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damn it. mortality

Started by billy rubin, October 24, 2021, 01:49:59 AM

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billy rubin

shit fire im frustrated. i have just come across an opportunity to buy a pair of rare and unobtanium amal GP2 carburetors



these are the racing instruments that succeeded the earlier GPs of the 1950s. they were used on the gold stars and the BSA spitfires up to 1966. they are incredibly impractical and were superceded twice because other carbs were developed that were simply better. but obsolete or not, the GPs were magical, a state of the art instrument for their time, in the same way that the P51 mustang was the pinnacle of piston engine aeroplane motors and the colt single action army was the beginning and the end of the naturally pointing 19th century revolver. a technological milestone, fascinating for its own sake as a benchmark in the time line of history.

this pair has the original matchbox remote float chamber and the the original mounting bracket. very rare and very expensive, but its for sale, now, today, complete.

i dont care about the money. what bothers me is that i am 65 years old, and the time spent to tune these carbs to my racing motorcycle is growing less and less each season. they are absolutely beyond the pale of practicality. is there a point to their purchase?

my father died at the age of 69. i am 65 stinking years old, and it will take several seasons to tune these things to perfection and see whether they are any better than the keihin carbs i am runnin gright now.

maybe not. but if i can get them for any kind of a reasonable price, ill buy them anyway and see what i can do, because you can never lose money on a pair of GP2 carburetors. but my problem is the more general one,  that i am increasingly having to make decisions about this sort of stuff based on the knowledge that i am likely to be dead soon, and what i leave behind will be an inconsiderate and puzzling dilemma for my lovely wife and children. i think about this every time i contemplate buying a new and obscure tool for the shop, or another motorcycle (i resist that last successfully).

i don't like to cause difficulties for my heirs, but these stinking carbs are a fascinating mental exercise that intrigues me.

i don't care about living. what i am interested in is understanding, the physical world, human culture, people's minds, history and so on. these carbs are an opportunity to comprehend something better, a lost aspect of a lost world of technology.
but its also a lost cause--i ll never understand the world as much as i want to before i die, and these carburetors are a reminder that mortality is inevitably a cut point of unfinished business.


more people have been to berlin than i have

billy rubin

this is a first world problem isnt it


more people have been to berlin than i have

hermes2015

My thought is that you should do it. I think you will always regret it if you don't, as one's regrets are more often than not over the things one did not do, rather than what one did. So what if you don't have much time left? Grab the day.
"Who is to say that pleasure is useless?"
― Charles Eames

billy rubin

lol

remind me never to bring you as a chaperone on any weeekend adventure.

but you know what? im re -thinking maybe you would be the ideal advisor. 

what the hell. this world is a one ticket ride, after all, and nobody ever stood up from tbeir grave and shouted, i should have been more responsible with my money . . .

the seller has gotten back to me and the deal includes an extra carb body and four extra slides.

im going to go to bed and tomorrow i think i will take your very good advice.


more people have been to berlin than i have

hermes2015

Excellent! You will not regret it.
"Who is to say that pleasure is useless?"
― Charles Eames

billy rubin

serilusly now

the only things in my life i regret are when i was mean to people . even when tbey deserved it. 7nnecessary at best. i would try to fix all of those if i could.

but heroically silly adventures into the boundary layer? shirking of reasonable due diligence in all its aspects?

look at me, im all in.

i have emailed the seller and asked him how he wants his money


more people have been to berlin than i have

hermes2015

Quote from: billy rubin on October 24, 2021, 05:24:26 AM
serilusly now

the only things in my life i regret are when i was mean to people . even when tbey deserved it. 7nnecessary at best. i would try to fix all of those if i could.

but heroically silly adventures into the boundary layer? shirking of reasonable due diligence in all its aspects?

look at me, im all in.

i have emailed the seller and asked him how he wants his money

I think we have a deep genetic connection. I am pretty sure if we go back a few years we will find some shared ancestors in Europe.
"Who is to say that pleasure is useless?"
― Charles Eames

billy rubin

im american so im a mongrel

swiss, english, german, cherokee, chickasaw, some french hugenots, seems like therebwere some irish too.

my lovely wife is mixed nordic, sweden and norway.



more people have been to berlin than i have

hermes2015

#8
I am also mixed: French and Dutch on my mother's side. My father's family were German Jewish.
"Who is to say that pleasure is useless?"
― Charles Eames

Bluenose

I say go for it, you only live once.  Buy the carbs.

On another note, in your post you said
QuoteP51 mustang was the pinnacle of piston engine aeroplane motors

I take exception to this statement.  I feel the appropriate holder of the title of the ultimate piston-engined fighter aircraft is the Hawker Sea Fury, powered by the mighty Bristol Centaurus 3,000 HP, 18 cylinder sleeve-valve engine.  The V-12 Packard Merlins in the P-51 produced only about half that amount of power.
+++ Divide by cucumber error: please reinstall universe and reboot.  +++

GNU Terry Pratchett


billy rubin

holy shit the hawker was good for 460 mph.

i stand very much corrected.



prettier than this bearcat too


more people have been to berlin than i have

Bluenose

Thanks for posting the video.  I think IIRC the Sea Fury in that video is technically not a Sea Fury but is what is known as a Baghdad Fury (one of the de-navalised aircraft sold to Iraq back in the day) without a tail hook and as shown in this video currently painted in the colour scheme of the original Sea Fury prototype.  Nevertheless this one still has the Centaurus engine and the five blade Rotel prop.  Far too many Sea Furies have been re-engined with Wright or Pratt and Witney engines and four blade Hamilton Standard props.  I understand why, parts availability and finding people who know how to work on a sleeve valve engine must be beyond difficult, but the aircraft never looks "right" to my eyes after they do this.

My father flew these back in the fifties and I recently bought him a t-shirt that says "Hawker Sea Fury: 460 MPH of whoop-ass".  LOL

I think the Sea Fury is the most beautiful single engined piston powered aircraft ever built, even compared to a lot of people's favourite the Spitfire.  Also, I love the sound of round...

My flying days were spent mostly in the not particularly pretty but very strong and effective Grumman S-2G Tracker.

This was made a few weeks before I joined 816 Squadron aboard HMAS Melbourne, I knew the people in the video very well.
+++ Divide by cucumber error: please reinstall universe and reboot.  +++

GNU Terry Pratchett


billy rubin

Quote from: Bluenose on October 24, 2021, 10:21:42 PM
Far too many Sea Furies have been re-engined with Wright or Pratt and Witney engines and four blade Hamilton Standard props.  I understand why, parts availability and finding people who know how to work on a sleeve valve engine must be beyond difficult, but the aircraft never looks "right" to my eyes after they do this.


i understand that completely. the machines are interesting to me because of what they actually were, rather than what they could be now. like owning an MG TD and loving the car and hating the motor so you drop in a  . . . toyota . . .just so you can drive it. if i were dead id roll in my grave. i i dropped a small block chevrolte into my 1950 hudsn once, but it was because i bought the car without an engine.

i confess i think the supermarines are the prettiest fighters of the second war to my eye though. better looking than the mustangs for sure.

for mutli engine stuff though i think the catalinas were among the most graceful of the machines of that era. i dont know what the 1930s had to make so many wonderful machines. the PBY, the DC3, and so on.

https://youtu.be/5UlKsGXifss



more people have been to berlin than i have

Dark Lightning

I'm getting a raw crotch from straddling the fence between the Supermarine Spitfire or the North American P-51 as the most beautiful design.  ;D They each have their pluses and minuses. Since, as a man, I like curves, the Spitfire usually wins out. Both are beautiful planes.

billy rubin

where i last lived in california was in hollister, south of the bay area. my barn was right at the end of the local runway, and there were three or four millionaires that kept their mustangs there. when they took off they went over my head at about 1000 feet.

spectacular machines.

in the summer the water bombers went over too, but they barely made 500 feet. very ungainly looking they seemed, until you watched their pilots stand them on their wingtips to slip into the valleys dumping flame retardant on the wildfires.


more people have been to berlin than i have