A Jawa Mustang Racer !!! ???
I spotted a JAWA Type 23 Mustang at Netley Marsh Autojumble on Saturday. I thought for a moment that it was a made up project bike but extreme close inspection revealed that the tail end metalwork had been machine pressed into shape. The expansion chamber exhaust system was indeed made for the bike with factory standard welds and convoluted to clear the sump plug, frame lugs, controls and normal Mustang features, to exit into an end can derived from a Mustang exhaust system complete with baffle. The welds are to JAWA factory style and finish and the system is bloody well made so this could be a JAWA factory system.
The fairing is as for the Mustang except that it has the headlamp bubble hole covered by a cover section manufactured and attached onto the fairing. There is also a blanking piece to cover the normal gap behind the front wheel with a hole for engine cooling. The speedo reads 310 miles. The front mudguard welded on brackets are missing, removed or never been welded on at the factory. The electrics had the basic alternator to coil with the unused road bike redundant wires just hanging loose. I figure that the lucky bike was diverted off the production line and just ended up as a racer. It has no chassis plate either. The guy had found it in a shed, along with a Colsta framed YAS1 125cc racer and a 250cc racer. It had been there some time so it hasn't run for a long time.
The gear shift lever is different from stock and the footpegs are mounted further back. The gear shift pedal is on the swing arm pivot and is a special factory version with a mecano type holed L shape mount and the shift to actuator rod is fully adjustable in travel and movement via screw attachment as opposed to normal road going Mustang sloppy bent tent peg type gear shift arrangement. It is a JAWA factory standard part on close examination and not a homebrew fabrication. It is this feature that convinces me that this is an off the shelf factory club racer variant of the road going Mustang. There is no kickstart lever or centre stand. The rear sprocket is JAWA but strange looking for a Type 23 with a racer type bolt on metal type sprocket arrangement.
The guy asked me if £600 is a lot for it and I said that Mustang go for around £150 to £200 for runners. I know every other manufacturer made clubman racer versions of road bikes during the 1960s and 1970s but did JAWA do this with the Mustang?
The next day I took the workshop manual with me and made comparisons between the models. It was interesting as to what was missing compared to the production versions. The non fitting of normal lugs and brackets for road versions, the trick race pipe that custom fits the bike, the machine welding of the whole exhaust system. The whole bike is a bit too well made for a homebrew special. The tail piece was metal and machine pressed with all the bolt holes jig drilled. The fairing is narrower than the road going Mustang especially at the bottom were it narrows in. There is a screw panel on the lower right side next to the points panel and is shaped the same way. It is held in by 3 screws.
So what is the possibility of a European market club racer finding its way into the UK way back? It is interesting to investigate more on the racing versions of JAWA road bikes.
Words by Andy Reid, pictures by Les Packer.