The Carole Nash Classic MotorCycle Show celebrates its 40th birthday this April, and Sammy Miller has attended every single year. You can depend on finding the most exotic and intriguing machines from the Miller Museum on display at the Stafford Show, and this year Sammy is bringing along two extra-special classic racers…
The first of these is the astonishing supercharged, liquid-cooled, split-single, two-stroke Grand Prix 350, designed by Joe Ehrlich. The 1948 version of the EMC machine features a tubular steel duplex frame with cast aluminium ‘backbone’, upside down 38mm Dowty oleomatic forks, tubular steel swinging arm and twin shocks, a four-speed Burman gearbox and twin 28.5mm Amal carbs.
The EMC 350 ran 7.4:1 compression, produced around 40bhp and was good for 90mph or more. It weighed less than 300lb dry and was fitted with a five gallon petrol tank for the IoM TT races. The machine was entered into the 1948 Junior TT with Les Archer in the saddle – but the sudden ban on supercharging meant that the bike’s ‘ladepumpe’ suoercharging piston broke the new rules. But although the EMC never got its 15 minutes of fame on the track, it now wows the crowds at the Miller Museum. And you’ll find it on the Hagon stand at Stafford on 25-26 April 2020.
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Rubbing shoulders with the EMC is a rather later GP racer – this one a really rare Bianchi Bialbero of the type raced by Remo Venturi. He won the 1964 on one of two 454cc Bianchi bikes, designed by Lino Tonti. Its stablemate was never assembled, so the Miller Museum bought it in bits. Their engineer then spent many painstaking hours assembling the twin-spark 454cc machine – no easy task given the gear-driven overhead cams. The Bianchi output 72bhp at 10,200rpm, and would easily spin the rear wheel under enthusiastic acceleration. The Bialbero’s engine performance was matched by new brakes developed at Bianchi; a 4ls front stopper and a 2ls drum at the back.