Gyronaut X-1 Restoration
Over the past several years, the Gyronaut’s chassis has been meticulously restored personally by Bob Leppan, using all of its original components. The highest priority was placed on maintaining its originality. So much so that even the damaged front suspension was repaired using its original pieces. There is, however, still much work that needs to be done to restore the rest of the Gyronaut back to its record-breaking, show-winning days at Bonneville.
Here’s where we need help and where you can be a part of the Gyronaut’s historic journey back to the salt…
Amal GP2 Carburetters
The engines are entirely original to the last day the Gyronaut rode at Bonneville. After the crash, Bob Leppan's plan was to build an entirely new streamliner, this time powered by two Triumph Trident engines. That effort never came to fruition, so the Gyronaut's two original Bonneville 650's, each using Sonny Routt's 820cc kit, sat and waited several decades for attention. Their final Bonneville run was on nitro when Joe Petrali of USAC timed the wreckage tripping the measured mile clocks at over 264mph! Amal has offered to clean and rebuild the original GP2's that breathed life into the twin Triumphs. The same GP's that fed Gyronaut are still available direct from Amal. Imagine what they can do for your bike!
Amal Matchbox Remote Floats
The Amal GP2's were each fed by a pair of Amal's Matchbox remote floats. These provided plenty of go-juice to the very thirsty 820cc engines. Even running at an ear-splitting 8000rpm, the Matchboxes never failed to deliver the fuel mixture in mass quantities. Please click on the Amal sponsor link to see their vintage line of products as well as their latest technology offerings.
Triumph Bonnevilles, x2
The Gyronaut's original Triumph Bonneville engines are packed with the period's best performance equipment from a Who's Who list of performance part suppliers. Bob Leppan himself was given his choice for the engine casings during a plant visit in the U.K. He carefully hand-picked each part for fit and finish specifically for the Gyronaut. Inside the housings, he and Jim Bruflodt filled them with Molly forged pistons, Harmon and Collins camshafts, valve springs by Sparks and Witham, Lucas Racing magnetos, and one-piece cranks.
These engines have all their original parts still enclosed in the housings. They deserve a complete reconditioning and cleanup to get them running again for their return to the salt. They even still have their original Lucas spark plug wires from the final run.
Triumph Racing Transmission
Triumph Racing originally provided the close-ratio 4-speed transmission for the Gyronaut. It valiantly held up to the brutal punishment of the two twin Triumph powerplants. From 1964 all the way through 1970, there was no other choice but the Triumph pre-unit transmission. It will need a going through and a cleaning...
Back in the day, anything that wasn't hidden, painted or polished aluminum was targeted for chrome plating. So it's only fitting that the Gyronaut has its fair share of the iconic element. From its exhaust pipes to the brackets for the twin gas tanks, and many parts in-between, the chrome highlights the outstanding workmanship that went into every aspect of this record-breaker. All that chrome is sure to catch the eye of everyone trying to get a closer look into the engine compartment and creates a perfect opportunity for showcasing a potential plating sponsor's craftsmanship...
The Gyronaut's body was originally built by Vince Gardner to Alex Tremulis' specs. A master craftsman and lifelong hot rodder, the body carries both men's passion dating back to their work at Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg. There were originally five body parts, and although the body was repaired and prepped for taking new molds in the early 1970's, there is still significant work to be done. The engine cover and driver's canopy both are missing and will need to be fabricated from the original drawings and detailed photographs. The remaining nose cone, tail section and belly pan each are in need of minor repairs, finishing, and paint. The Gyronaut's futuristic styling helped shape many record-breakers to follow. A great opportunity to highlight outstanding 'glass work...
The tail section was repaired and prepped for molds using all of its original damaged pieces. There is still some 'glasswork to be done to repair the damaged dzus fastener holes as well as preparing the body for paint. After painting, the plan is to have "Wild Bill" recreate his lettering and pinstriping exactly as he did it back in the 1960's.
Please visit the sponsors who are helping with this remarkable restoration...