Friday, December 11, 2015

The Velobanjogents back from the UK, then went to the week long 2015 Australian National Velocette OC Rally in Perth, Western Australia...so DQ how about a report?

Aghh DQ you've been a bit slack with your Velobanjogent webblog.....been back from the UK and the 2015 week long Australian National Velocette OC Rally for over a month and no excuses.......
Stafford.....well DQs not been before and newspaper reports don't do it justice for shear size...Stafford County showground is a big place..and interest motorcycle wise.... Run over two days I sure had sore feet on the Saturday night.....
I was with my good Velo mate from Germany, Gert Boll and then joined by two good Dutch Velocette friends, Carl Drees and Sjef van Hooft, who drove over from The Netherlands just for the event....
We had a great time together....
But before we get carried away...my best wishes to you and yours for a great Christmas and a good motorcycling New Year, especially if its a Velocette one..... 

DQ, Sjeft and Gert...with Carl behind the camera....Gert proudly wearing his Velocette sweater that I brought over for him...knitted by my 92 year old mum....well a few years back, guess she was 85 then...

 Following my arrival at Gatwick airport, met by Gert who had driven over from Germany to spend the time with me in our visits and Velocette research..... we spent several days at Dai Gibbersons...
 Dai with Gert and a set of Velocette girder forks in Dai's workshop.

As Dai had a committee meeting at the UK Velo OC at Huncote we went along....Ivan Rhodes came along on an interesting KSS mk.2 outfit with a fair bit of KTT "kit" on it.....we were to visit him and Graham later in the week.



 Arranged by Dai we went to see the experimanetal 1929 Bentley and Draper framed "Spring Heeled Jack" as mentioned in the last post...interestingly the current owner got it from his late grandfather who bought it from Velocette in the early 1950s, from Charles Udall actually and despite a few items re-enamelled it appeared to be in the condition it was made in 1929....fascinating....








 On the way to Ivan Rhodes in Derby we detoured to Foxton Locks, near Market Harborough, a favourite tourist spot of mine and introduced Gert to it- right up his alley as it turned out....there is a "flight" of 10 locks and the black & white pics were taken by me in 1974...told you they were a favourite spot...note the differences...


 Gert and I spent 9 hours in the VMCC library at Burton on Trent and he is pictured with another bound copy of a 1925 "The MotorCycle" and with Ivan Rhodes who called in later in the afternoon. We were researching the first OHC Velocette engine, the model K, announced at the Olympia Show in November 1924 with a total loss oiling system, then when the first production models were sold in July 1925 they had a dry sump lubrication system- we wondered why..all this we found details of in the bound copies of "The Motorcycle" and "MotorCycling" for 1924 and 1925 as well as a look at the original Velocette despatch books for this time at Ivans.
Then we had a morning at Pook Books in Rotherley, Leics...a "must" if you are tracking down "un-obtainium" in motoring/motorcycling books/literature....on the "Fellside Cottage"...
Lunch at Ivan's "local", the nearby "Royal Oak Hotel"...
The "Royal Oak" has been a Rhodes "local" obviously for some time...as pictured, hanging on the wall, a local football team,coached by Ivan's dad, pictured with other family members....
Out with a few bikes at "Fellside Cottage"...Graham and Ivan fettle a 1924 "Big Port" model AJS.....
Gert prepares to take off on the "big Port" AJS..."screw it on" urges Graham as he passes up the drive at Fellside Cottage....
Gert on the 1928 ex Alec Bennett factory IOM TT winning KTT and Graham on the "Big Port"...he's a tall guy...6'7" and makes the AJS look positively small....
Inside Ivan's workshop...Gert looks on as another good friend of Ians, Bob Higgs, attends to a friends KSS/RS framed special...

 Bob came along on his MSS Velocette special...a "nice bit of kit"!! A clever engineer, he was responsible for the special V twin 1000cc Velocette "Vulcan" outfit....

Then we were off to Stafford...for a major reason the Velobanjogent was in the UK....the finalisation of my late friend Gary Ross's sale of his life's work with Brough Superiors.....
 For this I can't thank the guys at Bonhams enough....they were so helpful and professional over the year and the build up to the auction....
Ben Walker, head of their motorcycle division with James Stensel and Andy Barrett  and what a great job their auctioneer did...Malcolm Barber.....thanks again guys....
 Lets go into the auction hall first.....
 Saturday saw some 100 lots auctioned from an Italian collector of many 1920's Indian and Harley motorcycles....
 




Then Sundays auction hall in part...

Carl and Gert discuss items over coffee as the auction time approaches...Sjef looks at the Velocettes..was he interested to bid?
The auction underway and items 200-213 come up.....
201 is the 1927 SS100 Alpine Grand Sport Brough Superior in parts....one of the three bikes of Gary's listed as "projects".
 DQ nervously makes notes.....
 Malcolm takes a bid....


Crikey lot 201, the 1927 SS100 Alpine Grand Sports Brough Superior in pieces as a project makes UK 230,000 pounds. over $500,000 Australian dollars upstaging the lot before the 1926 SS100 Alpine Grand Sports at 210,000 pounds...I'm "gob smacked"...the other items all sell at high prices...I hurry outside to telephone Australia for although it's 2am in the morning Elaine Ross is still up having watched the auction on the internet and I admit to choking up as we discussed the result and her now being able to buy a house in Sydney....
For me it was a great end to a wonderful saga, despite the sadness of Gary's death having to precipitate it....
So out into a few of the halls for a look, including the UK Velocette OC stand..... 

 UK VOC Club Chairman Roger Franklin with DQ, an honorary Overseas Vice President.
The two "KTT Services".....DQ from "down under" now no longer in business and Kevin Thurston "KTT Services" from the UK still in business and with a stand of very nice Velocette parts he manufactures....

 
  Kevin's stand and pictured above, that of his Dad, Ray's stand of used Velocette parts.....
Lets have a look around the main hall.
 


 
And a quick look outside....
 
 
Then we were off to see Colin East, James Robinson editor of "The Classic Motorcycle" at Mortons Media and Rob Drury, before DQ caught a plane in Manchester for Sydney.
A quick look in Colin's workshop.....


 The original Velocette frame jig set up for the RS swinging arm frame.....



Well that was quite a trip with DQ and Gert...hope you enjoyed it....
We are both still sorting through the data we got on Velocette history....
Some more insights in a later blog....