CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS SHOW AT STAFFORD
(WEMOTO STAND SCOOPS FIRST PRIZE!)
On a mild and dry mid-October weekend they turned up in their thousands. Not just to view the new Wemoto show stand set up, but to admire the glittering restored and refurbished bike displays; peruse the numerous trade, spares, and technical service stands; wander the outside auto jumble and clothing stalls; peer into the Bonham's auction hall and soak up the classic bike enthusiast atmosphere.
The two Stafford shows – the other held in April – are now a firm and welcome fixture in the calendar of motorcycle shows that seem to draw more and more people, along with the February Bristol event and the regular Newark Auto Jumbles. A welcome growth area for motorcycling.
The Wemoto team handed out free goodies and chatted to the people who stopped to view the products on the bright new stand in the centre of the main hall; and the new design work was rewarded with the prize for the best trade stand at the show.
Stafford is a veritable treasure trove of every product or service a motorcyclist might need. There are no new bikes of course, but the displays of individual entries of restored modern and older classics, and the club stands of the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club, the Vintage Motorcycle Club, the Italian Motorcycle Owners Club and numerous others glittered and shone beneath the lights in the main hall in tribute to the hours of careful work and the money committed to restoration.
There were specialist areas too. A Grand Prix paddock for road race machinery, where owners were invited to treat the crowd to an audible delight by starting up their race bikes, and talking about the history of the machine and often their stories from the track and the Isle of Man. My favourite was a 500cc G50 Matchless, the rival for the Manx Norton at short circuits and Grand Prix. You could feel the ground vibrate through its throaty megaphone exhaust.
You never know what you might find looking carefully around the bikes parked up in the paddock. I spotted a BSA V6. Yes that's right: two BSA Rocket Three engines mated, equipped with fuel injection, and squeezed into a frame. There's no end to engineering ingenuity in the bike world.
The off road area drew people in throughout the day. One attraction was a bar and straw bales to squat on while a pint was supped with friends amongst trials and motocross machines.
The Bonham's auction is always a popular feature at Stafford (see our story 21/10). You have to purchase a catalogue to gain entry, but I showed them my press credentials, and was allowed to spend some time taking pictures of the rows of tempting machinery coming up for bidding. I was very taken by an Ariel Arrow, looking gorgeous in a black and white paint job, and not yet run in after an engine rebuild. But I was under very strict instructions not to purchase any more bikes until my current projects are complete. Shame.
If you have never attended one of the big classic shows. Or even one of the smaller events. It's a good way to shake off the winter blues, to keep the enthusiasm quota topped up, and to seek out any clothing bargains and workshop supplies you might need.
Here are some upcoming dates for the diary:
Sunday 28th December Classic Bike and Car Restoration Show, Donnington Park
Saturday 3rd January Classic Bike Guide Winter Show, Newark Show Ground
Saturday 7th February Bristol Classic Motorcycle Show, Shepton Mallet
We've selected a bunch of pictures to capture some of the highlights:
Anyone go along last weekend - did you get a Wemoto necktube?
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