10th October 2016
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Stafford Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show
Massive crowds are expected to stampede to the RealClassic stand at Stafford, lured by the promise of a special sticker for magazine subscribers. Oh, and there's a socking big show on at the same time...
Roll up, roll up – the RealClassic Roadshow returns to Stafford next weekend for the Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show. You’ll find Editor Westworth and Rowena Hoseason along with sundry other RC regulars and writers on stand B100, which is on the balcony above the main show hall, right next to the bar and café. We’ll be having a small celebration now that the magazine has reached its 150th birthday (that’s 150 issues, you understand, not 150 years. It just feels like 150 years, particularly as we write two of these previews every year. It’s Groundhog Day all over again).
Subscribers can claim a complimentary RC150 sticker; ‘complimentary’ in this instance meaning that it’s free, not that it pays you compliments. And there will be Jaffa Cakes! (Also free). And magazine binders! (Not so free). And T-Shirts! (Also not free). And a beverage of your choice if you reviewed one of Frank’s books recently (Bribery? Corruption? Indeed). And then there’s the rest of the event, if indeed you have any energy left after all that excitement…Click to embiggen
As this is the Classic Mechanics show, it leans towards the more modern classics of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Hence there’s a dedicated Suzuki area featuring the Suzuki Owners Club, Kettle Club, Air Cooled Suzuki (including Katana), Team Classic Suzuki and the GT/X7 Owners Club. Robinsons Foundry will be selling parts and clothing, while Crooks Suzuki and Redcar Motorcycles will be on hand to help with any customer enquiries. In the Suzuki GB area, Barry Sheene’s 1976 and 1977 world championship-winning bikes are coming from Australia and will be displayed alongside the GSX-R750F and TL1000S which have been refurbished and rebuilt.
If you prefer to see and hear old bikes in action then head outdoors to the Classic Racer GP Paddock where famous race bikes are fired up, while next door the Classic Dirt Bike Experience will host trials demonstrations. Owners parade their machines in the Cavalcade arena each day – and the show’s special guests are expected to put in an appearance here, too.Don Emde
Speaking of special guests… who remembers ‘On Any Sunday’? Nominated for an Academy Award, the documentary portrayed the riding lives of hotshot motorcycle racers of the early 1970s. Directed by Bruce Brown, it was produced by Steve McQueen who also appears in the film, along with champions and rookies from desert racing, short-circuit competition and moto-cross. Four of the original cast will be reunited as guests of honour at Stafford.
David Aldana, Don Emde, Mert Lawwill and Gene Romero not only found fame on the big screen, but also participated in the massively popular Anglo-American Match Races, held in the UK in the 1970s at circuits such as Brands Hatch, Mallory Park and Oulton Park. Mert Lawwill’s appearance at the show will be his first visit to the UK since that time. Show-goers can expect to see the stars interviewed on stage and there’s usually an opportunity to secure a precious autograph or two.
Meanwhile, the live Restoration Theatre will feature live rebuild sessions (in one of the side halls underneath the balcony). On the static display front, private entries and the hundreds of bikes on club stands will be ready and waiting to be inspected by visitors and event judges alike. In the dedicated auction hall, Bonhams auctioneers will be seeking the highest bids on an eclectic array of vintage and classic machines. Highlights of the sale include the ex-works Formula 1 Ducati 905 proddie racer ridden by Roger Nicholls to second place at the IoM in 1977, expected to fetch around £60k. Then there’s the autojumble, trade stalls, clothing, memorabilia and bikes for sale which sprawl through half a dozen halls and marquees and across a couple of acres outside.
Sunday is always less busy than Saturday; queues for the free car parks can be very long between 9am and 11am (so it’s best to arrive before or after). The auction starts at 11am on the Sunday, which typically means they get to the interesting lots around lunchtime – so that’s when it’s easiest to get around the show halls with space to admire the bikes and take some snaps.
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