The 1941 Hesselberg DC-3

Discussion in 'BUILT FROM SCRATCH' started by enbro, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. enbro

    enbro

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    I came up with the name for the bike! :)

    I didn't build this, however my Grandfather did and I now own it. I'd like to show it off in his honour and I'm sure some of you will find it interesting.

    I did mention this in my intro thread, but I thought it was worthy or repeating here.

    Around 1940 my Grandfather worked for a factory in Winnipeg, Manitoba that was building parts for DC-3 airplanes for the war effort. I believe they were making wing parts. Previous to the war the factory built washing machines with gas powered motors for farmers and whoever.

    My great uncle had a 1928 Grindlay-Peerless European motorcycle that he envied. He didn't have the money to buy a motorcycle, so he made his own. He patterned the bike after the Grindlay. My cousin in Vancouver now owns the Grindlay in pieces and has been attempting to restore it, but it's missing a lot of parts including part of the JAP motor.

    The bike is made from airplace grade (I believe it's called 7ST) aluminum, riveted together. A balloon tire bicycle supplied a front tube and wheels and fenders. He riveted skirts on the fenders. The motor is a 4-stroke Johnson Ironhorse, about 1or 2HP. It's a Canadian brand, similar American motors exist like "A half-a-horse" and things with names like that. A homemade centrifugal clutch with what I assume is some airplace brake material supplies clutch power to some chains. A bicycle coaster brake hooked to a chain and pedal supplies stopping power for the enormously crazy top speed of about 20miles an hour! The handlebars are homemade. There are all kinds of little airplane nuts and bolts and levers and things on it.

    The original gas tank is hand made from some galvanized steel and hangs from the crossbar, however he soon realized the carburetor was a suction fed carb so he hastily made a gas tank that sits under the motor. I found the original gas tank and have it mounted for display, but eventually I want to turn it into a reservoir that will feed the lower tank. The ONLY thing non-original is the lower tank...it was leaking profusely so I had a guy weld me a nice aluminum one.

    This could possibly be the only, or at least the first, aluminum motorcycle made in Canada.

    My Grandfather and my mother, circa 1944.
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  2. enbro

    enbro

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    Here is a photo of a couple of unknown bikes powered by Johnson Ironhorse motors. A Johnson Ironhorse enthusiast gave me the photo, origin unknown.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Rat Rod

    Rat Rod Owner & Founder Staff Member Moderator Pro Member

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    Love this bike...such cool lines and a killer stance. :wink:
     
  4. AKB

    AKB

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    That's just awesome! 8)
     
  5. King Zebba

    King Zebba

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    That is totally cool!
     
  6. ballroomwrecker

    ballroomwrecker

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    :shock: :shock: Holy http://i784.photobucket.com/albums/yy124/ballroomwrecker/...../jezus2.jpg
     
  7. dpbrown3000

    dpbrown3000

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    Old-shcool at it's finest - love the black and white pics.
     
  8. enbro

    enbro

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    Thanks guys, I think this is in the wrong category, sorry about that.

    It's amazing what necessity will do to inspire people to create. Necessity is the mother of invention, they say.
     
  9. muddy

    muddy

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    Your grandfather is a legend.
     
  10. Ratfink1962

    Ratfink1962

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    +1
     

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