Monday, January 9, 2012

Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic Show Report

Well the season has definitely kicked off early this year, after sleeping off the mince pies I had the urge to get back out there and get scribbling. So much so I made a 3 hour journey to get to Newark for the Classic Bike Guide Winter Classic Show. Was it worth it? Well there certainly was a lot to see from the auto jumble to the club stands I was spoilt for choice of what to sketch.

Velocette 1922 Model E (220cc)
(digitally painted ink sketch)

First sketch of the day was this Model E Velocette. A lovely restoration, simplicity itself.

After getting the fingers warmed up I moved on to the New Imperial Stand.
The Owners club had a great turn out with a great array of bikes from a Model 7 with sidecar to a winter project Model 7. My choice for a sketch was this Model 37.

New Imperial 1935 Model 37 (250cc)
(digitally painted ink sketch)

Winner of "Best Unrestored"

Very few of these model 37s still exist. This is a true barn fine having been left alone on the Isle of Man since the outbreak of WWII. According to the owner Dave Baddeley he had to scrape off a load of mud and straw from the underside of the mudguards which had been under there all that time. The only non original part is the Magneto as the bike would have had a Maglita with a dynamo. Dave took this off and will eventually get it restored, but I'm glad he decided to go with the magneto and have fun with it rather than leave it sitting about.

New Imperial 1923 Model 7 (980cc)
A barn-find from Northern Island and last run in 1927. Apparently "still a work in progress".
The side car is a close approximation to the single seater variant.
New Imperial also did a tandem which must have been a sight to behold.

New Imperial 1930 Model 2 (350cc)
A very tidy example of the cheapest 350cc on the market at the time. Produced between 1926 - 1933 with very little change to the design. 1,260 were produced in 1930 alone.

New Imperial 1936 Model 23 (150cc)
Paul Doughty's winter project. He describes it as a "hedge-bottom job", but I'm inclined to agree with the NIOA members that say "Surely not - a rub over with an oily cloth and she'll be as good as new!"

If your interested in finding out more about the New Imperial mark why not visit the
New Imperial Owners Association website:

Ian Whitehead's New Imperial Grand Prix racer was at Montlhery in 2011 and will be there again in 2013, along with this Douglas Sprint bike.

Douglas 1929 SW6 (600cc)
(digitally painted ink sketch)

After the New Imperial Stand I was off to the London Douglas M.C.C. Stand, as there were some great examples of the mark on display. I was particularly taken with this sprint bike, it was used by Colin Clifford in the 60s / 70s for sprinting. Whilst chatting with the owner a Mr D Lawrence I found out that the SW model was favoured by racers but the standard Douglas gearbox was not. Racers in the 30s preferred to change the box to a Triumph gearbox which is exactly what is on this SW6. The twin cylinders are horizontal, and the big metal box in the middle is an air box which takes in air from underneath to regulate it between the two carburetors. A window is provided to check whether the oil is dripping in ok but at 90mph I don't think I'd want to be looking down.

Douglas 1921 WD 2 3/4 (348cc)
Back to basics with this oily rag condition WD. No Clutch, 2 gears and gas lighting, those were the days, well at least that's what I'm told.

The London Douglas M.C.C.
have a smart website with a history section and gallery:

On top of all the great club stands the Autojumble also had a couple of lovely bikes on offer:

Matchless 1936 250 G2 Sports
All Original with old Log Books

BSA 1930 600 Twin Port Sloper.

I've always liked these slopers, unfortunately I didn't have the spare £6700 to spend. Oh well I'll just have to satisfy myself with a home made cheese sandwich on the way home, and feel satisfied with a nice day out skribbling and chatting bikes.