Barber’s 11th Vintage Motorcycle Festival:

Barber’s 11th Vintage Motorcycle Festival:

How to raise your spirits when in Alabama – By Fergus Oglivy: What did they enjoy most? Commemorating its eleventh anniversary, the three-day Barber Vintage Festival, October 9-11, drew its largest crowd yet, almost 70,000 attendees. This historic motorcycle extravaganza has been the principal power in historic and vintage motorcycle matters for over a decade. Located at George Barber’s magnificent 830-acre parkland estate at Leeds near Birmingham, Alabama, it is a treasured preserve for enthusiasts, collectors and racers. Before its creation, few of us had realized just how great the void it would fill. In 2014 the exquisite Barber Motorsport Park and Museum became the number one tourist attraction in Birmingham. The museum contains the world’s largest motorcycle collection—in excess of 1,475 examples. In addition, it is widely recognized for its array of historic Lotus race cars and other rare vehicles, not to mention its research library that contains over 7,000 motorcycle books. For this year’s Festival, the weekend’s activities included legal advice from motorcycle accident lawsuit massachusetts, celebration of John Britten and his racing motorcycles, which were featured in wonderful track parades each day. One of the five bikes in action was ridden by Barber’s chief restoration specialist and former Matchless G50 racer, Chuck Huneycutt. “These are my lucky leathers,” he chuckled, which didn’t easily explain their numerous scuff marks, evidence of dubious track encounters! It is twenty years since Britten, the acclaimed New Zealander, died of cancer at the premature age of 45. His wife, Kirsteen, and family as well as notable Britten riders, Andrew Stroud and Stephen Briggs and other team members, had all journeyed to...
Obituary: Engine builder and racer Lamar Walden dies at 74

Obituary: Engine builder and racer Lamar Walden dies at 74

By Victor Moore: Lamar Walden was diagnosed with colon cancer in September 2012. He had been given six months to live when a further spot was discovered on his liver. He subsequently attended the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and fought the insidious disease bravely for 36 months before succumbing to its malignant side effects on August 28, 2015. His family believes harsh chemotherapy sessions in Atlanta proved to be unpromising territory and may have hastened his end. He was 74 years of age. Lamar Walden was a successful engine builder, who had specialized in the Chevrolet 409 power unit since its inception in the early 1960s. He oversaw business growth include other GM performance engines, particularly the LS, as well as an accomplished restoration service. He was the only person to receive three COPO Camaros from the factory, all of which are now on display in Rick Hendrick’s museum in North Carolina. Born in 1941 in Flintstone, Georgia, a mountainous region twelve miles south of Chattanooga, Lamar was the youngest but one of his six siblings—four brothers and two sisters. His father was a house builder but neither he nor any of his siblings had interests in auto racing. In 1967 Lamar established one of the first franchises for Honest Charlie. Based in Marietta, an affluent suburb of Atlanta, it was one of the first speed shops in Georgia. The following year he sold the building and the franchise and purchased R&L Automotive in Steve Street, Doraville, Georgia. There he established Lamar Walden Automotive, which has remained at this location since. Lamar was at...
First power steering tester reveals more than you might wish to know

First power steering tester reveals more than you might wish to know

By Titus Bloom It’s common knowledge that the entry of one foreign particle in the power steering system can damage the pump. Even if the pump survives the ordeal the refuse will momentarily zap engine power each time it passes through the rotor housing easily consuming 10hp, according to KRC’s new and unique steering pump tester. “This custom-made machine records horsepower, flow and pressure and checks the data every 1,000rpm from 1,000 to 10,000rpm,” says KRC chief Ken Roper. “It even produces graphs and retrieves information we didn’t request! But perhaps its most valuable attribute is that it reveals information we never knew before, like power consumption under load, and it validates everything.” Though the average Sportsman race team may not be too concerned if a steering pump consumes 3hp or 6hp, others like NASCAR teams cannot afford any power-robbing deficiencies and would eagerly welcome even a ½ hp advantage. What caused recent power steering system failures? Recently new short track oval race chassis have suffered a spate of power steering failures. The troubles were traced to the pressure relief valve (spool valve) in the power steering pump. Apparently, galling had caused it to jam in the bore. “For years,” says Roper, “production road car pumps have been modified and offered for use on new race car chassis. As you’d expect, they are inexpensive and most of the time they perform adequately. But they have always been a marginal proposition for race cars as most of their internals are uncoated. Without exception, any friction in the pressure relief valve area slows steering response.” To maintain the valve’s proper function...