Tuesday, September 3, 2013

I've been trying to get an IOM report posted for over a week and have twice written reports on airplanes only to loose them in the ether somehow (I'm as bad on the computer as I am with the camera).  So, I'm going to post what I haven't lost and the rest may come out in dribs and drabs.

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
The museum has several out buildings in addition to the main hall and one of these had just two strokes.  In it was the sport version of the Ariel Leader, the Arrow, in additions to Greeves, Bultaco, BSA Bantam, Velocette Viceroy, etc.  Another out building has Tony's workshop which had three Greeves up on benches undergoing restorations.  In the main hall were all four strokes and mostly British, but with a couple of Italian and German bikes.  On the wall, behind the Manx Norton and AJS 7R, was a huge photo of the bike I would be riding in the parade, the AJS 7R3 with which Rod Coleman won the '54 Junior TT up on a plinth with the winner's trophy at the Earls Court show later that year. 
 Tony East showed up while we were there and he and I recounted how we decided that the 1911 Indian that I was to ride in the Milestones of the Mountain parade and which was shipped to him wasn't close to be ready to do a lap of the Mountain circuit after we tried to start it at the museum.
With Bob riding with me and Jon with Nigel, we decided to finish the lap by returning to the paddock by Ramsey and the mountain.  There I ran into Canadians Dean de St.Croix and Jamie Fike.  Dean had raced Henry Hogben's 250 Ducati in the 2000 Classic 250 Manx Grand Prix finishing 10th and first 4 stroke, quite an accomplishment.  Jamie was doing some filming for a film he's making on vintage road racing and Dean was showing him around.

1 comment:

  1. GREAT START to the adventure! All this and Milky Quayle too! Can't wait for Part II and beyond, plus photos of you and your continuing exploits. No pressure, we all are excited to hear the rest of the story!!!