Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The North American Velocette shop....aka Ed Gilkison's "Toy shop"....

The main Velocette distributor for the West Coast of the USA from around just post WW2 up into the perhaps 1970's was Lou Branch Motorcycles of 2019 West Pico Boulevard, in Los Angeles, California.........
Below is one of the invoices Branch Motorcycles received for the receipt of three 350cc Velo Scramblers in August 1957.....I'll do a future blog on these invoices, as I have a large quantity from the early 1950's to 1960. It will "set a cat amongst the pidgeons" as they say over Velocette paint colours and specifications........























On his closure of the business, Ellie Taylor purchased the stock inventory, which included Moto Guzzi stuff ( this was sold off) and he ran a mail order parts business for a time.
Then Bob Stroud purchased the stock of Ellie amd finally Ed Gilkison from Lakebay in Washington State on the far NW of the USA took the lot.
Ed has expanded this with further used stock purchases over the years, purchases of some of the Canadian distributor...Bateman's final new old stock from Win Muehling and injections of used stock via Geoff Blanthorn from the UK.
Ed purchases new stock from the UK from the main suppliers, plus has stuff made or sources other car parts that could be used...for example the copper cylinder head gasket for the 86mm bore engines comes from a US car.
When I visit Ed, he always says to me.....
Come lets visit the "toy shop"....
I was there again in mid may this year, which is just a week or so ago and I want to take you on a visual photographic tour of Ed's business, which is mail order and you can contact him via post at Ed Gilkison, P.O. Box 226, Lakebay, WA 98349, USA, or email veloguru1@yahoo.com ( correct email address at August 2012)
Use Velocette parts numbers where possible and of course a good description.
Be patient....Ed has lots of customers and a reply may take time.....
Left click on images to enlarge......
The usual method Ed uses to satisfy customers....US Postal Service, Lakebay Post Office....
















Ed with some of his parts inventory...still in the original Lou Branch parts drawers and racks....


























































































Upstairs in some of the used parts inventory....



























































A Velocette Viceroy scooter engine on a display plinth....














Some of Ed's machine tools.....














Downstairs workbench areas....













































Ed with a proprietry magneto re-magnetiser....























Ed had special long shafted adjustable reamers with pilots made in various sizes to enable accurate reaming of renewed Webb girder fork bushes....















Not everyones "cup of tea"...a customer requested a special paint job on what looks like an American bobber bike....






























Ed's place is a bit hard to find if you travel down to Lakebay....pass the Post Office on the right, quickly onto a bridge over an inlet of Puget Sound, but hang on...turn right just before the bridge onto Herron Road then the first dirt road on the left some 100 yards/metres later- unsignposted- and follow this to the end, arriving at the "toy factory"... you won't find it on Google maps....
Actually this is wrong according to Ed's cousin Bert Giebels, who lives in Holland and has visited this blog and left comment.
Bert tells me the co-ordinates for Google Maps is....
47.262729,-122.770025 (+47 15' 45.82",- 122 46' 12 09")
I've checked and remember thats exactly where I went....
Thanks Bert!!
Incidently Ed no longer takes in complete restoration, but apart from selling parts, he does engine and gearbox, front fork etc overhauls......

2 comments:

Bert said...

Actually Ed's place can be found on Google maps. Coordinates:
47.262729,-122.770025 (+47 15' 45.82",-122 46' 12.09").

His cousin in Holland, Bert Giebels (bertje1959@google.com)

Shauni said...

Wanted to say thanks for posting this Lou Branch was my grandfather and I never really got to hear about this part of his life.

Even though this was what he was doing when I was a child..