Well I'm starting to like the Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show more and more each year. The turnout of vintage and veteran machines, including interesting specials has been guaranteed for the last few years.
(ink & water colour)
It was recommended to me by James Robinson of The Classic Motorcycle that I sketch this bike, and I'm so glad he did. This is a totally original Hartley tuned Ariel, right down to the tyres! Lawrence Hartley specialised in tuning Ariel singles in the 30's and well into the 50s. This particular Ariel was ridden by Peter Ferbrache in the early 50s with great success. According to an article on The Vintagent "Ferbrache especially loved to goad the 'ton-up boys' at the Ace Cafe with his ancient and filthy Hartley, winning many bets on point to point races". He also beat a lot of factory machines in road races at the time on this machine.
As well as meeting this machine I also met it's current owner Henry Body, a real living legend. Henry currently rides the worlds fastest Douglas at the age of 80 years old. I asked him about how he got into riding motorcycles and what his first bike was. He got into it through his father when they used to go to grass track racing where his brother used to compete. When at these meetings he and his other brothers would mess about on a knackered 2 stroke. The bike was so bad the accelerator cable was so rusted it eventually gave in. Henry and his brothers came up with a solution though. They stuck a cork in the top of the carb and stuck the needle on full throttle. They would then put a small amount of fuel in and ride the thing round the field at full throttle until the fuel ran out. Not a bad way to learn! For more information on Henry read Paul Townsend's article here:
1928 Rudge Dirt Track Special
(ink & water colour)
After stopping at the Rudge stand for a chat I spotted this Rudge Dirt Track bike, I'm always partial to a vintage dirt track bike. This is quite unusual as it has extra bracing in the external triangular frame that runs the entire length of the bike, to protect the machine. It also has the period knee hook which fixes the leg in position when sliding. These were soon banned as it was pretty easy to break your leg on it.
Congratulations to the Rudge Enthusiasts Club for winning Best Club Stand, well deserved!
Before the show I was commissioned to sketch this Laverda Tripple engine for an upcoming t shirt for the Laverda Owners Club. I wanted to draw the engine without the obstruction of the forks, which was pretty tricky. I love engines with multiple exhausts they are always fun to draw. Images of the shirts will be posted in due course.
1947 Excelsior Auto Byk Goblin
An intriguing cycle motor which caught my eye on my first trip round the show. It was something about the extra fairing to protect the engine. Apparently these were normally discarded, and the current owner had to remake these to get it back to factory specification.
The Wadkin-Snaith 500cc Brooklands Sprint Special:
Work in progress all hand built including the engine!
1980 Yamaha RD350LD Sprint Bike
1936 Tri/JAP Sprint Bike
1939 Excelsior Manxman
Henry Body's Grass Track Outfit,
previously Jack Difazio's 1958 Road Race outfit. The first to have hub steering.
Interesting Velo Sprint Bike with reversed engine
1913 J.E.S. Auxiliary
1952 Paris Rex
Berini Model M13 26cc
1934 New Imperial T.T.
1953 Nimbus Sportsman
Interesting 1930 French machine on the jumble
Ute and MX in perfect harmony