This past weekend was the annual Oregon Vintage Motorcyclists‘ Show & Swap Meet. As usual it was inspirational with some great bikes in all categories. The sun came out and it proved to be a beautiful day of vintage iron and oil!
This bad boy passed by on eBay today. I was watching it and knew it would go high. If it had been a little bigger I would have bid on it. It is a classic wool and leather work jacket produced by Montgomery Ward. Brilliant!
Wow, sometimes it pays to ask the right questions… I was recently talking to a young hipster in Casarama and the subject migrated from vintage leather jackets to vintage motorcycles. In the conversation my young hipster friend mentioned that his uncle and grandfather used to race TT Flat Track races back in the 1960′s and were an integral part of forming the American Cycle Association to counterbalance the newly forming strict regulations by the AMA on TT racing and the dangers associated with it. Being a poster collector, I quickly asked if he might have any old posters or memorabilia associated with his uncle or grandfather. He scratched his head and said, “I think my Grandpa has tons of old paper goods out in his shed, but they have been there since the 1960′s and the rats and water have damaged them. I will check next time I’m at his ranch and see if any are salvageable.”
I had nearly given up on the conversation after a few weeks, thinking that he either didn’t check, or that there was nothing there. Well, lo-and-behold, yesterday he turned up with a couple of hand-fulls of paper in my shop. He said that he had dug into drawers and had unearthed “tons” of old posters, mailers, programs and banners that had survived the carnage of the years of water and mice. He said he had duplicates of many. I was about to get excited when he also told me that he had done some research after finding them and had found that Bonham’s Auction House had listed an exact copy of one of the posters and had valued it at $300 – $500 at auction. His feeling was now that all of them were worth $300 -$500 EACH! Sometimes I hate the internet, but what I really hate is that people believe that what they read is always the truth. I tried to reason with the young man and tell him that I have never paid more than $150 for any vintage motorcycle poster, and those were the best examples. Never-the-less, he stood his ground and I was forced to pay a little more than I was comfortable with in hopes that he might turn up with some more in the next few weeks. This is what I bought so far, and barring that his phone inquiry with Bonham’s doesn’t undermine my reasoning, I just might get some more in the future:
A new classic arrived today from the Levis Vintage Clothing line. A Type I Trucker jacket based on the 1939 model with one pocket and a buckle back. It is made from Cone Mills selvedged raw denim. The fade should be nice over time.
The bad news is that this limited run sold out long ago. I found mine on eBay.
I recently picked up a 1972 Honda CL350 off Craigslist to use as a parts bike for my cafe racer rebuild. I had been ordering replacement parts piecemeal off of the interweb and I was averaging $50 a part. For $150 in a snowstorm I was able to pick up the CL350 and everything is there and in decent shape. It is almost a shame to dismantle the old girl but I really need the parts. Here she is yesterday in all her dusty glory before the part-robbing begins.
Recently on our trip to Ecuador we got lucky and found some vintage treasures. One of the most unusual was a pair of embossed glass Coca Cola jars from a drugstore. My wife, who is originally from Guayaquil, Ecuador, said she remembers seeing this kind of jar in the small drug stores when she was a little kid in the mid 60′s. They were used to distribute candy.
I just picked up this poster from 1976. It is from the Isle Of Man races. The poster was produced to try to encourage drivers along the raceway to slow down so they did not collide with the Isle Of Man motorcycle racers.
Another great excuse to go to England, besides seeing a few Premier League matches, would be the April 2013 Bonham’s Auction of Vintage Motorcycles and Related Items. There are a few photos on their website but they have been rather stingy with the preview. It still looks awesome. Here are a few nice samples I was able to scrape up: