge, design, building, driving, racing, restoring (or collecting)?

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This ingenious tricar is illustrated in a 1914 magazine.

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Here’s a patented invention from 1909 that obviously didn’t stand the test of time. I’m sure it couldn’t have been designed for a rider to sit on the bicycle while being transported by the motorcycle. And I assume the front bicycle wheel must have been locked into position necessitating dragging it round corners. Frankly it looks downright dangerous as, unless weighted down with a sack of cement, I can easily imagine that bicycle lifting off the ground if exceeding more than 5mph.

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Published on August 24, 2008 at 1:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

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