Another Auto of Interest

Posted on August 6th, 2015 by Dave under albuquerque custom cars, auto restoration, Uncategorized.


1954 Arnolt Bristol

1954 Arnolt Bristol

Well, I’d heard the name before. Usually I’d thought of them as a British built variant. Like the AC Bristol or the MG Arnolt. I recently learned about an Aston Martin Arnolt (by the way, I want one of these…)

Historically it’s an interesting tale. Starting at the end of WWII as part of the war reparations acts the British were awarded access to many German manufacturers. Essentially the underpinnings are BMW mechanicals. The engine is, I’m told based on an aircraft engine. The engine featured a slightly modified version of BMW’s six-cylinder pushrod engine of 1,971 cc (bore 66 mm, stroke 96 mm). This engine, considered advanced for its time due to its hemispherical combustion chambersand very short inlet and exhaust ports, developed 130 horsepower[1] at 4,500 revs per minutes. In order to maintain a hemispherical combustion chamber, the valves had to be positioned at an angle to the head. In order to drive both sets of valves from a single camshaft, the Bristol engine used a system of rods, followers and bell-cranks to drive the valves on the far side of the engine from the single camshaft. The car weighs in at around 2100 pounds, so acceleration was brisk for the period.

2 Liter BMW

2 Liter BMW

There is  nice write up here rather than me writing it again. Hmm, can’t get that link to link.. copy and paste might work??

This car was recently purchased in Sweden and arrived at my door with some brake issues. Leaking front wheel cylinders, worn linings and rusty Al-fin drums. The brakes are Lockheed as fitted to Jaguar XK 120 and 140 models. The fronts are “self adjusting”, well maybe  ;~)

As is usually the case many of the original parts are missing or have been bastardized in some way. Now begins the time consuming task of gathering the right stuff, which are as rare as hen’s teeth in most cases.

The new owner hopes to use the car for European invitational rallyes and prestigious US based shows. It will likely draw  crowds due to it’s rarity.

Front end view

Front end view



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Road and Track…tandem that is.

Posted on September 6th, 2014 by Dave under Uncategorized.

Just about have this tandem ready to roll.. This is a 1st time try at using a triple crank and an outside timing gear. The spacing was a little tricky but, it worked out just fine and the chain lines are spot on.
This was a track tandem that I decided would never get used in Albuquerque.. (where’s the Velodrome Porter?) The mistake, I may have made is thinking there are a plethora of braze on derailleurs for triple crank sets.. BTW it’s 56/48/30 the timing rings are 46’s 32-12 cassette. The Spirit frame is 11 lbs. The all steel fork is, well steel.. overall built weight is 29-32lbs ish…
I’m going to give the bike to John Frey (Nat. records holder) to use as his own. Hopefully some buyers may notice that steel bikes still work just fine, thank you very much. He already has me roped into a couple century rides in the next month or two.. God how he hurts me… I’m getting too old for this shit..

Spiirit tubes..crazy riders

Spirit tubes..crazy riders


Triple crank-right side/outside timing drive

Triple crank-right side/outside timing drive

Watch for it in a group ride coming soon.. Dave

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The House on Arno NE

Posted on January 19th, 2014 by Dave under Uncategorized.
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A surprising number of folks have asked me about the round adobe house I call home after seeing the couple snippets over on the Picasa gallery. So, OK here’s a bit more about it.

First, Arno. Arno was the name of one of early Albuquerque developer Franz Huning’s sons.  His two other children, Edith and Walter also have streets in their names. The general location is near downtown on the edge of the so called North valley. Officially it is the Stronghurst neighborhood, reported to be the 1st such association in the city’s history. I have not researched all of this but I’m fairly confident someone will quickly point out any errors…

This property is 3/4 of an acre and the neighborhood was re-platted into really odd shapes and sizes in the 50’s and 60’s. It has a SU or special use zoning. This one being part of an old veterinary clinic belonging to the parents of the 1st owner of the hovel, err, house.

The first owner was one Stanley “Ivor” Williams. Williams was a student of Frank Lloyd Wright at the Taliesin West school of architecture. I think this was Ivor’s first house he built, along with a couple friends on a shoe string budget. It was about 1964.

Wright was a fan of plain, simple, low ceiling structures leaving the details to the contractor to figure out on their own. Stanley was in complete agreement and when my ex-wife and I purchased the house it could best be described as a dark, poorly finished cave. She loved it, I hated it. My fate was sealed.

Click on pix to enlarge. Use “Back Arrow” to return to text.

Snow day

This is the picture most have seen. The roof is shaped like a floppy Mexican sombrero, the tallest center structure is the central column from which everything cantilevers from and which houses the heater for cold days like this one..

Early Fall I think

This is roughly the same shot, inside the gate. The floor joists for the main living area are just visible poking through the left side, under the rectangular window. Ivor used wood protrusions through the walls in all his subsequent buildings. These pictured lend themselves to a simple out door table top.

The front door is pretty unique. It pivots inwards on two offset bearings. Note that the threshold is sloped!

To the right of the door is a second addition that the second owner added as a home office or guest room with a bathroom. Good thing too, as I spent the first two years remodeling the round portion!

Image of New Mexico Architecture

This is the south side. Floor joists pretty obvious here. Also note that the swimming pool has a pass through into the interior of the house. More on that later. In the background are the garages and workshop which I added and where I spend most of my days. This pool is a PITA, as the walls at either end make it very problematic to cover, but after a hot summer bike ride, the pool is the best. A true conundrum.

Looking West from the street-see Google maps ;~)

And here is from the North side looking West

..another Google maps view-nice summer day

OK, enough of the outside..

front door and Kachinas

I’m shooting down from the upper lever (that of the joists) and the steps in the left corner ramp gently to the below ground level master bedroom. The shape of the adobe bricks is pretty easy to see.

The Column

With my back to the door, this is the heart of the structure. It was 33 bare 2 x10”s  before I covered it with chicken wire and plastered it. The heater sounded like a C130 taking off when it started and just blew hot air randomly about the open spaces. The low wall to the left was added to keep people from falling onto the entrance level small sitting area, which was previously dirt with a small “pond”. I removed about 1100 wheelbarrow loads of dirt and rock from the inside, which are now large berms used in the landscaping..

Column too

Another shot of the column from the upper level looking back towards the door.

Very NM like space

This shot shows the entrance level, the upper level with the living room in the back left, the kitchen back right and the opening into the master bedroom. The roof joists are visible pretty clearly and why I like the place. It’s like a huge spoked bicycle wheel on it’s side. Nothing much is either level or plumb.

North wall

This is the dogs domain, they are old, this is ground level, no steps to navigate. The door in the background is the bathroom entrance. This was a half height wall originally. Winter bathing was quite cold and pretty exposed, so walls were added, as were the exposed vigas and the Bas relief Kokapelli .

By now I was getting pretty artistic with the plaster so I went for full  effect in the bathroom…

Sun-Moon rain storm..

Bathroom Turtles

Master bedroom entrance

Here’s the base of the column. The ramping brick floor curves up to the next level. The squarish base was added, as there was nothing but a small concrete pad supporting the column (read house!) The storage area doors on the left are about the only thing of Ivor’s that remain. He really liked railroad ties and rough cut lumber. The “circular” is repeated a lot, as in the floor, the master shower, kitchen work surfaces, even the master bed originally.

bedroom details

Floor detail, very big fireplace, adobe banco seating, dirty laundry…


Background is Imelda’s walk-in. The glass blocks face back to the dogs sitting area. The bedroom has an Asian feel, which surprisingly is very similar to Native American design.

Kitchen looking at the West wall

Only one of the living room …

This was a gathering at “the party house” looking from the kitchen entrance south towards the big, what else, round window in the living room.

About the pool in the house, I can’t find a good picture, so I’ll tell you I didn’t like it. No security and an air gap, so I fit a 1” thick piece of Plexiglas, had a guy add rock sides to the gunite and turned it into the new fishpond/water feature. Here’s the winter treatment to keep some of the leaves out of the pool.IMG_5096


Sort of like a Christy draped work of art..

Well, that’s the basics. Now that I’ve started a story, it should be easy to add additional pictures and text as I can.

Thanks for taking the tour.


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More Turquoise

Posted on December 11th, 2012 by Dave under jewelery, Uncategorized.

I had a few hours yesterday to make a ring for my now ex-wife’s collection.

Nevada turquoise on Sterling silver ring

the next one is for me…

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Local IQ magazine article

Posted on June 15th, 2011 by Dave under Uncategorized.

If you are checking out my web entries as a result of this Local IQ magazine article “hecho en Nuevo Mexico”  and if you are a NM cyclist would you please go here and take the survey and hopefully support this effort to get a velodrome in NM.

Many thanks!


PS if you missed the IQ magazine article it is here Well it used to be here! I guess they don’t have an archive..

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Silver Paste part III

Posted on February 8th, 2010 by Dave under Bikes, For Sale, Uncategorized.
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Just in case you readers have been asleep at the wheel, I’ve been adding some sort of Native American style silver and turquoise adornments to my frames.

The economy is still very sluggish and not a lot of folks beating down my door for car or bicycle work so, I have been slowly teaching myself to make some selected bits of jewelry like items. Here are a few belt buckles I recently finished. All are of overlay design and both use the paste silver to both join the layers and to add a pleasing texture to the exposed surfaces

Bear Claw and turquoise

Bear Claw and turquoise

Oso- Bear fetish

Oso-Bear fetish

Turtles emerging from the underworld Stabilized Kingman turquoise and white Buffalo stone on Sterling silver.

Turtles emerging from the underworld Stabilized Kingman turquoise and white Buffalo stone on Sterling silver.

The turtle motif is the latest. These are selling off the shelf as fast as I can make them. Who knew..??

Silver wolf-howling at a silver moon

..and here’s a variation on the howling wolf..

Winter lament

More to come, I reckon.

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