contact us

Use the form on the right to contact us.

You can edit the text in this area, and change where the contact form on the right submits to, by entering edit mode using the modes on the bottom right.

Blog

Classic Velocity Blog

Filtering by Category: Events

OCTO Pomona 2018

Classic Velocity

20235DD6-A751-448D-88F3-3B2A17F1566E.JPG
As a blog dedicated to Classic German machines on two wheels and four, there are certain events that are legendary and represent the high point of the year. Regardless of where you are geographically, the Orange County Transporter Organization event twice a year is in that category if you own a 1967 and earlier VW Bus. California is a Mecca for Aircooled Vdubs in general, and buses in particular (with all due respect to the Pacific Northwest, New England, and Florida). The OCTO event was happening before Buses were cool again, and persists regardless of auction prices and celebrity collectors. It is rain or shine, and this year, in a freak of Southern California nature, it rained! Even with the weather as a factor,  this event dwarfs gatherings of Splitty buses elsewhere in the country. Almost all are driven to the event. Almost all are driven regularly. Many are daily drivers. 
09F96229-27E4-47B9-A7B3-2F6B2471CD1B.JPG

Every configuration was represented at the show. Kombis, Deluxe in 13 15 21 and 23 window versions, single and double cabs, panel vans, Campers with all configurations of tops, and even a fire truck.  No two buses alike, just like the owners. The swap meet was the area most impacted by the weather, as few wanted their oxidized parts further oxidized. Which brings us to patina. Patina is in. There were a lot of buses with engine, suspension, and brakes up to relatively modern standards, but with the body in various states of decay. That decay was often clear coated to preserve it, or in some cases, an aging process was used to create the decay or the appearance of decay. Logo panel vans were similarly treated to reveal an old logo, or create one that looks period correct. Some real artistry was on display along with a good deal of time, effort, and money. 

23B61B28-A9D7-4B16-B585-A39B5B6A02E3.JPG

The following day was the Pomona Swap Meet. Although there is a swap portion which is all VW, this event is huge, and the show field isy acres of vintage iron from low rider 50s Cadillacs to Audi Foxes, to Delorean Back-To-The-Future replicas, to a wild shorty Beetle. Everything at this show was cool even if not always your particular cup of tea. The wild and wacky share space with the concours queens. There are plenty of YouTube videos that can help you grasp this better than words. What they can’t help you to appreciate is the vibe in the air. It is a giant cars-n-coffee meets carnival meets swap meet. It is sensory overload. If your car is “special”, and by that we mean special as in concours level or special in modifications, or special in patina, or special in paint, or special as in custom, or special as in weird, this is the place to be. There were plenty of “regular” examples present, but this event is much more spectacle than it is subtle appreciation society. Make sure you have good lubrication for your human neck bearing, as it will be swiveling a lot. The best part is that this show happens 6 or 7 times a year! I am told by devoted attendees that every show is just as crazy and vibrant as this one. 

Between the two events, we laughed, we wept, we coveted, we scratched our heads, we were shocked and awed, we stood slack-jawed, we marveled at craftsmanship, and we expanded our understanding of what is possible, and we gained a greater appreciation for the sheer diversity of thoughts on the automobile as an art canvas. With two events like these (and there were many other events in South/Central California that weekend), and good weather year round (except Saturday ;-), you can understand how many consider this to be one of the global centers of car culture.

42682BC7-7B3C-474E-973F-01DC4DBF0605.JPG
E465C50A-1B8B-4C1F-A284-DE9F1C574976.JPG
37D822BC-B62A-43D6-ACD4-780957256233.JPG
26B2BFDF-3A9F-41CD-A151-78F8D69D609D.JPG
1F94AE7B-390A-4B89-959D-5B9CBECDCF2E.JPG
10F9D0E1-5475-4C85-8692-BB73A0D99075.JPG
F79FE693-86A4-43A7-9F72-2CF35F9041D8.JPG
D2769013-C4B8-4CDA-8A3D-0F0DE07BFF70.JPG
2AD2D8D7-D776-41B0-924F-229304E640DD.JPG

Yes, your eyes do not deceive you....

Barber Vintage Festival 2018

Classic Velocity

FullSizeRender.jpg

If you are a fan of old motorcycles, there is no better place to be in October than the Barber Vintage Festival. It grows each year and has seen more than 70,000 attendees. The reasons are simple. A best-in-the-world vintage motorcycle museum. A well-designed race track. Vintage racing. Beautiful grounds. Great camping. Thousands of vintage gearheads, ensuring tremendous variety and great discussions. It is all here in one place.

The museum has been covered here before (see Bowing to Barber), so suffice it to say that it is worth a road trip or even a plane trip by itself, and you should find your way there. The fact that it is just part of the reason to go to the festival makes this an even greater event. Like the Goodwood Festival (see The Revival), it is a multi-day event which surrounds the perimeter of the race track. The racing, which is part of the AHRMA series, involves several vintage classes including sidecars, novice classes, lightweight, heavyweight, and more. A stroll through the pits is an experiential history of motorcycle racing. And craftsmanship. Solutions often need to be invented and/or fabricated.

Vintage clubs of all stripes also make this event a formal gathering. You can hangout on Norton Hill, or join the VJMC contingent or the AMCA encampment, or the Airheads, to name a few. The Ace Corner catered to a lively gang of grey-haired rockers! If you can’t find members of your tribe at this event, they may be on the verge of extinction ;-) The larger gatherings had judged shows and their own mini festival. Manufacturers and vendors are also there in abundance. You could test ride a new Harley, KTM or BMW, you could enjoy an Enfield, or use a Ural. But you could also pickup some cafe racer parts or a vintage style helmet. 

If, however, you were after original bikes and parts, the swap area was the place to do it. It is now expanded due to growth, so there are two separate areas. This is nowhere near as large as Mid Ohio, but there is a significant array of machines and parts in every condition from NOS to COBAR (corroded beyond all recognition). Every other stall seemed to have a Honda Trail or a Cub for sale. And speaking of original, just like Goodwood, the parking lot can be as interesting as the show field. I have not seen so many Laverdas in one place in a long time, and not one, but three BMW R1200STs! The interesting choices for touring machines, and the innovative storage solutions in the camping area could be its own article. 

This is a must-do event for anyone in North America who is into vintage motorcycles. Whether you like racing, or concours, or touring, or swap meets, or just walking around for days looking at old bikes, this is a worthwhile event. Oh, and in case I forgot to mention it, there is the world’s best motorcycle museum with close to a thousand on display. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Rows and rows of interesting motorcycles from near and far

5D214B87-6478-4622-B513-2C5DDF762837.JPG

Zundapp parts

DC50F210-83B9-413C-A25C-82C873587AA5.JPG

Signed by Kenny Roberts

A313B439-7D56-40CE-9619-0064F6D4C58E.JPG

A Meticulous Munch

FullSizeRender.jpg

Gorgeous Guzzi

 A Norton awaiting its racing class

A Norton awaiting its racing class

 A Birmingham Small Arms in Birmingham

A Birmingham Small Arms in Birmingham

 Globe circling BMWs in the museum

Globe circling BMWs in the museum

 What is your tribe?

What is your tribe?

 I’m betting that you have not seen a Tornax in the flesh recently !

I’m betting that you have not seen a Tornax in the flesh recently !

 An Adventure Scooter ?

An Adventure Scooter ?

 A beautiful Indian

A beautiful Indian

 DKW with a pillion seat way off the rear….

DKW with a pillion seat way off the rear….

 Artwork was interspersed among the vintage iron..

Artwork was interspersed among the vintage iron..

 Honda Cubs and Trails were everywhere….

Honda Cubs and Trails were everywhere….

This Classic Velocity post is brought to you by Motocron : For Enthusiasts By Enthusiasts

Limerock 2018

Classic Velocity

The annual pilgrimage to Limerock Motorsports Park is always great for vintage racing, and a lovely drive through bucolic northwestern Connecticut. This year, Bugatti was the featured marque, and it was unique to see so many in one place.

IMGP4002.jpeg
IMG_6626.jpeg
 A Brace of Bugattis….

A Brace of Bugattis….

IMG_6616.jpeg
IMG_6630.jpeg
IMG_6623.jpeg
IMG_6651.jpeg
IMGP3994.jpeg
IMGP4029.jpeg
IMG_6635.jpeg
IMG_6636.jpeg
IMG_6621.jpeg
IMGP3990.jpeg

Photos courtesy of Edwin Solomon.

MOA Rally 2018

Classic Velocity

7907909C-697A-482E-AF79-5D789A4CD000.JPG

With all due respect, the state fair grounds in Des Moines, Iowa would not be on the top 10 list of places to go see in the USA in July. However, it is the 2018 location of the annual pilgrimage for the 2 wheeled BMW faithful. The BMW MOA Rally. An excuse to travel somewhere relatively far away, and to weave in interesting roads along the way. An excuse to take a machine not purpose built for the constant drone of the interstate highway system or the speed of the autobahn, but which never the less is intended to circumnavigate the world. A 1992 BMW R100GS Paris Dakar. Long before BMW had an “Adventure” version of the GS, they had the PD version of the GS. A more Gelande version of the Gelande Strasse. Bigger fuel tank, a bit more suspension travel, high fender (which went on to become the segment-defining “beak”). It was the dawn of the big bike dual sport movement. The R80G/S before it was the original adventure bike, but it did not have the girth and the sheer presence of its’ 1000cc offspring. Sort of like an NFL tackle next to his normal sized mom and dad. The machine has no electronics, and no fuel injection, although it does have upgraded lighting, and luggage. 

Time did not allow me to completely avoid the interstate, so there was several hundred miles of it on the round trip. I used the throttle lock cruise control, which worked adequately for resting your wrist. The PD handles it well even if the tachometer is between 5k and 6k in doing so. It never feels strained, but it seems to be asking you why you are continuing to do this. Good question. Once off onto the divided highways and B roads, the machine is happier. It accelerates well, passes well using roll on throttle, and stops well.  It is obviously not a modern motorcycle, so it draws attention and invites questions. What year is that? How far are you going? You can often see the next unasked question on their faces. Why? Others have looks of obvious envy. Others clutch their smiling curious children to them as if you might infect them with some strange global traveling disease.

FullSizeRender.jpg
336B8DB1-B5B7-43EF-824B-49CAC0B0DE81.JPG

I never cease to marvel at the variation and beauty of the landscapes in all parts of the USA, and the Midwest is no exception. What others describe as monotonous is just a different kind of beauty. How is it that you can travel down a tunnel of corn that is almost unbroken in 20 miles? When did the last person leave that little abandoned town, and who has captured that history? Why are these 90 degree turns placed seemingly arbitrarily in this billiard flat landscape? Why is there a speed limit on this road? Why did the city form at this particular point on the river? Why don’t we make more things out of corn? Why isn’t this the best place on the continent to view a sunrise or a sunset? How many places actually claim to have the best barbecue? You have time to ponder these and other questions when you travel more slowly, and you have a large fuel tank.

The MOA rally is a gathering of 7000 plus people and their machines with a common love of the blue and white propeller on a two-wheeled conveyance. With that said, any gathering of humans this large will immediately subdivide into tribes. Geographic tribes, and time period tribes (I see you Airheads), and specific model tribes (I see you chromeheads), and genre tribes (I see you GS Giants). All different,  all able to poke fun at each other, all able to share the same beer tent. Many different origins, many different walks of life, many different faiths, many different world views, united around one company’s approach to combining metal and steel and plastic and rubber. Surely we can find a way to emulate this on a more important level. But I digress.

DBEC3653-4947-4627-B1FC-32ABA4AAB6FA.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg

Seminars educated and informed, test rides informed and even surprised, vendors offered solutions, attendees showered wisdom on each other. Friends reunited. I attended a particularly informative session on lighting and conspicuity. Motorcycles were admired. Oh yes, the motorcycles. Whatever model you rode, many examples of your bike were there. Like the parking lot at Goodwod, you could be well entertained for hours by walking around the grounds looking at machines. Unlike a concours, you are not looking for the most pristine example. The sheer variety of interpretation and personalization is fascinating on this scale, and every machine is a participant. I stopped to admire an R1200ST. Styling only a mother could love, and a rare sighting even at this event, but this machine was well loved and well travelled. The vintage display had a nice assortment as usual of machines from an R32 to an R90S. Green and Red and Grey and Dover White machines broke up the stellar traditional black examples. There was much to discuss at the beer garden that evening. 

The journey back took a different path, and more interstate, with a good bit of rain here and there. The rain washed the bike, and cooled the cylinders and the rider. It somehow feels good to put on rain gear and keep going rather than retreat to wait it out. Riding in the rain can even be fun as I found out some time ago in Nova Scotia. Drying out was quick, and was accompanied by a welcome end to interstate travel. Rolling hills and lush green woods lined the road rather than corn. Place names became more familiar, and the journey came to a close. A lot had happened in a week, and a changed rider stood in an unchanged driveway next to a brilliantly unchanged machine. 

IMG_2152.JPG

 

 

The Cult Turns 50

Classic Velocity

IMG_0726.JPG

In the course of the average human life, you don't get to celebrate too many 50 year anniversaries that happened entirely on your watch. Even fewer for products that you still use and enjoy! A few years back, the Porsche 911 celebrated 50 years, and since the model is still in production, it allowed for a grand time-lapse of evolution, memories, and memorabilia.  In 2018, the BMW 2002 celebrates 50 years of production. Two German icons, two vehicles that have fortunately inhabited the garage, and two vey different automobiles. The 02 is a very different celebration, as the last ones left the factory in 1976! They justifiably get labeled as a "cult car", and there is a famous book on the car with that title. Inevitably the factory and a variety of organizations throw grand birthday parties, and this year was no different. The best way to celebrate a big birthday is with a group of passionate fans of this single model. As David E Davis famously said in his 1968 review, "Now turn your hymnals to Number 2002 and we'll sing two choruses of Whispering Bomb . .."

IMG_0566.JPG
IMG_0683.JPG

So where to find a group of passionate fans ? Hhhhmmmm.....Well there are probably a few hiding in your general region, but it just happens that a group of said fans have been heading to North Carolina, USA every year for over a decade. Scott Sturdy has given us rabid fans a great excuse to drive first to his vineyard when the group was small, and then to Winston-Salem which the group also outgrew, and now to Asheville. It is no longer just an 02 event, but it started that way, and the 2002 remains the core of the event. This gathering and the cars have been featured on these pages many times (see Proper Procrastination and Of Propellers And Cobblestones), but this time is a bit special. 

IMG_0749.JPG
IMG_0588.JPG

At the front end of the event, the BMW CCA Foundation hosted a special sold out open house at their facility in Greer, SC near the US manufacturing facility. It was a celebration of the 2002 with cars, memorabilia, speakers, and merchandise. Effectively, the facility became a BMW 2002 museum for the day. Among the many special cars including a Bauer and a Cabriolet, was a better-than-factory Ceylon car. They should have put it on a rotisserie so that you could marvel at the underside as much as the top side. An immersive sensory overdose for the 02 addict, complete with music from 1968 into the early 1970s. I hate to keep using the drug analogy, but we are talking 1968.....The written word (at least our written words) simply cannot do justice to such an event. It is like writing about Woodstock. Imagine getting to attend a private Jimi Hendriks concert for about 200 people. Then imagine that the attendees included rabid fan friends of yours going back a decade or two. Now imagine that you are perfectly sober for the whole thing and can remember it!  

IMG_0603.JPG
IMG_0717.JPG

But wait, there's more. That evening, the entire host hotel parking lot was turned into a BMW pre-show that went on well into the night. I think the only non-BMW in the parking lot was the hotel shuttle. On behalf of the entire BMW 2002 community, I apologize to any guests that were not part of this event. On the other hand, you will have stories for your grand children! 

IMG_0701.JPG
IMG_0668.JPG

But wait, there's much more. The official show is always the next day, Saturday, now at a picturesque park in Hot Springs, NC. As always, 02s have a field unto themselves, this year including a few lovely Neue Klasse cars, and several of the immediate precursor to the 2002, the 1600. It is in this setting that you could readily appreciate the many individualized creations that make up the community. It is nothing if not diverse. The foundation event was the curated version, but the park was a canvas for everybody. The album will do the talking here, but suffice it to say that just about every color and variation was present in treatments from mild to wild. And almost all driven to the event from far away. Oh yeah, there were other cool BMWs there as always, but this one was about the icon. The cult car. 

IMG_0734a.JPG
IMG_0743.JPG

As a true driver's sedan, you can pay no greater tribute than to drive these cars., and after a great long weekend, they were driven back home hundreds of miles away. A fitting 50th birthday party if ever there was one. 

IMG_0581.JPG

Martin Classics 2018

Classic Velocity

FullSizeRender.jpg

This year, for the first time in many, we missed the Martin Moto Classics show. It always coaxes local, and now with growth, regional owners to bring their classic treasures out to share with the public. There is always an assortment of German machines on hand with BMW featuring prominently, but accompanied by things less common. 

This year, there were nice examples of machines featured in these pages or formerly inhabiting the garage, including MZ, Kreidler, DKW, Condor, and Victoria. I have picked a few machines consistent  with the theme of this blog, but thanks to Todd Trumbore and Images from Walter Barlow, you can still enjoy a larger variety of impressive machines via the album link below.  

Martin Moto Modern Classics 2018

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

NYC IMS 2017

Classic Velocity

As seen through the eyes of a vintage enthusiast, this annual pilgrimage is a chance to see what is new and trendy, and to lay eyes on what has heretofore been the stuff of articles. This year, there was an impressive number of “standard” motorcycles. This means relatively upright seating position, handlebars rather than clipons, very little bodywork, no winshield. Among them were the Yamaha MT09 and 07, the MV Agusta Rivale, Kawasaki Z900, BMW RNineT, etc. Nice looking machines that can be versatile as well. Everybody now has an “Adventure” bike, including Royal Enfield with their new Himalayan. Honda and BMW now offer “Baggers”! There is plenty of coverage of the event on major magazine sites, so here is a select sampling of images through the Classic Velocity lens.

IMG_3557.JPG
IMG_3554.JPG
IMG_3561.JPG
IMG_3564.JPG
IMG_3589.JPG
IMG_3563.JPG
IMG_3575.JPG
IMG_3586.JPG
IMG_3567.JPG
IMG_3562.JPG
IMG_3565.JPG
IMG_3552.JPG

 

Limerock 2017

Classic Velocity

FullSizeRender.jpg

For us, Labor Day weekend is synonymous with the Limerock Vintage Motorsports Weekend. The event has graced these pages many times before (see Lapping Limerock or Limerock 2014), and always delights. This year represented an abbreviated visit, as we were going to miss Monday racing (the circuit has a long time noise ordinance which effectively bans racing on Sundays), and the remnants of hurricane Harvey drowned out the Sunday car show. The auction that has now become part of the weekend took place under tent as the rain came down on all sides.

However,  Friday and Saturday were perfect, with temps in the seventies and a mix of sun and clouds.  We have been to this event when the sun was blisteringly hot, and we have been to this event when everyone was huddled up in winter clothing. Saturday's blend was great for walking around the paddock, and for watching the racing from multiple vantage points around the track. Indicative of the variety that you find at Limerock was one of their last run groups, which was an eclectic mix of machines together on track. It included a Ford GT, a few MGBs, a Lotus Elan, a few Porsche 911s, and a Tatra!

Of course like any great event, the parking lot can be almost as interesting as what is inside. No disappointment here. Something about New England brings out the anglophiles, so the early Jags, and Healeys, and Land Rovers were abundant. Even a nice Rover TC graced the grassy parking area. Clubs also showed up in force, so Porsches and BMWs were everywhere. A few interesting Italian cars were there, in addition to the Ferraris and Maserati ( is the plural of Maserati, Maserati?), including a rare Fiat 130.  The Fiat was large and wide, and could have easily been a product of Detroit Rather than Italy.

The paddock continues to expand, with the two areas now consuming most of what was the swap meet area. Sadly, there is less of a swap meet these days, but it is due to increasing numbers of on-track competitors. This makes the paddock more interesting, and the chance to see your favorite marque and model, greater. Limerock's mix of elevation changes, esses, and a long straight, ensure that you need a well sorted machine to dominate, and that the racing stays interesting each lap.  

Want to browse through our photos from the event? View the Full Limerock Vintage Weekend Album

 Lancia ready to race

Lancia ready to race

IMG_5486.JPG

Green on green  

 An impressive tape job on the headlights! 

An impressive tape job on the headlights! 

IMG_5381.JPG

A classic beauty in Motorsport livery

IMG_5309.JPG

Renault Alpine

 Beetle with a Porsche engine at the auction

Beetle with a Porsche engine at the auction

IMG_5186.JPG

Ford Angelia with a Cosworth inside..

 An Auto Union 1000 for sale

An Auto Union 1000 for sale

In Season

Classic Velocity

FullSizeRender.jpg

One of the sure signs that we are back in the riding/driving season, is that the gatherings of the clans become routine once again. Breakfast meetings, and after work gatherings, and weekend outings begin to fill the calendar. These always compete with work and family schedules, but at the beginning of the season, motivation is high to make the first events. The eclectic Moto Hang group is always welcome and interesting, because there is no rhyme or reason to the machines and the people that show up. 

There is a world traveler on a Suzuki DR, a Triumph Street Triple, a Ducati ST4, a BMW R75/5, a Piaggio scooter, and a Fuji bicycle with a Whizzer motor next to a new BMW R1200GS. Talk about eclectic !

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_1853.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

Hershey 2017

Classic Velocity

FullSizeRender.jpg

The weather forecast was not helpful. Not that this is unusual for an April event in Pennsylvania. We have attended this event in snow flurries, hail, 80+ degree heat, and torrential downpours (see Hounds of the Basketweave or Hooked on Hershey). However, as the value of the cars rise, the willingness to drive them in less than perfect conditions plummets. A shame really for arguably the best handling machines of the 20th century, and even the beginnings of the 21st. The weather also seems to have impacted the swap meet vendors. There were noticeable gaps in the rows and rows of vendor spots. Were they just no-shows on this gray day, or did less people actually sign up?

IMG_1821.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg

In any case, none of this stops the die-hards. Hershey is an annual gathering of friends not seen since before the winter, or since the last Hershey. It means that spring is here in the mid-Atlantic region, and cars are back on the road. It was great to see members of the crew out and about, shopping, searching, browsing. As shocking as it is, it was great to see that the hobby supports $2800 tool kits and a $1200 seat that needed a complete refinishing. On the other hand bargains were still to be found on a nice 944 for $5000, and an early 911 deck lid for $200. This is the magic of Hershey, friends, bargains, non-bargains, and French fries.  

FullSizeRender.jpg
IMG_1833.JPG

And then there are the cars. Despite lower than usual turnout, there were great examples of the marque from its' earliest models, to the latest. Between the show field and the Porsche-only parking area, you could find whatever you loved. A Reuter-bodied 356 Coupe, to a few weeks old GT3. As always, you could find many examples of any given year and model. 968, 912, 928, 993, etc. If you like the vintage models, this is still the place to be in April, although there is increasingly more for the newer cars. We were reminded that 911SCs, and 944s, and even 928s are now 30 years old. 20 year old $80k supercars with reasonable mileage are now under $30k. Time marches on, old classics remain timeless, new classics are emerging, but the place to see it all is still Hershey Pennsylvania in April.  

IMG_1826.JPG
FullSizeRender.jpg

Modern Classics 2017

Classic Velocity

IMG_0275.JPG

Here in the wintry northeast USA, we have invented a number of great ways to break the grip of winter on our 2-wheeled hearts. Among them are trips to warmer climes, maintenance and restoration, researching the next great ride, winter riding, and shows. This last one, shows, is welcome, but cruel. To walk around amongst fine classic motorcycles, any of which you would love to ride today, makes it painful to leave and confront salty icy roads. But such is the pain inflicted by The Modern Classics show in Boyertown, PA. I have ridden to this show in past years, but not this time. There were only 2 bikes in the parking lot, and with temperatures below 30 degrees, their riders were made of strong stuff.  

FullSizeRender.jpg

The show always manages to find interesting examples of machines from the 60s, 70s, and 80s. European, Japanese, and American brands are most prevalent. The theme of the show is modern classics, so you would expect to see the more iconic and popular models rather than the obscure.  With that said, it is great to see a nice unmolested example of a Kawasaki 1100 Eddie Lawson replica, or a Vincent Black Lightning, or a rotary-engined Suzuki RE5, or an MV Augusta or a BMW R100RT. All indoors, all a few feet away from each other.  

IMG_3642.JPG

There is a people's choice award, so in addition to admiring the machines, you get to vote for your favorite. It is always hard to single out just one machine in this show. If you choose according to rarity, then it has to be the Rex, even more than the beautiful Munch on display. For artistic jewelry, you would have to pick the Ducati 175. For value, the Vincent. For oddity, the MV Agusta monocycle. However, my ultimate choice was the Bultaco Sherpa almost overlooked on the fringe of the display area. It captured the essence of the machines of the era. It was simple, light, well-designed, good looking, and performed well. Simple fame, simple engine, simple everything. There was absolutely nothing on it that was not functional, and it was ironically, in a room full of desirable machines, the one I most wanted to jump on and ride. Of course, starting it would have filled the room with 2-smoke and killed all the attendees. 

IMG_3666.JPG
IMG_3645.JPG
IMG_3649.JPG
IMG_3648.JPG
IMG_3646.JPG
IMG_3671.JPG
IMG_3669.JPG
IMG_3654.JPG
IMG_3651.JPG
IMG_3644.JPG
IMG_3634.JPG
IMG_3653.JPG
IMG_3673.JPG

Vintage Dirt

Classic Velocity

IMG_1697.JPG

There are significant pros and cons to some aspect of your passion becoming cool. In the pro column, parts can become available again, magazines run articles, beautiful examples appear at shows, and more people appreciate the realm. In the Cons column, prices double seemingly overnight, your cult niche becomes mainstream, and barn finds disappear. All of this was evident this year at the Potomac Vintage Riders York vintage show and swapmeet. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

There is no denying that the bike show part of this event gets more impressive each year.  It is also commendable that the PVR manages to find a different crop of excellent machines each year. While the focus is clearly on vintage dirt or enduro machines, there were some cool street bikes as well. Among them a brilliant green BSA cafe racer, and a rarely seen BMW R80ST, along with a nice Guzzi, an NSU Supermax, and a classically faired Triumph road racer. The real stars, though were the vintage enduro machines from Bultaco and Greeves, and Maico, and MZ. The favorites included a very nice R80G/S in Dakar trim, and a beautiful Montesa 360 Cappra resplendent in orange. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

At some point, we will need to drop the word "swapmeet" as a description of events like this. Nothing has been swapped at a swapmeet in several decades. At this event, the vendors inside are more established places, along with the odd private citizen with a bunch of spare parts. Outside, however, the parking lot has more of a flea market feel (another term that has aged out of relevance). Pickup beds filled with "Field Finds" (I am introducing this new term), and trailers festooned with home made for sale signs. Fancy a Fantic ? Pining for a Penton ? Oscillating on an Ossa ? Stroll the lot. Chances are, they will not be as nice as those inside, but good examples and plenty of parts can be found.  

IMG_1702.JPG

Familiar faces are mixed with a sea of nouveau fans. Familiar old parts are mixed with New Old Stock. There is something strange about a pristine Enduro bike. It begs to be ridden, to be sullied, but it wants to be admired in showroom condition. Even more than a street bike, it doesn't belong inside. It looks like it is on vacation, but will soon return home to its natural environment. York in January may not be on the list of vacation destinations, but it is the place to be for the region's vintage 2-wheeled gear heads.  

IMG_1705.JPG
IMG_1703.JPG
IMG_1708.JPG
IMG_1712.JPG
IMG_1711.JPG
IMG_1714.JPG
IMG_1715.JPG
IMG_1716.JPG
IMG_1717.JPG
IMG_1718.JPG

NYC IMS 2016

Classic Velocity

FullSizeRender.jpg

The International Motorcycle Show  (IMS) comes to NYC once per year and used to fall right in the of the non-riding season where it was a welcome oasis in the two-wheeled desert that is winter. Now that it falls in December, and in the case of this year, in a mild beginning to winter where riding is still a possibility for us die-hards, it is somewhat less dramatic. It also falls fast on the heels of much news from EICMA about new bikes, and after the CA IMS in Long Beach. So we were expecting to see some new machines in the flesh, but no real surprises.

FullSizeRender.jpg

It was as expected, but that is not to say it was a yawnfest. There was some nice vintage machinery hidden amongst the bright shiny new stuff which was of interest to fans of old iron. But we also had a chance to throw a leg over the new small kids on the block such as the BMW G310R, the KTM 390 Duke, and the Yamaha R3. All high quality machines that will be good choices for commuters, beginners, and general fans of small displacement. Max BMW had an impressive trio of restored BMWs including an immaculate R80 G/S that started the whole adventure craze. Speaking of that, KTM had the new big adventure bikes on display, the 1290 Super Adventure, and the 1050 adventure R. We have to admit struggling with the new "face" on the 1290 machine. The Yamaha Super Tenere in sand beige looked like just a livery change for this year, but the Honda Africa Twin looked and felt good. 

FullSizeRender.jpg

Elsewhere, we had a brief chat with Eric Buell who had yet another set of machines and another promise of a stable future. We hope he is right this time. The Harley Davidson booth was all about the new motor, which one die-hard fan described as "too smooth"! Victory further emphasized styling, but also had an Empulse electric bike, reminding us that they are now a player in that space (and they proved it on Pike's Peak!). Indian seems to be doing very well with the Scout, now planning to fully campaign in dirt track and amp up the new rivalry with Harley. There were also the usual series of custom show machines and accessory vendors. All in all, the show is still a fun way to pass several hours.

FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg
FullSizeRender.jpg

And we end with a modern interpretation of where we began....Nice job, but I'll take the original thank you. 

Clash of the Marques

Classic Velocity

It had been a long time since the tribe gathered at the traditional summer breakfast spot along the river. The impending end of the driving season caused our fearless convener and keeper of the flame, Monde, to shame us all into showing up and driving the cars. Good thing he did. However, as the normal flow of O Gruppe machines rolled in, several cars from another German marque intertwined themselves amongst the others. A beautiful 3.0CS, a 2002, and a 2800CS. These invaders were almost as strong in force as the Porsches. Fortunately, drivers emerged from their vehicles revealing regular members of the P-Car tribe. Traitors ? Marquerious ? Would hostilities break out ? 

No, this group is well known for having a well-rounded appreciation for fine vintage iron of all stripes. There are known owners of Alfas, and air-cooled motorcycles among them. Heck, they even complimented a vintage Ford Ranchero driving by. Breakfast involved much catching up and swapping of smartphone pictures, and consumption of eggs. The gathering spilled out into the cold for a good while as cars were admired and parts were swapped, and projects for spring were contemplated. Stuttgart forgave the sins of Munich and vice versa. As one attendee aptly said, Its about the people....

Das Motorrad Vintage Fescht 10

Classic Velocity

A Guest Post by Friend of the Blog, Todd Trumbore

Ten years ago, I got together with my good friend Karl Duffner and kicked around the idea of rounding up a group of fellow vintage riders and setting aside a day for a nice scenic tour of the local countryside and ending with a luncheon or BBQ. Karl liked the idea and so plans were made.

That first year, the event was held in the middle of October and the weather was sunny, but a bit chilly. We could only muster eight riders: Karl Duffner on his ‘54 BMW R68, Bill Zane rode his BMW R60/2, Dave Dilworth on a ‘76 Moto Guzzi T3 , Dave’s son riding a Moto Guzzi Convert, Eric Heilveil on his silver R75/5, Roddy Erwin borrowed my ‘55 BMW R90/2 conversion with a Steib S501 sidecar, Rick Kramer on his ‘66 Triumph Daytona and Laura and I rode on my ‘67 BMW R60/2 with our Aussie, Sidecar Larry, riding in the Steib TR500 attached at the hip. Jack Riepe and Dick Bregstein were our tail gunning SAG crew members providing moral support along with amusing commentary. This became a tradition for Jack & Dick for many years to come.

FullSizeRender.jpg

We had a wonderful four county ride, but Dave Dilworth and his son got sidetracked briefly when Dave blew out a clutch cable on the Moto Guzzi,... not to worry they carried a spare. We ended up having lunch at Mal’s All American Restaurant in Skippack Village, PA where I handed out some Flying Merkel Hats and framed FM photos. Every year thereafter a “Flying Merkel” award was given to the person riding the oldest motorbike.

FullSizeRender.jpg

When planning an outdoor event, it’s always a roll of the dice when it comes to the weather. Several events I planned this year or events I planned to attend were rained out. That was not the case for this year’s Vintage Motorrad Festival. This year was our 10th Annual and the weather could not have more perfect. We all awoke to clear blue skies, bright sunshine and 70 degrees...sometimes lady luck is with you and the Motorrad Gods are smiling from above.

I wanted this ride to be special, so I laid out a course with some of the best roads this area has to offer. Some twisties of course to keep our interest and attention, but many long sweeper after sweepers. This kept the pace moving quickly and also helped to keep everyone together. Over the years the group has increased from eight to twenty-five and that’s about the limit for group riding.

FullSizeRender.jpg

I tried my best to gather a rare collection of old iron for this special occasion. But, even the best planning doesn’t always pan out as intended. Rob Caso’s Mike Hailwood Replica Ducati needed just a little more work to be trustworthy, Albert Bold had his MV Augusta 750 America ready to roll, but a conflict with a championship bicycling competition got in the way of those plans. Stony Read’s rare R50S BMW restoration was not quite ready for prime time, Eric Heilveil was planning on bringing his rare ‘52 Vincent Black Shadow, but a family affair also had him on the sideline and Ron Rohner’s ultra rare Red Cross side hack rig was just too precious to chance on the highway.

Not all was lost, many beautiful vintage machines were in attendance, mostly classic BMW’s. The R75/5, R100S and R90S models are always popular with the vintage riders, but we had a couple unique Hondas, Harleys, a Ducati, Moto Guzzi Lemans and a Triumph Bonneville. Wayne Woodruff brought his really sharp 1956 Matchless G11, Tony Karas recently picked up a very nice R100RS Motorsport, 1 of only 200 made and brought that bike to the event. Lou Stellar rode a real nice R90S Silver Smoke and Rich Nagy rode his stunning Daytona Orange R90S, BUT...Klaus Huenecke stole the show and took all honors hands down, with his ultra rare and incredibly jaw dropping gorgeous Munch Mammoth. One of only 360 or so and this is by far the best of the best in my opinion.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Over the years our luncheon at Mal’s quickly turned into an impromptu BBQ at the Upper Salford Park Pavilion, then later became a catered event with Master Chef Alphons Schubeck at the grill working the coals. What a blessing! “Chef Bob” worked his magic along with his crew ( Dave, Susan, Laura and Anneliese) and timed the Bavarian BBQ so that the meal is ready to go as soon as we return from our ride. Many Thanks !

Wayne Woodruff’s 1956 Matchless G11 won him the “Flying Merkel Award” this year, for the oldest motorbike on the ride even though he missed the very last leg due to an ignition and charging problem...Hey it’s British, need I say more. The good news is, the bike did not leave Wayne stranded and it didn’t take him long to fix the problems.

FullSizeRender.jpg

Wayne wasn’t the only one having some problems that day.  John Melchor’s R90S also had either a bad battery or a charging problem, but he too managed to arrive home safely with the aid of duck tape, bailing wire and a spare battery from a hobby shop.

Also...I want to give a really big thank you to those who made donations, someone gave a VERY nice donation (not sure who), but I appreciate that very much.  It really helps defray the cost of putting on this event.    Can’t wait until next year...see you then!

Beauty and the Bratwurst

Classic Velocity

image.jpg

Porsche napkins, Porsche water, a Porsche Super 90 Cabriolet on display, an RS2 parked at the entrance, and yet, this was not a white tablecloth gathering at the country club exclusively for the well-heeled. It was an open house for a shop in Allentown, PA. Specialty Cars is a small shop in a nondescript industrial park, and, when closed, does not really hint at the jewels that regularly flow through the doors. On this day, it was clear. In the driveway, and on the streets surrounding the shops, was an impressive array of Porshes from vintage to the very latest.

image.jpg

Customers and friends of owner Mark Burkit turned out to ogle cars, shoot the breeze, and eat bratwurst hot dogs. Dick brought his lovely 993, Ed brought his 912, Bruce brought his SC, and Girt showed up with his 02 to disturb the Porsche lineup. There were many special cars in and around the shop including a 1966 911 in need of a total restoration, Nick's award-winning IROC replica resplendent in blue, and the aforementioned 356 Cabriolet. Shops like Specialty Cars are becoming more and more rare. A family-owned businesses that is equally comfortable doing race prep or restoring a 356, and which cooks a mean bratwurst.....

image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg
image.jpg

#classicvelocity

Oley 2016

Classic Velocity

image.jpg

Once riding season begins, the posts fall behind a bit. The annual visit to Oley for the AMCA swap meet took place in April. It is always a good excuse to ride (see Oleyonics), and never fails to entertain. 2016 continued the streak. There is always something German for sale despite this being a predominantly antique American meet. This year there was an Adler and an Imme in addition to several BMWs. There are also plenty of vintage Japanese machines scattered about, which adds to the sense that they are becoming much more popular among restorers. As usual, Excelsior machines had a healthy presence, and looked cool with their inline 4 engine layout. In the "never seen one of those before" category was a 1950s Puma motorcycle manufactured in Argentina, and a some interesting Harley Davidson variants such as the cool Sport Legerro from the late 1960s. We all noticed what seemed like a dramatic reduction in British bikes and parts at the event. A few Triumphs, and a few BSAs were about the extent of it. Quite the contrast to the Gathering of the Nortons a week prior. There was nothing on the Velocity shopping list this year, just a chance to walk around and marvel at the machines and their owners....

 Use this link for more pictures

Official Start

Classic Velocity

image.jpg

This winter was not bad. Besides a few periods of super cold, we managed to slip in rides here and there. They were short, but they were rides. However, it was winter, and there is a psychology to when the riding season begins. Riding friends have points of demarcation, like the first time you don't turn on the heated grips, or the date of the Equinox, or as soon as the salt is washed away. 

In these parts, an unmistakable official launch of the riding season is the Gathering of the Nortons event at Washington Crossing. Organized by the Delaware Valley Norton Riders (DVNR), it is certainly the premiere gathering of the Norton marque in the area and has been featured here before (see the Gathering of the Clans or Gathering 2015). It is always great to see multiple variations of vintage Nortons rumble in. Commandos are always most plentiful, but this is also the place to see Dominators, JPNs, ES2s, Atlases, and more. 

image.jpg

But this event has grown to become much more than just a Norton event. It is a British bike event, to the extent that this year a regional Triumph dealer showed up with the new Thruxtons on display. This show is more about vintage iron though. Old Triumphs, Velocettes, BSAs, Matchlesses, and such formed the core of a large show field. 

Surrounding the core is a crazy wonderland of hundreds of machines from all over the world. A Bultaco circled the field early in the day before the crowds gathered leaving a light mist of two stroke haze hovering above. The first sighting on the road of a Ducati 900e Desmodue, a hot rod Honda CBX, a distinctive blue BMW K1, a Super Cycle, a pristine Suzuki Water Buffalo, a Benelli Cobra, and on and on.  Forget Mods vs Rockers, we had Sears vs Wards with an Interstate and a Riverside in attendance ! BMWs peppered the field with the Red Toaster, the two-tone R1150RS, the aforementioned K1, a few /2s, and an orange RT to name a few. As usual, this event exceeded expectations with the unveiling of winter projects, and the return of nice specimens from the region under their own steam. At the Moto Equinox, trailers are not welcome.

Porsche Pilgrimage

Classic Velocity

image.jpg

It happens every year. The calendar says April and two events immediately spring (pun intended) into focus. The first this year is the Hershey Porsche Swap Meet. It landed early in the month, which meant that we were caught off guard with preparations. Well..... actually... We are always caught off guard, but this year it sounds more plausible. The combing of the basement, and the sorting of the parts was not completed. The cleaning of the car was not completed. This was no way to begin a pilgrimage.

But it happens every year (see Hounds of the Basketweave or Hooked on Hershey). The typical pilgrimage begins with an awakening at zero dark thirty. This is followed by a hurried spate of last minute loading up and then a departure to meet fellow pilgrims, get coffee, drive a couple hours, and get to the gates of the temple before opening time. So there we were, sitting in a long line of vehicles with engines turned off, watching the sky go from black to grey to the lightest shade of blue. And then the gates opened, and in we swarmed like locusts upon a leafy crop.

Some selling, some buying, some finding their sacred place. The day is long, but the bargains go early. Best to sprint around and cover all bases, then make additional laps at an increasingly more leisurely pace. A Half hour after opening, buyers are returning to their cars to unload precious purchases. A set of 1971 Fuchs, or a 2.0 motor for a 914, or a 924 steering wheel. Others are pulling Radio Flyer wagons with a few choice items on board. 356 bee hive turn signal lenses, and triple Webers in need of a full rebuild. 

image.jpg

As things brighten up and warm up, it becomes apparent that this is going to be a perfect spring day. You can tell because the cabriolets start to arrive in the Concours area, and the Targa tops come off. The early devout pilgrims give way to those that stopped for a decent breakfast or just slept until a decent hour. A school of 928s (they are sharks after all) roll in, and the non-show Porsche only parking lot begins to fill up and wrap around the event.

If you needed to see an example just like yours, or just like yours was, or just like yours wants to be, this is the place.  If you are looking for Porsche unobtainium, this is the place. If you are looking for new old stock, or a superior modern version without the flaws, this is the place. If you want to gauge the price of almost any model of vintage Porsche this is the place. If you think you know what you are talking about and want to be tested, this is the place.  If you just want to wander around looking at 900 or so of the world's most iconic and beautiful cars, this is the place.

image.jpg

And then somewhere around 3pm, Porsche city begins to clear just as fast as it appeared. Tents come down, trailers get packed, cars head out, and suddenly, it is a mostly empty giant parking lot again. We head off for a bite and a beer and swap stories about the deals and the rare finds, and the ones that got away. But one thing is not in doubt, we will make this pilgrimage again next year.

 

VIEW THE FULL HERSHEY 2016 ALBUM