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5th December 2005

December Newsround

A couple of jumbles, a chance to fly south for winter, a new classic bike specialist, posh paint for your P&J - it's all been in TP's inbox this month. And to top it all…a two thousand pound Velocette Vogue. Gasp!...

Paint It Red

Or blue. Or white. Or black. Or… how about Rage Ecstasy Emerald Green? Yeah, ok, that last one might be a bit over the top for your average classic bike, but have literally thousands of colour choices on offer, one of which may well suit your idea of a dream machine.

Many of us prefer to stick to the original colour scheme for our restorations, however, and Paints4U also offer a colour-matching service. If you provide a sample then they'll match it exactly - and supply the abrasives, brushes, thinners, spraying equipment, primers and lacquers required to do a top notch job. And if any of you do feel really adventurous, then we'd love to know what the Luminous Glow in the Dark Night Light paint looks like when applied to an old bike (but we can't figure out how you'd take a photo of it!).

See www.paints4u.comfor the full range of paint products and equipment.


Drumming Up Some Jumble

As happened this year, the date for the 2006 Kidlington Autojumble has fallen on the same weekend as the big classic bike show at Shepton Mallet - Sunday February 12th. So organiser Barry from Woodford Classic Events suggests that you could make a weekend of it; go to Shepton on Saturday and stop in at Kidlington, which is near Oxford, on the Sunday.

Frank Westworth, CB350 Paul, Evguru and Rowena Hoseason vie to become the next caption competition

Barry is also keen to see more bikejumble at Kidlington - so should you have a shed full of hen's teeth and rocking horse residue which need a new home, then you can have a trestle table stall in a nice warm hall for not very much at all. He's also offering first time jumblers a 'buy one, get one free' offer at Woodford Classic events; which means that if you buy stall space for your first jumble then you'll be given a free plot at the next convenient event. This offer also stands for Barry's other jumbles at Bovingdon and Chelmsford - it's intended to make it easy for people to get into jumbling, and to keep a steady supply of old spare parts in circulation, instead of leaving them stuck on a shelf in garage. Sounds like a plan to us…

See for full details, and comprehensive instructions on how to find the hall at Kidlington, which can be a bit tricky.


Don't Make A MESS Of It!

You've got to give Motorcycle Engineering Service & Supply top marks for the best new business name of 2005. MESS have just started trading - although they've got a proven track record, because they've worked for years on classic and custom machines. Indeed, MESS's main man, Dave, spent many happy (?) hours working in the Greenlooms' workshop back in the mid-1990s.

Like Greenlooms, MESS are based in Cheshire and you'll find them at Unit 4, Canalside, at Tattenhall near Chester. Dave will be providing all the services associated with the renovation and repair of all makes of British and American motorcycles; everything from rebores and helicoils to complete rebuilds and routine maintenance. MESS already have an extensive stock of engines, gearboxes, heads, barrels and so on for BSA, Matchless, Triumph, AJS and Norton bikes, and can get most other parts to order.

To get the ball rolling, MESS are holding an introductory autojumble on Boxing Day 2005. This will be at the Tushingham Arena in nearby Whitchurch (Sy13 4QR). Stallholders are welcome to contact MESS to book a stand (email while the rest of us need to know that doors open at 9am and admittance is £3.50.

See for more details about the business, or if you need help with your bike then call 01829 771811.


Fly South For A Classic Ride

Fed up with freezing fog, storms of sleet and plagues of frogs? One holiday in the sun, coming right up. The south of France isn't entirely immune from the effects of winter (the days are shorter, even in Provence), but Neil and Sarah at Classic Bike Provence offer all-year-round rides on classic motorcycles - and they make the most of the region's gentle, welcoming climate.

CBP provide the bikes and plan guided tours so you can see the very best of Provence at a sensible pace, and very often away from the beaten track and the thronging masses. Getting down to their base is easy and cheap at the moment -- CBP provide transfers from both Toulon and Nimes, as well as Marseille Airport and Aix TGV station, and plenty of cut-price carriers are touting bargain flights at the moment.

'And I can see Daniel waving good bye...'

Ryan Air now operate services from Liverpool and Luton to Nimes, as well as a new service from Stansted to Toulon and from March 2006 another new service will fly from East Midlands Airport to Nimes. British Airways and Easyjet both come out of Gatwick to Marseille, and AerLingus will resume their Dublin to Marseille flight on March 26th 2006. So a little bit of surfing should secure you a cheap travel deal - and CBP may be able to fit you in a short notice.

Just think, instead of spending all of December stuck at your desk, you could sneak off for a short break - and ride the days away aboard a Commando, Venom, Tiger or Bullet - or one of the other dozen or so classic bikes in the CBP stable. Tempted?

Contact Sarah or Neil from CBP on or visit


Bought At Bonhams

Bonhams' classic bike auctions always come up with a few delectable bikes which stand out from the run of the mill and this year at Stafford in October was no exception.

No fewer than four private collections were offered in this sale and some unique machines were included, the star of which was always going to be the McEvoy-Jap from the collection of the late Eric Houseley, Derbyshire motorcycle dealer and sporting rider. The McEvoy was manufactured in Derbyshire and exhibited at the Olympia Motorcycle Show in 1924, the year of Houseley's birth, two details which may have attracted his interest should the 100mph OHV super sports V-twin's looks and specification not have been enough.

1924 McEvoy. Real Mart threw two of them into a skip last week... The date of its purchase or what price was paid aren't known, but the £59,000 plus charges (£31,000 over the low estimate given in the auction catalogue) obtained by gavelmeister Malcolm Barber for the bike, will surely represent a significant return on the original investment.

Malcolm, happily banging away on his rostrum, soon dispatched the 180-odd machines entered in the sale. The Velocettes included in the Logan-Thompson collection and Karl Oskarsson's exquisite assemblage of race machines including Mondial, Sarolea, Rex and Norton, all in usable condition, were the highlights for your reporter.

The uncertainty of the market at the moment is reflected in some of the prices being achieved, or not as the case may be, and the difficulty of estimating values becomes greater as some results show. Veteran and vintage machines are seen to be good value at around £2000 at present, but a 1922 Norton Model 16, which only made the rostrum on a trolley, seemed less of a bargain at £3000 (against its low estimate of £600).

Areas of potential for investors would seem to be early Honda classics, with fully restored '60's models like CB92 available for less than £500 (est. £1100) and the same £500 would have bought a brace of 1950's D1 BSA Bantams. The Bantam/Tiger Cub price differential seems to ever widen, exemplified by the £1200 paid for a very sad example (£2-300 estimate) although its appropriate GRR registration may have been the main attraction - let's hope that number stays with the bike.

£9000, twice the estimate, would have bought you a Vincent Rapide, though you could have taken it home in your Mini as not many of the bits were actually connected to each other. Thankfully FW the editor wasn't present in the room when the duck egg blue Velo Vogue was knocked down for £2000, spot on its estimate, to another Vogue fancier. Why FW sees himself as Lady Penelope venturing around the lanes of Cornwall on one nobody knows, but whatever turns you on...!

Completely random stuff laghably decribed as Classic on

Velocette Vogue. Real Mart bought two of them for five grand each last week...All in all it proved to be a very good event for buyers, sellers and the Bonhams team who are back at Olympia on December 5th with another motorcycle, memorabilia and classic car auction. Remember that all prices given above are subject to a buyer's premium (normally 15%) plus VAT, and to enter the auction room you normally need to purchase a catalogue (£10-plus, depending on the sale). Full results from the sale can be seen at


Where Are They Now?

Is there a 1965 BSA A65L in the house? David Hodgson lost contact with his pre-OiF Lightning back in 1973 or so. The Beezer, registration FWO 592C was last seen somewhere near Cardiff. Can you help locate it, and reunite it with David? If so, give him a ring on 01656720154 or email


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