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Classic Velocity Blog

Filtering by Category: Events

Official Start

Classic Velocity

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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. 

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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

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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. 

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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.

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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

PVGP 2015

Classic Velocity

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In the middle of Pittsburgh is a lovely city park next to a golf course. For most of the year it is the home to cyclists and runners and dogs and frisbees and picnics. However, since 1983 the park has been handed over to gear heads for a few days in The summer, and it becomes the home of the Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix. Vintage race fans came and then a car club or two thought it would be a cool day drive, and then it grew and it grew until it is now close to ten days of activities with dozens of clubs and thousands of cars. The highlight is still the vintage racing, but the car show now dwarfs the on-track activity. To be fair, it is really dozens of separate car shows that are operated by local and regional clubs, and which sprawl out over almost all the green space around the track.

The show is roughly arranged by country, and then with Marques within each of those areas.  You can wander through Italy or England or Germany or the Americas and find everything from mild to wild parked in the show area. Almost everything is very nicely done and completed, so this is not really a show for swapmeet aficionados and uncompleted projects although there were a few barn finds. However, this is also not strictly enforced Concours D'Elegance, so in the Porsche area for example, a beautiful RS America was neighbors with a 550 replica. In the BMW area, an immaculate Isetta sat next to an even more immaculate 502. A Spare-no-expense VW R32 Golf sat right in front of a beautiful split window VW camper. This may sound chaotic, but it is the beauty of this event. You need to walk the field to see the best stuff. 

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Italian cars, as the featured Marques this year, held the position of prominence outside the clubhouse of the golf course. New and old Ferraris, Alfas, Abarths, and a rare Ghia took center stage. There was quite a bit of money on that stage! Slightly downhill was a large contingent of Fiats including a Brava 131S and an adjacent Lancia Beta both in pristine condition. When last did you see that combination? The British empire was also impressive. Scores of MGBs and herds of Triumphs, but two vehicles stood out. The first was a Sunbeam Alpine GT. beautifully restored in white, and a car not seen in the flesh in decades. The other was a lovely red Land Rover complete with rear bus seats. In Japan, there was a cool Honda S600 and a nice two tone Datsun 510. There was a good selection of muscle cars in America, but a couple of pickups were exceptional. 

Practice sessions ran on track all day on Saturday with a mix of open wheel, sedans, and sports cars. Since the park is not a race track, it encouraged some interesting techniques to get around quickly. A series of uphill curves near Germany proved to be a great vantage point. Precision lines vs sliding the back around was fun to watch. Plus, you got to watch Porsche 912 vs BMW 2002 vs Abarth vs Alfa. Superb ! A stroll through the pits later had us nostalgic for when we raced the same cars. Although I did not envy the poor guys laying in the heat working on hot engines or diagnosing tough issues from the last run. Good weight loss program. This is true love. 

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PVGP is an annual favorite because it does not disappoint. Next year we figure out how to make the earlier rallies and track day.

 

Full PVGP Album

 

 

Of Propellers and Cobblestones

Classic Velocity

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It all started out as the brainchild of a vintage enthusiast who also owned and operated a vineyard.He decided to invite a bunch of ragtag fellow enthusiasts to come down to his vineyard to gather and talk about our cars and drink beer and wine. I forget now how many of us actually showed up, but it was maybe a couple dozen. Almost entirely 2002's with perhaps a couple of 635s and a CS. Scott called it Vintage at the Vineyards, and he and his wife did a fine job of making it feel like the beginnings of something big. There were goodie bags and a few organized activities, and of course some driving. That was a long distance award, and a patina award which went to a vehicle with no two panels were the same color or from the same car. The event grew the next year and soon it outgrew the Vineyard and was moved to a larger one nearby. Then it outgrew that, and eventually moved to take over most of the Old Winston-Salem historic district. It is now one of the premier events in the country for vintage BMWs, and attracts some of the most spectacular cars from the propeller marque. The vineyards part of the name has gone away. This no longer a bunch of ragtag 2002 owners from the mid-Atlantic region, as there are cars from Texas to Canada in attendance.

if you have been a regular reader of this blog, you are well aware that this event has provided some pretty interesting adventures regarding getting to and from the event (see proper procrastination). This one was no exception, but I will save that story for another time. Somehow, a setting of cobblestones and houses dating back to the 18th century only enhance the presentation of these cars that are from the 20th century. Something to do with being beautiful and basic and timeless. Even those with some patina (although there are fewer and fewer of those at the event these days), fit in with the well-worn streets and, after all, an iron cauldron only gets better with age.

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Of course the event is also an opportunity to reunite with those who are of the original attendees, and meet new attendees. It was great to see Humberto and Mike. It was great to meet Glen and Dan and others. The cars and the stories are always priceless. I learned more about the Sahara color than anyone should be exposed to in a lifetime, and heard wild stories about how Max Hoffman influenced the cars that ended up in the USA. I also got to meet two of my favorite scribes from the Roundel. Rob Siegel (The Hack Mechanic) was there and we chatted for a while about common pilgrimages to Limerock Motorsports Park and common challenges working on multiple projects simultaneously. Mike Self was there (02 Cents) and we had a long conversation about the velour interior options for the tii and how to convert the 320i steering wheel to a 2002. There is encyclopedic knowledge in the brains of these two individuals. 

However, it is also an event about cars, and there were plenty of those. This year there seemed to be a number of ti models with their highly desirable twin carb setups, which made their way down from Canada. There was also a long line of beautiful CS cars. 2002s of every stripe adorned the streets, rendering otherwise outstanding cars ordinary. A few nice 320i cars were present as those previously unloved cars now become cool. The sharks are always out at this event, and the E30 brigade never disappoints. M cars, Alpina cars, Dinan cars, and M conversions pepper the streets with mild to wild variations. And most of the cars drove to the event, including the Canadians. The cars have now spilled over into lots on the side streets, and the swap meet area has choice items. I did not find the kidney grill I need, but I do now have one for a 320i (package deal). I did however find a much needed non rusted-through pedal box. 

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If you attended the initial events, it is hard to imagine the size and quality of this now multi-day event.  That would require a grand vision and a great deal of hard selfless work. Thank goodness that Scott Sturdy had large portions of both.

At The Vintage 2015 full album 

Carlisle Import 2015

Classic Velocity

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We have commented before that Pennsylvania has a disproportionate number of national and international quality moto events. Even in a world of cars and coffee, mocha and motorcycles, scones and scooters, the bigeer gatherings are still must-attend events. One of them is the Carlisle Import Show which takes place every May. It is a gathering of all the major brands from Europe, and a smattering of Japanese brands. It always feels like the largest show for those who do not have other large shows in the region. Porsche, BMW, Mercedes, and Ferrari, are always there, but in relatively small numbers. There is a strange ebb and flow to which brands show up in force, but some are mainstays. Swedish cars and French cars are always well represented. Audi is always well represented. Kit cars are always well represented. Nissan is usually well represented. We always see something unusual from Italy, like the Rivolta shown here. Always a worthwhile event...

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Oleyonics

Classic Velocity

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The traditional indications of spring include flowers, blossoms, milder temperatures, and sunny skies.One of the clear signs of spring missed by those not into vintage iron is the AACA Oley swap meet. Oley is a good chance to ride something interesting or your newly completed project. Unlike The Gathering of the Nortons, You will not usually see any new bikes at Oley. This is the realm of the ancient ones. The realm of exposed valve springs and seat springs, of strange hand controls and foot levers. And then there are the bikes !

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Oley is part swap meet, part bike show, part history lesson, and it is this last that makes it such an interesting day. Chances are you can see something pre-war in action, some ancient idea that never really caught on in use, or something from an old magazine brought to life. And you can probably talk to a guy who knows more about it than the factory ever did.

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You can learn the original cost of a 1925 Indian, and how much you can pay today to buy it. For the cost of parts, use the following formula; Take the current year and subtract the year of the part you are looking at. Then multiply by 5 for the low end of the range, and 10 for the upper end. So if the part is from 1935, you have 2015-1935=80*5=$400 minimum for that tail light. Indeed, Oleyonics is a course worth taking just based on the wildly diverse content and faculty. See you in class next year.

Oley 2015 Full Album

A Plethora of Porsches

Classic Velocity

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The annual assemblage of Porsches old and new at Hershey in April is now an international event. You are likely to hear several different languages as you walk around, but there is one that all of the attendees share; Porsche. We have covered it here before (see Hounds of the Basketweave or Hooked on Hershey), but it is always worthy of coverage. It is a giant car show. It is probably one of the world's largest Porsche only parking lots. It is a swap meet with rows of parts, paraphernalia, and patina. It had a tractor in the Concours event. People come seeking that elusive final accesory to complete the project, while others are seeking sheetmetal to begin one. As a Porsche fan or fanatic, on a glorious spring day, you would be hard pressed to be in a better place. See the full photo album

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Gathering 2015

Classic Velocity

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The riding season in the northern climes begins in the spring. However, in the mid-Atlantic region, it officially starts with events. Events like The Gathering of the Nortons. This is no small gathering of a few Norton devotees. It is an event covered here before (see Gathering 2012 or Gathering of the Clans) that routinely draws over 70 Nortons and 900 bikes overall, and which is well managed by the Delaware Valley Norton Riders. Vintage bikes enjoy a reserved field. It is several hundred wildly varied machines from all kinds of Marques. A neck-swiveling vintage sensory overload. This year brought excellent weather and afforded a fantastic ride along the Delaware river. The Norton liked the empty if winter-ravaged river road. 

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The event is always a chance to reconnect with friends not seen since before the tundra froze over. It is also a coming out party for many a winter project. A maiden voyage for any number of garage projects. Some of the results are spectacular. Others are just pleased to make it to the event. All contributed not just to one of the first vintage events of the year, but one of the best.

Norton Gathering 2015 Full Photo Album

 

NY IMS 2014

Classic Velocity

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Manhattan, NYC. The Holiday Season. Motorcycles. Not a bad combination. With dates shifted around, the New York show is now in mid December. Manhattan is already a cool place to visit around the Holidays, so adding a motorcycle show makes it even better. The International Motorcycle Show (IMS) is usually a welcome winter break, since vintage iron is just a small piece of it, but it is always fun to see the latest and greatest.

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As you might expect, the NY show has more of an urban theme. It has a stunt show, some crazy street machines, external body armor, etc. However, it also has all of the major manufacturers, and some minor ones as well. Lots of them feel that vintage and retro sell, so there was actually some interesting stuff for the crew to look at and discuss. Some of the new retro machines customized to look 60 years old actually look good. Triumph, Ducati, and BMW had nice machines on display. There were many cafe racers around as well.

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We finally got to see a Motus in the flesh. It is a nice looking machine with quality components. The engine is of course the star as it is half a V8. Another interesting vendor was Motopeds, who had some interesting small bore machines. Polaris brought its new Slingshot 3 wheeler. KTM had the much anticipated 390 Duke. There was the normal array of accessory vendors, and Moto clothing. The show continues to be a good way to indulge your love of things on two wheels at a time of year when riding them is more limited. 

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Fall Hershey 2014

Classic Velocity

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Hershey, Pennsylvania is well known for a few reasons. It is the chocolate capital of America. Although chocolate production has moved to Mexico, and the sweet aroma no longer fills the air on some days. It is also known for the Milton Hershey School, which provides a place for the education of orphans and abused kids. For lovers of Vintage Iron, it is the home of the nation's Antique Automobile Club of America Museum which we have visited and commented on here before. It is also the home of some of the largest and best vintage swap meets in the country if not the world. The Porsche meet has been well covered here (see Hounds of the Basketweave, Hooked on Hershey), but the AACA Fall swap meet has been less so.

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The event is a giant swap meet with 9000 (yes, 9000 !)spaces consuming the Giant Center and surrounding area. It now spans a week and has multiple events including a vintage race car demonstration run, museum activities, a huge for sale corral, and an RM auction. Be prepared to walk or bicycle a lot. The meet is very well known for its pre-war cars and parts, so if you own a Model A or a 1930s Dodge pickup, this is your meet. Postwar americana is also very well represented. increasingly though, other interesting vintage parts and cars are showing up. There were plenty of Mercedes stalls, and they were the among the most prevalent marques in the for sale area, which almost completely rings half of the event. I was surprised to see a good number of Porsche cars for sale, and a very cool stall with vintage NSU and TWN motorcycles !

The weather was not the best this year, but that was probably good for the RM auction which sold a V-16 Cadillac Fleetwood for $1.1 Million, and a 1905 Fiat for more than $825,000. 

 See the full slideshow

Das Motorrad Vintage Ride

Classic Velocity

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What kind of a crazy gathering has both a 1958 BMW R60 and a Ducati 1198 Panigale lining up to start? What kind of eclectic Moto madness has a near pristine Yamaha SR500 and a Vincent Black Shadow? Todd Trumbore's Vintage Fall Ride. You have heard of Todd here before (see record wreckers and vintage fescht 2012). This year, there was a perfect fall day for riding a motorcycle, with blue skies, puffy white clouds, and perfect temperatures in the 70s. The faithful gathered at the traditional starting point to fill up the gas tanks and drain the bio tanks.

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Many of the regulars have multiple machines, so it is always interesting to see what will show up. Since it involves a ride of 50 to 100 miles to get to lunch, it can be a good opportunity for unveiling a new acquisition, or a newly completed project. My R60 had its pistons on the bench earlier this year, so this was a good chance to complete the 60 mile round trip to the start, and then the ride itself. BMW is usually the largest marque present, but there was plenty of variety. The vast majority of the bikes are vintage, but not all. MV Agusta (old and new), Harley Davidson, Moto Guzzi, Ducati (old and new), and Buell were among the marques present. 

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The BMW contingent included a goodly number of /2 machines, a few very nice /5 and /6 machines, an R100GS, an R100, several K-bikes, and several very nice R90S  machines. 

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The ride travelled along nice country roads which included nice sections of sweepers and straights which allowed the group to fan out a bit. Newer machines probably never got higher than 3rd gear, but it is labeled a vintage ride, after all. At the gas stop, there was more kicking of tires and swapping of lies and filling of tanks and draining of tanks. Then it was back on the road again. Todd finishes the event with a BBQ.

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There may be better ways for a vintage gearhead to spend a perfect fall day, but this past Sunday, none came to mind.

Limerock 2014

Classic Velocity

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Lakeville, Connecticut. A bucolic piece of New England. A Norman Rockwell painting come to life. And right there in the middle of it is Limerock Motorsports Park. A place I have been coming to around Labor Day Weekend for close to two decades. And I have been in the company of thousands of like-minded others. That is because every September, it is home to the Limerock Vintage Festival (See Lapping Limerock). A chance to walk around and see and hear and touch a prewar Alfa, or a postwar OSCA, or a seriously hopped up 911 race car. There is something very special about sitting on a grassy hillside, on a warm late summer's eve, seeing and hearing sports cars or Formula Junior cars, or Can Am cars fly down the Sam Posey straight, and dare to out brake each other into the esses. Then you can go down to the pits and talk to the owners, drivers, and mechanics. Sometimes, they are all the same person. The open wheel cars are my favorites, and these cars are both beautiful and genius in their simplicity. 

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There are also two vendor areas witha swap meet area mixed in with the lower paddock. This area produced my first ever sighting of a BMW-powered Farmobil. Racing is banned on Sundays due to a noise ordinance, so there is a massive car show complete with a Concours. You can walk the track, which is lined on both sides with different marques and categories. Italian exotica along the straight, Bentleys in the braking zone, mercedes in the Esses, Citroens coming up the back hill, Triumphs at the crest, Porsches on the run down under the bridge to the infield, Brass cars to begin the main straight. Mixing vintage cars and exercise was never done so well. Pictures and sound are the only way to attempt to do it justice...

VMD 2014

Classic Velocity

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What if you had a vintage motorcycle show and swap meet and a race all in the same event on the same day. Chances are, that would be a very desirable event, and a good time would be had by all. Now what if you had multiple vintage motorcycle shows, two full days of racing of a variety of different kinds from dirt to sidecar, and the largest vintage motorcycle swap meet in the country over three days. Then you would have something like Vintage Motorcycle Days (VMD) which is organized by the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) every year. Oh by the way, it is held on the grounds of the mid Ohio sports course, which is a beautiful track and has great facilities.

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VMD is one of those events that is big enough to almost have its own culture. It is a nation of people that only exist for about a week each year in a specific location. Sociologists and anthropologists hide in the woods nearby with powerful binoculars to observe this rare species. In that way it is similar to the Beaulieu event in England or the Hershey antique automobile event. There are thousands of bikes, and hundreds of swapmeet stalls, and all types of people associated with both. There are also a whole host of vendors present with a midway style food area, gear and helmet vendors, associations, wall of death, etc.

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Of course, it is also a logical gathering place and a destination from many different types of clubs. The Penton owners are always out in force, the café racers have a show unto themselves, the vintage Japanese motorcycle club is there, the AMA holds a Councours event, etc. There was an informal competition Friday evening in the camping area to produce the loudest backfire! A Triumph won. I have commented before on the amazing variety of conveyances that people choose to use to get around the mid Ohio sports car course. This year, my favorite was a Barbie Jeep driven by at 250 plus pound guy and equipped with some kind of a two-stroke motor that allowed it to do wheelies. You just can't make this stuff up.

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Returning to the bikes, this is your place if you are interested in vintage dirt bikes. The variety is astounding, as are the range of conditions of the vehicles. This is one of those places where you find what looks like a concours level Hodaka, only to hear a passerby comment on some minutiae that is incorrect. 1980s sport bike subculture is alive and well around the grounds here with great examples of the very earliest sport bikes from Japan. And then there are the race bikes. From a BMW R90S to Honda CB750s, to Italian 125s and 250s, to Triumph and Harley Flat trackers, they are all out on track. The paved track, that is. There is every type and class of offroad bike out on the dirt track. And there is a Hare scramble as well. The highlight was  my "parade" lap in a vintage racing sidecar rig. Beyond cool, and on a fantastic track which highlights how crazy you have to be to be a sidecar monkey.

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Each year, I try to get to the things I missed the year before. I rarely succeed, but that is to be expected when you try to visit an entire nation and absorb its culture, in just a couple of days. I am sure it leaves the anthropologists searching for new theories and terminology. 

 

VMD 2014 Complete Album

New Hope 2014

Classic Velocity

This event continues to surprise. Year after year, there are some great new cars that come out for the event. There are also some that appear every year. This year attracted more Daimlers, for example, and far fewer Jaguars than normal. Regardless, the show is a good excuse to go and view a few hundred well-preserved and well-restored examples of vintage vehicles. Mercedes was particularly well represented this year with a large number of SL cars, and a pontoon sedan. Porsche cars included a teal 356 cabriolet, and a lovely 912 Targa. BMWs featured a nice 3.0 CS, and a rare-in-the-USA 2000 tiSA Lux. Only a couple of vintage Beetles made an appearance to represent VW, and there were no Audis or Auto Unions or DKWs. As a small (pun intended) consolation, there was an excellent fully restored Mescherschmidt, and an R60 motorcycle. But this is not a German show....

Most of the non-Asian auto-producing nations were present. Sweden had a nice Volvo P1800 wagon, and a 1965 Saab 96. Italy had a few Alfa spiders, and a GTV. There was also a superb 695 Abarth. As usual, Italy was well represented (read dominant) among the exotica with Ferraris, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, and a De Tomaso Pantera. The Italian sports car show was only broken up by a Ford GT and a GT40 from the USA, and a McClaren from England. Speaking of the UK, they were scattered throughout the show field. I mentioned the Daimler 250s, but there were also Triumph TR3s and TR4s and Spitfires, and a small number of high quality Jaguars. MGs included TD, TF, MGA, and MGB models. There was a strong showing for Lotus, although mostly newer cars, and my friend Roy brought his lovely red over black Austin Healey to compete with several others.

The French were not absent. A Renault Dauphine which appeared to be a veteran of car shows was on hand, along with a nice Citroen DS. The US had a nice Mustang, and a Packard to add to the GT mentioned earlier. No Tatras this year, no Peugeots, but that is the nature of this show. It changes, but it is always a worthwhile day spent with vintage iron. See the link to the full album below.

Preserving the Air

Classic Velocity

I have often written of people who keep groups of us gathering and make all of us more knowledgeable. One such person is Dave Cushing. Dave is an Air Marshal in the Airheads BMW chartered motorcycle club. This means that he has pledged to help organize and run events his region. This also means that he has pledged to help any other airhead in need. Dave is also a retired BMW mechanic. It says something that he has focused some of his retirement time on machines of this era. The rest of us benefit. Besides being drawn into working on machines in his home garage, Dave is host to one of the region’s annual Tech Days. For those unfamiliar, a Tech day is where a member gets to work on his own bike under the tutelage of one or more gurus. It also takes place under the watchful gaze of many lookers-on, who eat, drink, and heckle everyone. For another dose of an Airhead tech day, see When Comaraderie and Consumption Collide. It is almost always equal parts entertainment and education.

The tech day always has several jobs lined up in advance. A fork seal, a tire change, valve timing, etc. If you are going to work on your bike, you bring your own supplies. The host provides the space and the tools. And food. Across the country, these have become something of a culinary competition, with some tech days known for their signature dish. An added treat at these events, is the mini (or sometimes maxi) motorcycle show that inevitably breaks out. A /2 shows up, along with a large assortment of /5s and /6s. A couple of sidecars are present as well. To my delight, there are two other GS Dakars present. for a total of three ! One of them was an original R80 version. I had a long talk with the other owners about the double headlight conversion, what year had what tank, and a host of other minutae.

The tech sessions had a lot of variety. A change of rear shocks on an R65, an oil and tire change on the R80GS Dakar, a brake caliper adjustment on a /7, etc. All completed successfully, all accompanied by stories of when someone had to do a similar repair on the side of the road or trail equipped only with rocks, twigs, and some dental floss. McGyver rode an airhead. The ex-mechanics and engineers present could have tackled just about any job. You could have brought your airhead to the event in milk crates and emerged a few hours later on a solid reliable machine ready to cross the country. There were several machines in attendance where the odometer had already turned over, and several beautiful low mileage examples like the R100RS. True to form, it was a beautiful day, so the group began to disperse in the early afternoon to log more miles and more smiles on machines that had already generated an impressive amount of both.