22ND CAROLE NASH CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS SHOW, STAFFORD
With two shows every year at the Stafford Show Ground, the Classic Motorcycle Mechanics/Carole Nash event is an integral part of the classic enthusiasts' year, and it continues to draw large crowds.
My thoughts were to arrive early and avoid the bulk of the showgoers, which gives a better opportunity for pictures. How wrong can one be? The queue for tickets, and the shuffle to get through the entrance on such a crisp autumn morning, told me that several hundred other people had the same idea.
Most people arrive as I did: on four wheels - because you never know what you might be tempted to purchase. In my case, a bulk supply of bike cleaner, as there'll be more wet and dirty road days in the coming months. The early two-wheel arrivals were blowing warmth back into their hands as soon as their bikes were on stands and their gloves were off.
The formula is pretty much the same at each show: lots of one make and one model clubs proudly displaying their bikes. The bigger classic clubs take space in the main hall, along with the display of entries for the awards, which is where the hours and hours of restoration work shine under spotlights. Then there are dozens of specialist suppliers, and the autojumble where you can pick almost anything required for a restoration or rebuild - and there are always lots of bikes for sale, in conditions ranging from just dragged out of a barn through to shiny and ready to ride away.
This year, the organisers introduced a new attraction, the Restoration Theatre. Hosted by Pete Thorne, the bloke who features in ITV's 'Motorbike Show' with Henry Cole, where they go through obviously contrived rebuild scenarios, with Cole playing the slightly bemused and naïve 'customer'. They ran four sessions on each of the show days: looking at electrical systems, dos and don'ts of restoration, top end overhaul, and a question and answer session.
The Bonhams auction always throws up a number of surprises and delights. On this occasion, they were flogging an entire collection of (mostly) old and totally immaculate US bikes collected by an Italian industrialist, Tiberio Lonati. Included were a selection of capacious sidecars, of which the most attention drawing was a six seater 1918 Reading Standard, powered by a 1200cc vee-twin engine. If they all went under the hammer for the guide prices in the catalogue, there would be some happy inheritors of his estate.
It was noticeable that there were a good few dealers and traders from mainland Europe (Belgium, Holland and France); testimony that the reputation and popularity of this show continue to grow, along with the number of people who continue to attend.
The first show in 2016 will be held in April 23rd and 24th.
If you went to this event, we hope you had as much fun as we did! You can share your experience with us at email@example.com. For now, though, we hope you enjoy our Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show 2015 Photo Album:
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