Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Uttoxeter Motorcycle Show

Although the 4th Uttoxeter Classic Bike Show and Autojumble, organised by the VJMC opened its gates to the public at 09:30, Ian and myself did not arrive in the parking area until 10:00. The reasoning behind this is simple. Let the early queue to get in disperse and to have a look around the bike park to see some fine machinery.
The Triumph, or should that be BSA? Trail Blazer seen below was one of many British motorcycles to be seen in the parking area.

Back in 1975, Ian was just a zit faced sixteen year old lad. On returning home from a family holiday his father stopped off at a motorway service station. In the car park on that rainy day there just happened to be a motorcycle, on its sidestand, away from all other vehicles,

and so thank you Kawasaki for producing the Z900 and setting one young oik* on the winding road of life with a target to aim for. He had no money in the bank and one year to go before he reached the age to ride a motorcycle. The rest as they say is history.

Honda were well represented in the parking area. Two machines that caught my eye were this very tidy CL450

and this CBX1000 that manages to out ‘Sei’ the Benelli 750 Sei. The Sei was the first production six cylinder road motorcycle, based on Honda’s CB500, it was stunning with its 6-6 exhaust system. The production model of the CBX had a 6-2 system, however this particular example was something else!

Rapidly fading into history are the old prejudices and the “Jap crap” remarks, as could be verified by the fact that many British motorcycles were on display inside the show.
This was obvious from first setting paw and foot into the show ground. Immediately on the left, in the Paddock Pavillion building was the Vincent HRD club. They sandwiched the Parade Ring, where during the day several owners were interviewed and their machines run, with the BSA Gold Star Club. It was an oversight on my behalf that I forgot to get any photographs of any of these machines.

Swiftly moving on, Ian and myself entered the Staffordshire Stand building. Just to the right of the doorway was a sad looking machine with its machine details card stating ‘This bike was saved from the skip, people ask why!!’

I recall that previously Affer and myself have had a little discussion on this motorcycle(?). The owner was not to be seen. I wonder if he has heard about the Ariel 3 Museum in Bristol?
Occupying the area next to the Ariel was a small collection of GPO Motorcycles owned by John Lawrence.

These were accompanied by the helmet, gloves and telegram satchel from the correct era.

A brief history of the telegram messenger service can be found here.

Ian and myself spent a while chatting with John about his collection and also discovered he was once a messenger himself.

Ian and myself then continued to look around the other exhibits in the room, taking photos of one of the motorcycles in particular, more of which at the end of this post.

There were several trade stands immediately outside the Staffordshire Stand building that we perused before entering the Exhibition Hall. Once inside we glanced at several of the different owners’ club stands before noticing this pair.

This RE 5 we have met before at the Castle Donnington Show in 2008,

however I was more drawn to the 750 Honda below.

Owned by Fred Brown, the motorcycle was bought new in 1971 when he was working in Saudi Arabia for transport. When his contract was completed, in 1972, he decided to ride the Honda home, a distance of 5000 miles completed in eight and a half days.

Next door in the Exhibition Marquee there was an interesting combination, the MZ Club next to the Kettle Club.

The early 1960’s Suzuki racers were copies of the MZs after their rider, Ernst Degner, defected during the Swedish Grand Prix in 1961. I wonder what Walter Kaaden would have made of this pairing as Suzuki went from strength to strength while on December 12th 2008 the MZ factory in Zschopau closed, bringing a halt to motorcycle production that had lasted for 88 years in the same town. The old 'East German' factory became a night club, called MZWerk.

Crossing over the race course we entered the aptly named Centre Course Marquee. Inside was an assortment of VJMC sections’ stands manned by their members.

This particular machine had Ian reminiscing over the television series C.H.I.Ps that was produced between 1977-83.

Hiding in the far corner of the marquee was this 1948 Corgi. Developed from the Welbike, which was built for parachute drops and around the airfields during WWII, was produced until 1954, during which time it had helped to get Great Britain back on her feet.

No show would be complete without an auto jumble, today was no exception. Ian is still looking for the elusive badges for his Suzuki. There was no fortune for him again, one day…. Slowly as NOS (new old stock) dries up for certain machines undergoing restoration, prices rise. This in turn pushes up the price of restored motorcycles, for example, the RV 125 below.

At £3750 it may be some time before it is sold.

Returning to the perimeter we had a look in the Railway Stand Marquee. Recently several clubs have opted to show a cutaway of an engine. I’m pleased to say that the CBX Riders (UK) Club have joined the ranks. This rotating display took a few attempts to get a reasonable picture.

Although the show was open until 17:00 to the public many were departing by 15:00. By the time that we returned to the Suzuki the bike park was two thirds empty. Will we go again? Yes. The show clashes with a motorcycle rally that we often attend so it will be a couple of years before we attend again.

One final thing that I must do is this:

Two posts ago I set a little task with this picture

The motorcycle is a

and the model is

Congratulations to Affer at getting it correct at the second attempt. All that is required now is to the identity of the owner.

That is revealed HERE.

*An unsophisticated, uncultured and objectionable person.


Affer said...


You have a keen eye for a good machine...and I have a story about most of them!

Like, the engine for the Ariel 3 was from Anker....which rhymed with the bike's(so-called)designer. And I still have a plastic model rotary engine given to me by the Suzuki Europe Technical Manager, at the RE5 launch. But a tiny correction: I think the Kwacker is a 1974 Z1A - IIRC, the Z900 were all twin-disc.

The modern Triumph Scrambler is as near a copy of that lovely CB450 as you can get! But (finally), although I got the make - Fantic - I would never have guessed Alan Carter as its owner in a month of Sundays!!

Brilliant post, Ted!!

motoroz said...

Very interesting photos and history. Good comments from Affer also. Nice blog.