I've had a fabulous time since last Tues, 20 Aug., when I arrive in the IOM for this year's Manx Gran Prix catching up with old friends and making new ones. I ran into Andy Molnar right off the bat and checked out his four valve Manx, which apparently is legal in the Classic TT very liberal interpretation of what is 'vintage'. We reminisced about our first meeting at Shannonville, Ontario in 1985.
Wed. morning, I picked up the rental van we'd use for the week. It was a Ford Transit Custom, a front wheel drive diesel with a six speed manual transmission. It had a pollution contro/economy feature where, if you were stopped in neutral with the clutch disengaged, the engine would shut off. As soon as you touched the clutch pedal, the engine starts. It took a little getting used to, but I decided it was a good feature and thought it was a great van that I wish was available in the U.S.
|The front wheel drive, diesel, 6 speed Transit Custom that was our transport in the IOM|
Milky Quayle, former TT winner and all around great guy, helped me unpack the crate, which had been somewhat brutalized by U.S. or British customs. Everything was there, though some tools were scattered around. The Team Obsolete 'Triple Knocker', the AJS 7R3 that won the 1954 Junior TT, ridden by Rod Coleman, attracted good deal of attention.
I ran into American friends and AHRMA competitors Bob Goodpaster and Jon Shultz who were over to ride Nigel Smallbones 500 Daytona and Thuxton 650 Triumphs in the Sat. VMCC parade on the Mountain circuit along with Nigel. I suggested we go over to Tony East's vintage bike museum the A.R.E. Collection in Kirk Michael. I was surprised that Nigel wasn't aware of it as he's been to the IOM many times. The noteworthy bikes started in the parking lot where we saw this visitor's bike.
|An Ariel Leader in the parking lot at the A.R.E. museum in Kirk Michael|