GENERAL NEWS

RESTRICTED...MUSINGS ON THE STAFFORD CLASSIC SHOW

JOHN NEWMAN HAS A GANDER AT WHAT STAFFORD 2021 HAS TO OFFER

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Good Times
Stuart Higgs, Race Director of the British Superbike race series (BSB), was interviewed during the TV broadcast of the opening round of this year’s championship at Oulton Park, held over the weekend of 26th/27th June. Higgs was asked about the spectator restrictions set at four thousand in an open air setting and spread around the circuit. When Wimbledon was allowed capacity crowds and the football semi-finals and final were set to allow tens of thousands.

Higgs was visibly confused with the odd decision choices being made by various governmental branches. The organisers of this weekend’s (3rd/4th July) postponed International Classic Motorcycle Show at the Stafford County Showground were a shade more fortunate as they were allowed five thousand on each of the two days. Attendance had to be booked in advance and when I dialled up the website, all the Saturday tickets had been sold. Sunday it was then!

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Picnic on board
Stafford Classics
The 'Stafford Classics' are usually held twice a year in April and October. They are always a feast of old bike eye candy from the days when machinery was repairable and not loaded with mysterious electronica. In the pre-pandemic past it'd be the place to go if you are seeking a rare part for a rebuild, you have a bulging wallet that will land you something to grace your garage or show your friends from the Bonham's auction. Crowds were compulsory.

With reduced attendance there was bound to be less trader stalls. This was apparent as soon as one entered the show site and the outside exhibition area. It didn't detract from the pleasure of strolling around to see what was available though, there were plenty of bikes for sale here in various conditions.
It always surprises me what people try and flog as classics, not to mention the asking prices. I came across a Honda XL175, a non-runner and rough, with a price tag of £1275. A 1982 Yamaha Y2 80 for £950; a very scruffy BSA Bantam said to be 'a runner'; yours for £1100. The people who price these must know the market. Perhaps if you wait long enough someone will come up with the readies, or these days more likely a bank transfer.

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Do you think it needs new tyres?
Usually there are several halls to wander through. The inside show was all contained within the main building for which you had to queue and mask up to enter. I have an aversion to queues, but in the interests of producing some words for Wemoto, I overcame this and latched on to the end (the man’s a hero - Wemoto). Those waiting to enter were all mature geezers, so for sure they would have been double jabbed. Just as well, because despite a number of distancing notices on display; we were hardly within two feet of each other let alone two metres. Not really a problem as we were all outside under glowering skies and a healthy breeze.

The wait was brief and once inside the Stafford Classic main hall you’re first greeted with the competition exhibits. An array of privately owned and restored motorcycles, glittering and gleaming under the overhead spotlights. Best in show was a resplendent yellow 250cc Ducati, just asking for camera shots.

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Best In Show?
Brigitte Bardot’s bike!
Though there were not as many commercial stands, there were some clubs that turned up to support the event and show off some rare beauties. One of these treats was a French cyclomoteur supposedly ridden by none other than Brigitte Bardot. Another was an MZ two stroke in sprint race trim, said to have achieved almost 110mph at Pendine Sands in South Wales.

One of the smallest stands on the main floor, displayed a lone black machine that appeared to have been constructed around a hundred years ago... except it was a replica. The tank carried the name 'Wardill' and it was a modern copy of a 1927 bike built by Mark Wardill, the great grandson of the original owner of the marque. It carried a 250cc four stroke engine in a simple triangular frame, with central spring girder forks and a solid rear. Priced at £11,500 for the rider who wants to feel the passage of time and the bumps in the road. I went to the website which has a lovely pictorial history of the original shop in Pontypridd as well as the bike’s origin story. It went on to tell how the current bike came into being due to Mark's focus, enthusiasm and engineering expertise through a short film, culminating with the bike being run at Pembray Circuit. Check it out at www.wardillmotorcycles.com

I was on the look out for a new crash helmet, but there were very few stands offering a selection. I ended up buying a couple of cans of WD40 to top up the garage supply.
A restricted event, but for those attending the pleasure of walking among bikes and bike paraphernalia, chatting to co-enthusiasts and projecting to better times was surely worth it.

Enjoy the pictures!

Did anyone else go along this year, if so we'd love to hear your take on it and check out any pictures you took. See anything you'd like in John's pictures? Let us know at: news@wemoto.com or drop us a message on Facebook Thanks so much for the story John and sorry you had to queue :)

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Posted by John Newman
for Wemoto News on 12 July 2021 in General News

Edited By: Denisa Orbulescu

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