lördag 1 december 2012

'The Hammer' / Speed-E-Shift Dragracing Prototype

I finally found my foot shifter, I can't believe it! And the one I found turned out to be something a lot more gnarly that I could ever imagine, now I may have limited imagination but just look at this magnificent portion of racing history!

This is a single unit Speed-E-Shift with the clutch pedal integrated in the frame! And since it’s got the Speed-E logo stamped on top of the molded weld that holds the clutch pedal I would say this one was a special order from the ‘factory’...

Now I know I’ve seen some old black and white photo of what I remember to have been Frenchy LeBlanc using one exactly like this one on a dual carb Knucklehead sometime in the early 1950’s. However, I can’t seem to find the photo right now – it was in a magazine or in someone’s collection and not online.

Since all pedal action is downwards only, the Speed-E-Shifters came with this neat little handlebar lever that is used to reverse the mechanism, pull it and the shifter will shift back down through the gears again. There was two types of handlebar levers available for Speed-E-Shifts; 1950's Panhead Police siren levers and one other slimmer type.

This construction is so genius it's almost mortifying, the front lever makes sure you find neutral while shifting down and the other lever is activated when you pull the handlebar lever to shift down. Now you need to start in the gear you stop in, so I guess I'll need some practice.

Just look at that beautiful Logo and Patent Code stamped on top of the pedal mount, this fact would have to mean the modification was done at the Speed-E-Shift 'factory'. Since I saw the Speed-E the first time I always wanted one more than anything but considering how hard they are to find and also how much money they go for I didn’t even really look for one, and this time that was what did the trick.

Just look at that knurled pedal, I won't be able to feel fear or hunger ever again.

The shifter frame, if you compare it to the standard Speed-E-Shifters, is moved forward and mounted on the bike about 1” closer to the front, watch the rear bend in this shifter frame (right where it bolts up to the oil tank mount) that bend's got more of a 75 degrees bend than 90 as on the regular Speed-E-Shift frames, and the front mounting holes up front are drilled about 1” back to compensate. This Speed-E also mounts real low, real nice and tight against the primary. At first I couldn’t understand why they changed the way it bolts up to the bike, but after I bolted it up to my own bike I think I realized why it’s built the way it is - because of dual carburetor clearance! And also to get a good clutch rod angle, even the pedal is shaped to give perfect clearance for a dual carburetor setup.
Can it get any better..?

24 kommentarer:

  1. To answer your question...NO it can not get any better!

  2. someone please pick up my jaw of the floor

    How the hell did you find it!!??

  4. What the fuck ?? Had no idea such a beast even existed but it's only right and just that it ends up in the hands of a bloke with such an incredibly limited imagination . . . the Electric Kool Aid Shifter Test, swapping cogs by the power of Psychedelia since 1950.

  5. This is on another level of cool
    and I've seen a lot of cool parts in the past
    great score Nicke!

  6. Fuck! I have never seen anthing like it!

  7. And we thought all rare parts ended up in Japan, well fuck Japan!
    Sweden's where it's at!

  8. Den här kommentaren har tagits bort av skribenten.

  9. looks like you found the true holy grail of vintage parts

  10. You motherfucker! I can't believe it! Coolest fucking thing I've seen!!!

    All hail the Hammer!!!!!

  11. Grooovey! A speed e shift is a wet dream to own. This piece is in the right hands. Congrats man!

  12. I see there is another Knucklebuster leaving comments. I have changed my signature to KNUCKLE BUSTER 1939 to avoid confusion...
    You think maybe it is lower and forward to fit on a Big Twin Flathead with the carb on that side?

    1. Ok buddy, dude when I bolted up this shifter to the dual carb Knuckle it seriously looked like it was built for it, perfect carburetor clearance, the pedal sticks out a bit to the side and sits just in front of the front carb, while a Lee pedal or something like it would make your foot hit the front carb. But it's possible someone ran it on a side valve too of course even though I've always thought of Speed-E's as more of a OHV deal.

  13. Just a thought...but reconsidering what they were made for...speed, you are probably correct.

  14. I changed my name from knucklebuster to 1946 EL now, sorry for the confusion and I love your blog

  15. Nicke, Sorry for this, but I just found your Email in my junk box, so I thought I'd respond here instead.

    At first, from your Email description, I thought maybe it was a Speed-E that Bob George had made. Quite a few of the Speed-E's that are around today actually came from Bob. Rick Labriola has two of Bob's. But, now that I see the photos here, and the Speed-E logo stamped on it, I have no idea. I have never seen any Speed-E's set up like this one is. Ha! You stumped me, and I'm no help whatsoever (sob!).

  16. So when are you going to offer repops?


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