October 22nd 2014
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The 2014 Banbury Run - Part Two
A much-delayed part two, in which Richard Jones delights in finding rare vintage motorcycles to photograph. This year he triumphed with a Magnat Debon and an Endurance, which tackled the daunting Sun Rising Hill alongside more familiar old bikes from Ariel, Rudge, Sunbeam, AJS et al...
I had seen this 1930 Automoto AL9 at the Rose of the Shires Run a couple of weeks earlier and here it was again, resplendent in its fetching colour scheme. Based in St Etienne, France, Chavenet, Gros, Pichard & Cie began building motorcycles in 1901 using Swiss, French and British power units but later in the 1920’s they used Blackburne, JAP and Aubier et Dunne engines to produce solid and durable machines. Taken over by Peugeot in 1931 they continued making machines under their own name until the 1960s. If you want to see how David Loveridge restored a very rusty 350cc barn find to its present state have a look at his blog.
EA Radnall & Co started manufacturing its motorcycles in 1913 when an example appeared at that year’s Olympia show with a 211cc two-stroke engine, petroil lubrication, two-speed Albion gearbox and belt final-drive. After the war they continued along the path of small two-stroke machines until 1927 when they added two models with 490cc 4-stroke JAP engines, one a sidevalve and the other a sports version with a choice of single or twin port engines. Both models were known as the Radco Ace and this example, with its very attractive art deco styled sidecar, is the ‘K’ model, which may well be the sports ohv version, and dates from 1930. In 1932 Radco were back to two-strokes, stopped motorcycle production the following year and then re-emerged, first in 1954 with a 99cc Villiers prototype and then again in 1966 with a mini bike powered by a 75cc Villiers lawn mower engine. Sadly – or perhaps not given what had gone before – neither model succeeded.
The Banbury Run™ is very much a family affair – Ryan Thomas from Brecon is the fourth generation of his family to ride this 1923 Wolf 300cc Lightweight Tourist machine which, given its age, may be powered by a 292cc side-valve JAP engine which Wolf were using at that time.
Continuing the family theme father Chris Oliver on his 1927 Zenith 680cc V-twin was joined by son Ashley riding his 1929 Sunbeam 350cc Model 8.
David Brown on his 1924 3.5hp AJS B1 Sports demonstrates that the Banbury Run should be about enjoying yourself – the silk scarf blowing in the breeze may have some support though.
Proving the Banbury Run is an international affair here is Giorgio Gulduzzi from Italy riding a 1925 Rudge Whitworth 4-speed, 4-valve 350cc machine up Sun Rising Hill, replete with Italian flag on the wicker basket. Giorgio was described as a retired Italian navy pilot – the Rudge rather less swift than his transport during a career in the services.
In the unlikely event I ever entered the Run it would have to be riding an Ariel from the late 1920s, most of which seemed to go up Sun Rising Hill with a surprising turn of speed. Here Jim Poole shows how it is done on his 1929 500cc Model F.
Of course not everyone makes it up the hill at speed – here Richard Spence is helped on his way by two of the many marshals supporting the Run, although those on Sun Rising Hill may have a more arduous job than most. This was Mr Spence’s first entry to the event and the 1924 2.75 hp, 347cc Douglas TS’ second; hopefully this experience doesn’t put either off entering again.
Finally if there were a prize for the most colourful entry then it would have to be awarded to Martin Gee and his 1921 3.5 hp, 500cc, Rover – the jacket and helmet complement the bike superbly and the yellow bow tie is the cream on the cake. Superb!
So well done VMCC – an excellent event and looking forward to 2015.
You'll find more of Richard's excellent images, from a wide range of classic motorcycling events, at www.flickr.com/photos/cerrig_photography/sets/
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