So-Cal Surfshop report


Ah finally a Surfing post!!, and it comes from our dear member Nick Clements (the man behind Men's file) who was hunting last weeks around L.A in search of the vintage things...

The most misunderstood thing about revival style is that it’s actually progressive and not retro. Yes, inspiration can be found from the mid-century epoch, that’s why it’s called ‘revival’, but it’s the context in which designed objects are placed that determines their relevance.
Two great examples of the interpretation and repositioning of objects that draw elegance, dynamism and style from the 1960s and 70s are the coolest of all the Southern California surf shops: Icons of Surf in San Clemente (South Orange County) and The Captain’s Helm in Oceanside (North San Diego County).

Here in Europe at least, Surf retailing has been in a deep rut for the past twenty five years as they have changed from secret grottos containing hard to find polyurethane skateboard wheels, Val Surf t-shirts and rare Birdwell beach breeches to mainstream peddlers of boredom. Supermarkets with racks of Quicksilver, Billabong, Body Glove and O’Neill that have changed little since the 1980s. This is where your uncle goes to buy his Sunday afternoon bar-B-que outfit, this is where you buy your surf ‘uniform’ just to let the whole world know you DON’T surf.

Icons of Surf, San Clemente
Icons of Surf specialises in experimental surfboards ranging from displacement hulls and longboards that look like they have simply been cut in half, to re-makes of Bing’s famous Foil that was the bridge between the long board and short board in the late 1960s. Icons has a BSA Barracuda between the surfboard racks (designed and constructed by hot rod builder Brian Bent) and an original early 1960s keel fin Gordon and Smith long board out on display like a museum of surf. There’s also a full range of wetsuits based on those seen in archive images from The Ranch, Malibu or Rincon.

The Captain’s Helm
Thirty minutes south of San Clemente on the Interstate 5 freeway is the legendary surf zone known as Oceanside. When driving down the 5, take the Cassidy turn-off until you hit the first major street with shops, turn left and the Captain’s Helm is right there on the left side of the street. This store is perhaps even more advanced than Icon’s as it carries motorcycle helmets and accessories as well as their own range of vintage style wetsuits and clothing. There are also records, art and surfboards for sale. It’s also worth noting that their interior design was done by the same hot rod builder who did the racks at the San Clemente store.

Check the last pages of the actual Surfer's journal, you will find an incredible photo shot by Nick last year and featured in this blog there


Marc's WLA


Marc Baier is 40 years old and lives in Zurich in Switzerland. He has a small company of metallurgy and carpentry.
His hobbies are the restoration and transformation of all motorcycles.
He bought this Harley Davidson 6 years ago, in a pitiful state. It was driving but after his first trip to the south of France, the gearbox gave up the ghost.

Then in 2004, he completely dismantled the bike and went back to his taste. Marc is a Bobber addict for the period after the 2nd World War.
The WLA was a model of Harley-Davidson motorcycle that was produced to US Army specifications in the years during and around World War II. It was based on an existing civilian model, the WL, and is of the 45 solo type, so called due to its 45 cubic inches (740 cc) engine and single-rider design. The same engine, in a slightly lower state of tune, also powered the three-wheeled Servi-Car (the "G" family), leading to the "solo" distinction.

Such a Harley-Davidson WLA in 1942, she was imported in 1961 in the original condition. The engine is one of a servicar he purchased 4 years ago. He's doing everything all alone on his bike and ride it every day.

"In this moment it is like decorating the shop for clothes for my girlfriend, who is specialized in selling everything from clothes and accessories from 1930 to 1960. (Dardy Candy Vintage Cat in Zürich)."

Marc thank you for your story and pictures and hope to see you again one day in the south of France.



Collection For Sale

For Sale
this private french collection of motorcycles and parts, every thing must disappear!
including a 500 Monark, Rickman G 80 and Gold Star, Triumph 5T, Matchless G9, Norton Commando Fastback and many others
a dozen of complete engines mosthly Matchless and Norton
Lathe machine, tools and lockers are for sale

all inquiries here: Southsiders.mc@gmail.com


4 Sparks

My wife's 64 Bettle don't start no more since 4 weeks, remember my father said: check gas, check sparks, check compression,
ok Dad will have answer tomorrow!


Conrad Leach


The first time i saw Conrad's works it was during the last Legend of the motorcycles in Half Moon Bay, Cal. where had been invited. This guy is really an unbelievable arist, i invite you to take a look on hi paintings and if you're going to London take time to find him.
I ask Conrad to give the Southsiders a brief story on him, so enjoy.

Norton jack & Conrad


“The Legend of the Motorcycle, The Ritz – Cartlon, Half Moon Bay, California, USA.
May 2008
Conrad Leach was invited to debut a new selection of paintings reflecting his love of motorcycle culture at the Legend of the Motorcycle 2008 event.
The event brings together a selection of privately owned classic motorcycles in the spirit of a ‘Concourse D’Elegance’ style event held over a weekend at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Half Moon Bay, California.”
The subjects of the paintings were :
Norton Jack – The golden age of racing at Brooklands in England.
Banner Racers – Classic 60’s American Road racing.
Lucky 13 – The start of competitive racing in America.
Wyatt – A Tribute to Easy Rider star Peter Fonda.
All paintings were large scale Acrylic on Canvas.
Also available as a series of box framed Giclee prints.

Brooklands George final canvas

Norton Jack

Lucky 13final canvas

Brookland George – Produced for Dunhill, London, 2008 - George Cohen (Norton Single Guru) on his Brooklands inspired ‘Silver Nob”.


An ongoing series of works produced for the Gauntlett Gallery (see attached info sheet).
Gauntlett Gallery is owned by Richard Gauntlett son of the late Victor Gauntlet (previous owner of Aston Martin Motor Company, UK.).
Gauntlett Gallery are My European representation.
A show with Gauntlett is planned in London in 2010.

Bluebird final canvas


An ongoing series of works produced with Hisato ‘Casper’Hamada (my agent in Asia).
Blending western aesthetic with traditional Japanese iconography -
There is a show planned in Tokyo at the end of 2010.

Hata 3 panels no background

Mr Hata and Conrad at the Grosvenor

Whant to see more, his website : http://www.conradleach.com/



"Avions Voisin" C14 Chartre


At the last Retromobile in Paris, I was particularly struck by a French car "Avions Voisin". A blend of elegance (interior) and volume as well as details of finishes make it unique to my eyes. Although very old, the lowered roof gives an almost aggressive look, lenticular wheels are also modern details for the period. For me it was the car of the year...

The Voisin Chartre—the name coming from its factory code designation—was offered during 1931-1932. Its styling achieved the pinnacle of Art Deco design. The Chartre was created by the legendary car designer, Andre Lefèbvre, who penned the bodywork for both six-cylinder and slightly larger 12-cylinder versions simultaneously. The purity of his highly original design, combined with Voisin technical concepts and construction, resulted in a vehicle justly proclaimed to be, "...a diamond of the car industry."

Car mascots were all the rage at the time, in order to prevent worse, Voisin saw no other way than to make his own mascot. His feelings for this piece of ornament are well reflected in the name he gave her: nothing nearly as poetic as the ‘Spirit of Ecstasy”. No it was “La Cocotte”. French for “chicken” or (more commonly in the period) “prostitute”. This Art Deco harlot stood about 23 cm high.

The C14 utilized a 2.4-litre 6-cylinder engine featuring the patented Knight-type sleeve valve design, which helped the engine operate in relative silence. The valving permitted great intake transfer, comparable to a modern multi-valve engine. Gabriel Voisin also discovered that it could take higher compression ratios than poppet-valve contemporaries of the period, so he continued to refine his sleeve-valve engines after numerous other luxury nameplates abandoned them for layouts that were less expensive to produce.

The C-14 drive-line utilized the famed Voisin-developed transfer box system in conjunction with a conventional transmission to effectively provide a low- and high-speed range for each forward gear. It was controlled by Cotal electric relays operated via switches on the steering column. Additional technical features included power assisted braking and Voisin worm-gear steering.

This Chartre is especially rich in the sort of details that characterize Gabriel Voisin's most magnificent automotive creations: the safety door handles, tail lights and luggage compartment fixtures on the sides are all expressive of the great designer's quest for artistic functionality.

Befitting its artistic significance, the interior was re-upholstered in fabrics identical (in structure and colors) to the original Paul Poiret fabrics found in the car—the very detailed work being carried out on a Jacquard loom.

The powerful 6-cylinder Voisin engine and well-balanced chassis make this C14 Chartre a very comfortable and enjoyable car for its era.

The C14 Chartre is a veritable summation of everything that makes a Voisin one of the world's most interesting and distinctive cars. The innovative systems of its chassis and powertrain equipment will certainly fascinate those of a technical bent. And the eccentricities of the car's accoutrements will delight those with an eye for the extraordinary (the safety door handles, for example). But it is the sheer, unmistakable audacity of its lines and the breath-taking modernism of its Art Deco interior that make one almost gasp with amazement—if certain cars are ever to achieve the status of great works of art, surely this Voisin will be among them.

This car is one of two C14 Chartre models known to exist, the second being kept in a Swiss foundation. (In addition, one 12-cylinder example survives.) This car received a Best In Class award for amateur restorations when shown in a special Voisin exhibit at Pebble Beach in 2006. The current owner entrusted the well known UK historic car restoration company of Blakeney Motorsport to re-commission the car as necessary, work to the following areas was carried out: the front and rear axles, brakes, road springs, shock absorbers, steering and the Cotal Gearbox.

Digging the web, I found this other irresistible model the C20 Mylord "demi berline"model with V12 engine, I'm completely struck now!



National museum of Scotland


My friend Gilles from Biarritz just send me these few pictures he took during his last trip to Scotland at the National Museum of Scotland.
I take the occasion to make a brief post on a couple of Scottish stars never forgotten.

Jackie Stewart

Sir John Young "Jackie" Stewart, OBE (born 11 June, 1939 in Milton, West Dunbartonshire), better known as Jackie, and nicknamed The Flying Scot, is a Scottish former racing driver. He competed in Formula One between 1965 and 1973, winning three World Drivers' Championships. He also competed in Can-Am. He is well-known in the United States as a color commentator of racing television broadcasts, and as a spokesman for Ford, where his Scottish accent made him a distinctive presence. Between 1997 and 1999, in partnership with his son, Paul, he was team principal of the Stewart Grand Prix Formula One racing team.

The Tyrell P34

otherwise known as the 'six-wheeler,' was a Formula One race car designed by Derek Gardner, Tyrrell's chief designer, as a response to new regulations due to come into force in 1976. The car used specially manufactured 10-inch diameter wheels and tyres at the front with two ordinary sized wheels at the back. The idea of the smaller front tyres was to increase air penetration and have a smaller 'frontal area' which would reduce drag.
However, smaller diameter tyres would have resulted in a loss of contact area between the rubber and the tarmac surface of the track and hence poorer mechanical grip for cornering. To remedy this, the P34 was given four 10-inch front wheels. Thanks to a complex suspension design, all four front wheels could be steered.

Jim Clark

James "Jim" (or "Jimmy") Clark, Jr. OBE (4 March 1936 – 7 April 1968) was a British Formula One racing driver from Scotland.
He was the dominant driver of his era, winning two World Championships, in 1963 and 1965. At the time of his death, he had won more Grand Prix races (25) and achieved more Grand Prix pole positions (33) than any other driver. He also competed in the Indianapolis 500 five times, and won it once, in 1965.
The Times recently placed Clark at the top of a list of the greatest Formula One drivers.

Bob McIntyre

Robert MacGregor McIntyre (28 November 1928 Scotstoun, Glasgow - 15 August 1962) was a Scottish motorcycle racer famous for five motorcycle Grand Prix wins which included three wins at the Isle of Man TT Races, and four victories in the North West 200. McIntyre died nine days after injuries sustained racing at Oulton Park, Cheshire in August 1962.
He entered competition in 1948 on his only transport, an Ariel Red Hunter, and was soon competing in off-road scrambles. After a few seasons he began road racing, but the roads were not always well surfaced. Bob rode a BSA at Balado Airfield near Kinross. The concrete track had patches of loose gravel, and Bob won three of the four races he entered.

... And Dolly

Dolly (5 July 1996 – 14 February 2003) was a female domestic sheep remarkable in being the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer. She was cloned by Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and colleagues at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh in Scotland. She was born on 5 July 1996 and she lived until the age of six.[3] She has been called "the world's most famous sheep" by sources including BBC News and Scientific American.

Gilles Asenjo is the President of Surfrider Foundation Europe