When you’re an ex technical director for the BAR Formula One team and then a chief engineer for the Jaguar racing team plus designer of numerous race cars, what do you do when you retire? Well, if you’re Malcolm Oastler, you head back home to Australia and build a V8 powered cafe racer that looks extremely tidy and sounds like a old street rod.
Malcolm started with a 2351 cc V8 out of a 1959 Simca Vedette, an engine based on the Ford Flathead which is what I thought it was when I first saw the video. There have been other flathead powered motorcycles around, appearing very Harley like but none as compact or good looking as this. Malcolm’s design skills are very much in evidence here.
The frame and running gear are BMW boxer and the Simca V8 engine has been modified with new mounting points for the front and rear frame sections. A large aluminum fuel tank was fabricated along with custom handlebars that extend back to keep ergonomics in line. If you’re not familiar with a Ford flathead, you might be confused by only six header pipes but that is because the center cylinders share a single exhaust port.
The engine sounds just like an old flathead should and the riding video shows you what an ample supply of torque will do as he does roll ons and even starts out in 5th gear.
The build video is great because he walks you through the whole process step by step adding pieces one at a time so you can see how it all comes together.
From the dates on the early videos it looks like this bike has been out there for several years or at least under construction for that long, but I’ve never seen it before.
What a wonderful build by an obviously very talented builder! A big thanks to Greg who sent this info my way. It’s much appreciated.