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We were there… The 2010 Classic Motorcycle Show

  • Country: United Kingdom
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  • Listed: November 17, 2010 6:30 pm
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The 2010 Classic Motorcycle ShowNovember is a depressing time of year for us poor souls trapped in the doom, gloom and despondency of the start of a Great British Winter. However, there is always something to look forward to. Spring is far to distant to even consider, but there is one last Classic Bike Show of the year! Last weekend we were at the Footman James Classic Motor Show, held every year at the NEC in Birmingham, and what a huge show it was! Three massive halls filled with classic and vintage cars, and of course, the reason I was there, a great selection of classic bikes too. It’s not a cheap event at a whopping £20, but there was a full day of entertainment there for most people.

The American world champion, “Fast” Freddie Spencer was there for the duration, signing pictures and memorabilia on the VMCC Stand and we were lucky enough to spend some time with him to try to find out what makes him who he is. A truly great sportsman and a very nice guy with it! We’ll be publishing the interview shortly, so keep an eye on the blog over the next couple of weeks.

Freddie was joined by the multiple TT winning Mick Grant – although many would have been surprised to see Mick giving live classic trials riding demonstrations. A lot slower than he used to be, but obviously still enjoying life on two wheels.

The highlight of the show for me was the incredible Wall of Death. Wall of Death Supremo, Ken Fox, and his troupe put on such a superb show. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve been to see them over the last few years, but they never cease to amaze me as they put their Indian Scouts (and some Honda CB200s!) through their paces. If you ever get the chance to see the show, it will be the most exciting couple of pounds that you will have spent in a long time.

The most interesting machine I came across was a 1925 Omega 2.5Hp. Being exhibited by the Coventry Motorcycle1925 OmegaMuseum, this very original machine had languished in a Warwickshire workshop for decades before being donated to the museum. It was first registered to William Green before passing through several hands. William Green first began making motorcycles at Croft Road, Coventry in 1919. He unveiled his first Omega motorcycles at the 1919 International Cycle, Motor Cycle and Accessories Exhibition at Olympia in London. Prior to this, William had previously worked in the motorcycle trade for both the Humber and Premier companies. This model is a 1925 293cc (2.5hp) model, that is shortly to be restored by the museum. We shall have to keep an eye out for the restored article…. For anyone interested in finding out more on the Museum, check out www.transport-museum.com/.  I haven’t been to the museum myself, but I’ve heard nothing but great reports.

Another very rare machine at the show was a 1955 Wooler Flat Four. Usually housed at the Sammy Miller museum 1955 Wooler(and restored by them), the bike is one of the machines in the collection of the British Motorcycle Charitable Trust (www.bmct.org). John Wooler had a very inconventional approach to motorcycle design (as can clearly be seen!) from his debut at the 1911 Olympia show, an approach that he maintained throughout the next 45 years. This OHV machine came with the boast that it could be completely dismantled with the use of just one spanner and a screwdriver. Only a handful of prototypes were made, primarily due to production difficulties.

A good selection of clubs and associations were present at the show including the Moto Guzzi Club of GB (celebrating their 35th birthday) , the AJS and Matchless Owners Club (who always put on such a friendly, welcoming stand), The Kettle Club (boy, can they make those GT750s shine), the Vincent Owners Club, and the BSA Gold Star Owners Club amongst many others. A few traders and autojumblers were there, but this show doesn’t seem to be quite right for them at the moment. Certainly, a few more clubs would have added to the interest, but I’m sure this will come as the show matures.

Overall, a good show, with good bikes – and a few cars too!


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  • Listed by: Nigel
  • Member Since: August 17, 2010
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