Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Pro 2010 Al Hartmans Brit-Bike-Barn Bonanza!

No clever, writing on this entry, I'm just too tired with all family activities for three straight days all to be topped off with what many in the Tri-State Area consider to be the closing event of the motorcycle riding season: The Turkey Pro. My dad, the late great Snuffy Smith, started this event (well this particular event  under said moniker) twenty something years ago in our driveway. It has grown, relocated many times over, the last couple of years being held in an hour north of West Chester at Al Hartmans house - A.K.A. the Triumph Treasure Trove. 

Picture below is the behemoth slow race trophy (slowest time around the lap without putting a foot down "wins" this albatross for a full year). The bike in the background is my dads old 58 T110, now owned by Al.

Ok, the pictures should be self explanatory, but I'll try to ID what I can. Below is one of two Vincents that showed up.

I'm not a huge Greatful Dead fan, but I dig the custom paint job on this old Buco helmet. Kudos.

Als garage is a museum. In fact some of Als bikes were featured in the recent Triumph display at the Simone Museum in Philadelphia. Below is a Bathtub Tiger Cub - no not a Tiger Cub, I just noticed it's a twin. 350 or 500. 3ta 5ta or t100a? Notice the lack of points cover on the timing case. The distributor sticks out behind the cylinder making this a 59 or 60.
Cool shop signs.

This, I later found out, was my dads old flat track steel shoe.

Spare parts neatly organized.

Cylinder heads and crankcases, in case you need one. no pun intended.


Ducati, check out that Norton tank on the top shelf.

Everywhere you look theres something worth photographing.

Clocks. Kinda reminds me of the Selvedge Yard blog masthead.

A well sorted shop. I'm jealous...

Need a part? Al has it. 

Triumphs, Nortons and a BMW.



Engine mounts.

Pre Units.

Pipes on a Ladder. Am I being too short and literal? I think so too...


Theres even stuff in the woods!

A friendly older chap explained to me that the reason this fire was so warm was the quality of the hard wood being burned. He identified 3 or 4 types of wood. Who knew? 

More stuff out round back. 

Nice mid-late 60's unit 650 (trophy?)

Well hidden Vincent. if you've got it, flaunt it... or cover it with jackets.

Norton Comando 750.

This was, in my opinion, the most interesting bike of the event. This Pre Unit (Speed Twin?) was one of the Simones show bikes. It looks ratty to the casual bystander, but this relic is a great example of 50's/60's flat tracker with a rich history - which I really need Al's help to fill me (and you) in on.  I'm sure this will warrant it's own post.

Not sure what that shield is. Or is it a bracket?

That profile. Look at that! The rear fender cut to the perfect length. Perfect clearance too (just about none).

Rear sets are simply reversed pegs and gear shifter making it 1 up three down. Once your in top gear you don't shift anyway. Full speed into the corners.

Topless chick on tiger. Perfect logo for this shop. Several bikes in the garage had this sticker. Dealer stickers from the 50's/60's rule.

No Kickstart lever.... Bump only.

No front brake, just a spool.

No rear brake pedal.... look closely at the top tail section. See the cable?

Flat trackers had no brakes. I guess this was intended to fit to a hand lever that could be removed for the race. A hand lever rear brake. Awesome! No brakes during the race means you stop by either completing the race and coasting out though downshifts along with the pack or you crash. At 80+ mph in the corner what do you think your odds would be?

Back to that Vincent (A.D.D.)

Dual front drum brakes.

It's hard to see but there are dual brake cables coming down each fork tube.

Great tank patina.


Triumph Thunderbird. Another fine example.

The sprung hub on this provided a rear "shock" for this rigid frame bike. It probably only moved a couple inches, not even close to what the springs on the seat provided anyway. This technology never survived the years.


Norton. Really nice details. Just "custom" enough to be unique but enough of a nod to the original styling that it's not obnoxious.

Really big thick tires on this Parisian Velomoteur? 

Or worlds smallest fork girders!


Iron Oxide Engineering? Does this belong to Dick Miles?

Yep! The most obscure bike at the event.

Speaking of mini's

The slow race kicked off with me riding a lap on the T110. Then the battle of the babies:

Clay waits his turn on his newly acquired 73 TR5T (Thanks for the update Clay)

Tom Swan from Manayunk Triumph, two time slow race winner goes for a third title.

And he does it. Billy Knox is the reigning champ for most wins, but Tom is catching up. Why doesn't he look happy to be lugging this trophy home for the third time? Event-host Al Hartman looks over Toms shoulder at the beast. a 12 Volt battery wired to the two terminals on the back will light the headlight and  turn signals. That way you can tell you wife that it's functional art when you place it on your mantle. 

Now how is he going to get that home on his bike?

Slowly? *badup bah!* told you I didn't feel like being clever... 


  1. Awesome pix, Matt!! What a GREAT day, and I know your dad was with you beaming from ear to ear every lap of the way!!
    xoxoxox Mom

  2. I like the flat track steel shoe pic. I didn't know your Dad raced in those crazy events. I'm sitting here wondering if I would actually have the stones to do one of those.

  3. Matt-

    Great blog about yesterdays event..however a correction is newly acquired bike is a 1973 Triumph TR5T..thought you knew that after following me for 40 miles over hill and dale up in Bucks County on our way to the event.

    By-the way..the best view of what these steel shoes can do is by trailing behind at a night race. The sparks given off by sliding over rocks in the track can be dazzling to say the least!

    Anyway, I'm glad you attended yesterdays memorial to your father.



  4. Brian
    you have more stones than I for serving over seas! That shoe hung out in the shop at your old house back when brandywine water systems was still there. Yeah flat tracking looks pretty scary, but I'm curious to see if I could learn how to take a corner. Short track racing is a little less intense since the track is only 1/8th of a mile so the speeds are much less. If I could find one that had "track Days" (open to amateurs with no winner or loser) I would try it.

    Clay- thanks for the update on your bike. I thought yours looked different than my tr25 - mine was a single but had the same OIF with the reservoir on the top only (vs the bigger frames that had the reservoir as the main center support as well).. Thanks for letting me tag along on the way up, I had a blast!

  5. Matt, Awesome pictures. The dirt tracker was in a barn in Getteysburgh. Privatly raced novice class. Betor forks suggest it was raced as late as the 1960's. Dirt on the bike is from the last racetrack. I will never clean it off.

  6. Matt, good on ya for keepin on, hope to see you all next year. Snuff's TR6 is still lookin sweet in my garage, I think of him every time I ride it. Say hi to your mom, Peace, SQURL