The 32nd Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show, held at Stafford County Showground last weekend, once more proved itself as the classic show in the motorcycling calendar, as Show records tumbled...
With guest of honour Giacomo Agostini, the famous Bonhams auction and thousands of bikes on display, not even Sunday’s April showers could stop the crowds from smiling.
Saturday saw a record attendance for the first day of the event and even on Sunday, when torrential rain and gales kept most of the midlands indoors, the Stafford halls were still packed with thousands of classic bike fans admiring the bikes and looking for that elusive, special part.
Traders reported good business and there was the usual stream of happy riders, striding between stalls, clutching their prized new mudguards, carburettors and assorted other motorcycle pieces.
Brian Hill, MD of Mortons Media Group Ltd (which runs the show) said: “We, like most people, had been watching the forecast all week and were prepared for a quieter than normal show. But the punters, exhibitors and traders were brilliant all weekend. Proof, if it were ever needed, that the classic motorcycle movement is truly something special.”
Dirt Bike Experience
CDB editor Tim Britton was overseeing the Classic Dirt Bike experience on the periphery of the Show buildings ably assisted by multi-world champion Yrjo Vesterinen, multi-Scottish Six Days Trials winner Mick Andrews and multi-British champion Sammy Miller. To the delight of the crowd around the Dirt Bike Experience Hall the three superstars of the feet-up world played up to the crowd, sportingly demonstrating their skills which have been finely honed over a collective period of 60 years' competitive riding.
Many a member of the audience went away with food for thought for practice. We even managed to get multi-world road racing champion legend and Mortons guest of Honour Giacomo Agostini in action in a sidecar outfit around the trials course!
Unfortunately, Sunday's weather bore out what the Met Office had been predicting and our trials demonstration became a well attended indoor trials school with the three superstars from the trials world bringing whoops of delight from an appreciative crowd.
Also on display was Classic Dirt Bike's project feature bike, the Can-Am 250cc, which has been fully rebuilt by experts and is now a competition prize. Visitors to the main Mortons stand were swarming our Honda GB500TT cafe racer competition prize, valued at £5,000. If you haven't entered the Honda competition yet, there is still time but you will need to register, which is free and takes seconds.
The Saturday soundtrack in the background was an endless and deafening stream of two and four-stroke ex-racers and specials being fired up in the Classic Racer paddock, with much applause from paddock onlookers.
Best in Show
The real stars of the Show, of course, were the bikes. Best in show was awarded to Graham Nock’s 1965 DMW Typhoon, the incredibly rare twin-cylinder racer taking top honours in the face of tough competition (the blue bike, middle image). One of only two ever completed, the 500cc DMW was an attempt to provide road racing privateers with a truly competitive affordable racer. Interestingly, nearby stood an example of what was intended to do the same thing nearly 35 years later, in the form of Alessandro Altinler’s 1999 Aprilia RSW500 – another two-stroke twin cylinder racer which didn’t quite ‘take off’ in the way it’s maker had hoped.
In the Bonhams auction, the ‘big hitters’ duly delivered, with the SS100 Brough Superior knocked down at £242,300 (with the winning bidder delivering a clenched fist celebration!), the Series A HRD Rapide £225,500 and the last ever Series C Vincent Black Shadow realising £124,700. All prices include premium, but not taxes.
All visitors were utterly in awe of the three American Crocker V-twins. Known as the ‘Duesenberg of motorcycles’, Crocker is the definitive American motorcycle – handmade, powerful and fast. Al Crocker famously advertised that if any of his bikes was ever beaten by a stock Harley-Davidson, he would refund the owner’s money. (No refunds were ever requested.) When the Show finished, the bikes were whisked back into storage by Bonhams, in preparation for their trip to an auction in the States in August.
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