back to article Bloke straps shed to Ford Zephyr and chases it on bike

Reg reader Richard Smith has called for one Brit to be awarded a Special Projects Bureau medal after strapping a shed to a Ford Zephyr and and chasing it on a bicycle. Custom bike frame wrangler Tom Donhou hit 128km/h as he powered his improbably-geared machine behind the classic motor. The project wasn't planned to break the …


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  1. Steven Jones

    Key component

    Of course the thing that made Fred Rompelberg's 167mph possible was the traditional Brooks leather saddle he used. Proper British craftsmanship...

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So he was actually pushing the Zephyr with the bike?

    Wow. Otherwise I have to believe it is fake.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So he was actually pushing the Zephyr with the bike?

      Technology has made the world a smaller place, 80mph today is not the same as 80mph back when that car was built, obviously.

      They've even had to slow the sun down or it goes round too quick.

  3. jungle_jim


    Pleased he is sticking with OSF too :)

  4. Gilgamoth

    "I feel the need, the need for speed!"

    I'll get my coat ;-)

    Seriously though, they say invention and adventure is dead, well wake up British media (present company excepted) it's out there, you just have to want to show it instead of the reality drivel that clutters our TV from morning to night. Raspberry Pi, Dyson, Trevor Baylis, Thrust SSC and things like this are what make Britain great

    1. TheProf Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      I agree

      Also the film contained more science and less wobbly camerawork than many a recent Horizon.

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

        Re: I agree

        Arguably last sundays TopGear contained more science and engineering than many a horizon.

        **shudder** how did things get so bad?

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      who invented Trevor Bayliss?

      Just wondering

      1. Gilgamoth

        Re: who invented Trevor Bayliss?

        I'm assuming his Mum and Dad ;-)

    3. Nuke

      @ Gilgamoth

      Wrote :- "Raspberry Pi, Dyson, Trevor Baylis, Thrust SSC and things like this are what make Britain great"

      Some funny choices there.

      Dyson :- A guy who moved his factory to Malaysia, making 800 British workers redundant

      Trevor Bayliss :- A guy who wants to patent everything

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: @ Gilgamoth

        Bayliss got fucked over for almost every single one of his inventions, can hardly blame the guy for wanting to get some protection.

      2. Gilgamoth

        @ Nuke

        That maybe, but it doesn't detract from the fact that their inventions have helped change the world around us.

        And how many R&D jobs are still in this country BECAUSE the company is still around to employ people at all?

        As for Trevor Bayliss, just look at the number of wind-up torches, mobile chargers, radios et. al. And all based on his simple concept, of course he'd want to protect his ideas wouldn't you?

        Both ideas were the snowball that started an avalanche of progress.

        1. Nuke

          @Tom38/Gilgamoth - Re: @ Nuke

          Defending Trevor Bayliss ? A bit different from El Reg comments on him on previous occasions. Try these shit storms of ridicule, from which I take one choice quote each :-

          "there were hand cranked radios at least as far back as World War II, so he definitely didn't invent the general concept. A cursory search on Google Patents reveals a 1942 patent for a "Spring Driven Electric Generator" by Robert Leslie Haynes et al"

          .. from which the very first comment was :- "Trevor an unmitigated prick, as anyone who has ever seen or heard him speak will know full well"

          A clockwork radio is in the realms of the bleedin obvious. If I'd needed to make one it would have been simple enough and it would not have entered my wildest dreams to have patented it. I would not have "wanted to protect my idea". In fact, as an engineer and hobbyist myself, similar in some ways to Bayliss, I have had many ideas, and constructed them (or, at work, have had them made), but would never dream of entering the patent minefield. They have been used by my employer, or just for myself, or once as a hobby magazine article for anyone else to copy. How many R&D jobs do you need for a clockwork torch ? - sounds like a variant on the light bulb joke.

          BTW, Dyson is a sack of shit. My wife has had to deal with him personally in business matters, and he is quite different from the charm act he uses in public.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I recognize Cliff in that video. He made the track control rod on our pedal racing car.

    It's already been and gone this year but if you find yourself at a loose end in the new forest next summer the pedal car grand prix is a nice diversion and a few Royce creations can be seen in action.

    1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Royce are a proper british engineering company well known to the cycling fraternity and famed for their high quality components. Was cool seeing them in that vid.

      1. Brian Morrison

        Too right, I still have my 1982 Hill Special frameset fitted with a Royce Racing titanium spindle bottom bracket.

  6. darklord

    Capri , Ultimate Chav car

    No chance the Ford Capri long expired and crushed way before Chavs where even thought of.

    My guess is FHM (the Chav mag) got confused between Capri and Corsa.

    Which we all know is the ultimate aspiration for chav teens or Seat Ibiza for the slightly more well off chav working at Maccy Ds.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Capri , Ultimate Chav car

      Was thinking exactly the same thing, about the Corsa. Even back in those days, chavs would have been driving an XR2, if they had a moustache, or an XR3i if they had a job.

      FHM, pfff. The Capri's a "Professionals" car :)

      1. NoOnions

        Re: Capri , Ultimate Chav car

        I think even the XR2 and XR3i pre-date Chavs? I had an XR2i (much better looking than the XR2 IMHO), back in the day. I had a job, but no moustache...

      2. MJI Silver badge

        Re: Capri , Ultimate Chav car

        XR Fords - I remember them well, commonly seen in rear view mirrors.

        Boy racers, nothing like deflating a couple revving at traffic lights, riding between them, and beating both of them, on a 250!. However a Cossie Sierra took a 600 to leave it behind.

        XR3is seemed to crop up everywhere, often picking on smaller Rootes Group cars, lets just say the old high compression Avenger 1600 engine is very pokey, and please check the Sunbeam engine options.

        Had a draw in a TLGP against a 2.0 Capri while driving an Avenger estate! (I knew them)

        Even my mum in a Reliant 3 wheeler had a XR3 try it one once.

      3. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Capri , Ultimate Chav car

        and if you were a dad with kids you had an XR4

  7. ElReg!comments!Pierre
    Paris Hilton

    Slick video, but too wide-angled

    It should have been shot from much closer, from time to time we can make out identifiable mechanical or body parts. Surely a mistake. There's even a whole _face_ at one point, inexcusably wide shot, surely anything larger than a pimple is too wide to be shown in its entirety in any self-respecting video these days.

  8. MJI Silver badge

    Different rider?

    What would happen with say Chris Hoy on the bike?

    1. Steven Jones

      Re: Different rider?

      Nothing different would happen if Chris Hoy was on the bike, as it was the Ford Zephyr that ran out of steam first. In any event, it's probably more suited to a pursuiter than an out-and-out sprinter.

  9. Vic

    The idea isn't new...

    David le Grys tried much the same in 1985 with a Rover SD1.


  10. veeguy

    Very impressive but he could have avoided all the specialized engineering and construction of his bike by simply attaching a 3 foot tow rope to the auto's rear bumper. Something similar was tried by another record seeking bicyclist, but he reversed the sprockets. Unfortunately he did not succeed, painfully blowing out his knee at 3700 RPM.

    As to the Brooks leather saddle, it's manufacture was featured on an episode of "How its made". It is very comforting to see a hand crafted product still being made in traditional ways in this world of injection molding.

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Ah, How It's Made - a fave in the Haines household

  11. Martin Budden Bronze badge
    Thumb Up

    Great stuff!

    A couple of days ago I reached 71.1 km/h while skiing (yes I'm boasting now, what of it?) and that felt bloody fast*, so I'm impressed by this guy's 128km/h.

    *of course I did have the wind in my face, not a shed.

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