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  • My goddess! This one of the most amazing instances of synchronicity I’ve seen in a long time. I was down in Nuevo Laredo last weekend, looking for a good price on a bottle of Tres Generaciones, and I still can’t believe what I found. Coming up the steps after crossing the bridge, I was accosted by the usual offers of diet pills and doctor’s prescriptions. And then I heard a soft voice say, “Spagthorpe.” I couldn’t believe my ears. He repeated it, and against my better instincts, I followed.

    In a ramshackle, well, shack out back of the Cadillac Bar, covered in straw, stood what has to be the only surviving bike from the ill-fated production run of the Spagthorpe Motor Compania Mexico, N.A. This is the bike built on the lines of the old line Cocker Spaniel, but with the modified, infamous 3/1-stoke, “Hammerhead” engine. The piston is a doubleheaded affair, with a combustion chamber at each horizontally opposed end.

    This was the two piston, four cylinder, 357 cc, dirt machine that was so popular with bootleggers during prohibition and later with drug runners. Dubbed the “Chihuahua,” legend has it that the vibration on this thing was so severe that it could actually shimmy over water, making Rio Grande crossings ridiculously easy. In addition, it was rumored to run on tequila, allowing ’leggers to trade profit for distance when being pursued.

    We began negotiations over a bottle of Hornitos Reposada. I couldn’t believe the bugger was trying to negotiate in centavos, but we kept at it, shot after shot, lime after lime. Despite knowing that I would wake up the next morning with a hangover, almost assuredly in the gutter, probably naked, and possibly with a headless Barbie doll with a phone number scratched in the back, I managed to conclude the deal.

    The bike is in terrible shape, and customs will no doubt dog me for a longtime, but I’m making this a project bike. Anyone know where I can lay my hands on a T-joint piston rod and an ambidexterous wrist pin?


    Spagthorpe Home From: Brad Blumenthal (
    Subject: Re: Spagthorpe odyssey
    Date: 1992-08-10 10:34:46 PST
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