Friday, January 1, 2010


Unless you're in Australia, New Zealand, South America, or South Africa, in which case, enjoy your riding season! Those of us north of the equator are struggling with very thick oil...

This Velocette Venom Clubman was photographed in the winter of 1963 by Gerald Grimes, whose father Leslie Grimes was a noted cartoonist, typically depicting motoring or motorcycling vignettes (for the Motor Cycle), and had a regular gig penning political comics for the Star.

Leslie Grimes' illustrations are the visual backbone of the delightful 'The Motor Cycle Book for Boys', published by Illife in 1928. His color paintings in goache and line ink drawings are distinctive and capture the romance of an era. Motor Cycle magazine intended to publish its 'boy's book' annually (it even says so on the cover!), but sadly, there was only one, and now it's difficult to track down.

While intended as a primer and enticement for 'boys', the content makes for good reading, and the illustrations are excellent. The center spread of motorcycle petrol tanks in full color is worth the price of admission, and this image was used as the endpages of some editions of Erwin Tragatsch's book, 'The Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle', which is available in several editions nowadays.