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15th September 2005

TP's Newsround

It must be autumn; the press releases are starting to pile up. Before our esteemed Typing Person disappears completely into Press Release Hell, here's the best of the bunch for your delectation...

More Classics Vanish On The East Coast

After the disappearance of 'Tunny' Tagg's distinctive all-blue Bultaco Sherpa 350 SM last month, a further two more trials bikes have been nicked from a shed only a few miles away. This time Tony Payne has lost both his 1956 James Cotswold and 1953 Francis Barnett trials machines, taken on the evening of 22nd August from Wainfleet near Skegness, Lincs.

The James in particular is a well known bike, burgundy coloured and unusually has B40 forks with outside springs and visible poly bushes. The F-B is black with the usual trials mods. Owners in the area are advised to keep their motorcycles well secured as these offences may be connected and the perps may well be on the lookout for more classic competition machinery to add to their collection.

Anybody who is offered bikes with any resemblance to the above or who has information contact our man Mike on 07876 744911 and we'll pass on the info.


New Wotnot From Norvil

The ideal rack for your spring loaded battery.Lookie! A spring-loaded battery rack for Norton Commandos, designed to keep your battery firmly in situ despite any lumps and bumps you may encounter upon your riding roads. The rack is made of stainless steel and supports 12N6 and 12N9 batteries on 750 Commandos built from 1971, and Mk1 850 bikes up to engine no 306591.

Call Norvil on 01543 278008 to order or see


Ron East, quietly rubbing his lamp.Aladdin's Cave Up For Grabs

Aladdin, aka Ron East, is looking for a new owner for his cave, otherwise known as Abbey Spares of Lincoln. Behind the unprepossessing exterior of the premises lurks a massive array of new and secondhand spares gathered over the 25 years Ron has been serving the needs of classic motorcyclists in the UK and abroad.

Only by waving cash under his nose can this particular Aladdin be persuaded to part with the treasures within. Well, cheques and bottles of scotch have also been known to work on occasion!

Ron is offering enough good quality stock to attract any potential new owners and enable them to make a very good living from the investment.

Majoring on Norton and BSA bits and restorations, but generally catering for all marques of British bikes, the business would be well worth continuing as is under new ownership.

Ron would prefer this option and offers any help and assistance required, but if potential buyers show more interest in acquiring particular parts of the inventory then maybe the stock will be divided to appeal to those with a more focused interest -- ie all the AMAL carbs, the electrical stock (magnetos etc), or maybe Norton and other branded items could be itemised and offered for sale separately. Whichever way it happens you will need a BIG van.

Interested parties should contact Ron at Abbey Spares on 01522 525587.


Motorsport In The Midlands

Give yourself something to look forward to and start scribbling down diary dates for 2006. Here's one to get you going; the third International Historic Motorsport Show which will be on February 24, 25 and 26th at Stoneleigh Park near Coventry. The motorcycle displays were so popular this year that for 2006 they'll be moved into the main hall - where there's carpet on the floor, no less! Coo! More info nearer the time or see


Bonhams Excel!

The 1903 Excelsior machine you see here is one of three extremely unusual bikes which will be offered for sale by Bonhams in October at the Stafford Classic Bike Show. The Excelsior was built in Coventry and is powered by an MMC engine. Supplied new to a Perthshire doctor, it wasn't up to the task of coping with the local hills and was returned to the cycle shop from which it was bought. Acquired from that shop many years ago by the present owner for just 3/10s, restoration was entrusted to the Excelsior Motor Co Ltd in 1962, who carried out the job for the same nominal amount of 3/10s. It'll probably fetch in the region of 10,000 in the sale.

They knew how to upholster a seat in those days...

There's also a 1916 Harley-Davidson from the same stable going under the hammer. This bike remained in the same family ownership from 1916 through to the 1960s and might tempt someone to part with as much as 15,000 to take it home.

Next up, a V-Twin-engined 1920 Martinsyde-Newman is believed to be just one of three survivors of the sporting machine tuned by Newman in his Brooklands sheds. In the present ownership for 45 years, its acquisition involved a swap for a new socket set! Not bad, considering it too is now valued in five figures.

All three will go under the hammer on Sunday October 16th at Stafford. For the full catalogue or to enter a bike into a forthcoming sale, call 08700 273 616 or see


Classic Project Bikes Move to Larger Premises

Classic Project Bikes have moved into larger premises in the rather splendid setting of the 17th century Crownhill Fort in Plymouth, Devon. The company offers classic Japanese motorcycles and restoration projects and is owned by enthusiast, professional engineer and VJMC co-ordinator, Steve Dower.

Classic Project Bikes has steadily expanded since being established in the year 2000. Steve puts success down to 'fellow enthusiasts preferring good, old-fashioned customer service and the company's unique and brutally honest Project Guides -- condition reports -- which are provided for all of the classics we offer.'

Call 01822 610129 or see

Classic Project? This bike is on sale at the moment...
Classic Hondas on


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