The Carole Nash Motorcycle Mechanics Show returns to celebrate its 20th birthday at Stafford this weekend – and what a party it’s going to be. A rather tasty spread has been laid on for Europe’s largest classic show, including a Gallic hero of Asterix-like proportions in Guest of Honour Christian Sarron; the grand final of the Bike of the Year contest and an extraordinary Bonhams auction line-up. There will be plenty more to see and do, with just a few – well ten – detailed here to whet your appetite.
The best of the best
The Classic Bikers’ Club Bike of the Year 2013 will reach a thrilling climax as the best of the best is revealed to the 30,000+ enthusiasts set to hit the County Showground. The seven finalists comprised the Best In Show winners from various classic shows hosted over the past 12 months in Stafford, Newark, Bristol and Lanark. A varied line-up includes a former drag ridden ’73 Kawasaki Z1 – one of only 40 of its kind; an uber-rare US ’65 BSA Spitfire Hornet and a 1920s Husqvarna 180.The ultimate winner will have been decided by you, the humble British biker, in an open poll but you’ll have to pop down to Stafford to be among the first to discover and see just which machine is best of the best.
It’s under-the-hammer time
Whilst many of the bikes up for sale might perhaps – just perhaps – be a little beyond the everyday bikers’ budget, the legendary Bonhams bike auction makes for great and unmissable theatre. Honda buffs are in for a rare treat as the auctioneer has for sale the Buttinger Collection, a compendium of nearly one hundred of the Japanese manufacturer’s machines. These include everything from the humble and ubiquitous Super Cub to the boundary-breaking NR750, the oval-pistoned V-twin four-stroke of which just 300 were made and only eight imported to the UK. If you fancy breaking open the piggy bank the auctioneer is valuing the Mitsuyoshi Kohama designed machine at between £50-70,000. Also coming under the hammer are a 1974 Kawasaki H1-RW works GP racer and two Royal Enfields, a mid-40s 350/500cc special and 1949 twin-cam 250; both built by former World Champ, the late Bill Lomas.
A good Christian
A Gallic Guest of Honour will bring more than a touch of the ooh-la-las to the hearts of those who recall the thrill of seeing wet weather wizard Christian Sarron in action. The former French racer and Yamaha Superbike team director is best known for his 250cc glories which saw him taking the 1984 World Championship on a Yamaha TZ250. But, whilst he never quite matched that feat on bigger bikes, he was much lauded for his stint on the 500cc circuit. Thrilling to watch, he joined fellow French riders to take on the 1978 Bol d’Or 24 hour endurance race. Racing a super-tuned TZ750, the team performed brilliantly; with Christian returning to triumph in the contest with younger brother Dominique some 16 years later. With a reputation for riding both hard and fast, Christian is sure to be warmly embraced by show visitors.
Making a classic discovery
As well as handing out freebies, the Carole Nash team will be keen to update you on a revamp of the company’s classic and vintage policies. Cover is now tiered, with owners of bikes as young as 10 years old now able to access lower cost classic insurance rates through a new Future Classics policy. Owners of traditional classics – bikes aged between 20-30 years – could now benefit from a fixed excess of fifty pounds whilst the excess has been abolished altogether for vintage policies. To get the lowdown on all the changes and see if they can cut your motorbike insurance costs, pop by the Carole Nash stand.
It’s not just the show that’ll be blowing out the candles as Suzuki’s super-stylish FS1-E gracefully enters middle age. Although hitting 40 the Fizzy has lost none of its charm or good looks and remains right up there in the biking beauty parade courtesy of its athleticism, timeless styling and ride quality. It may be a bike which, with its Japanese compatriots, helped sound the death knell for much of our domestic bike industry but nonetheless we Brits still have a special place in our heart for this 50cc two-stroke beaut. Don’t forget to check out the FS1-E stand for some prime examples of this little game-changer.
Autojumble for the people
It’s a democratising force is the autojumble, and none more so than that at the Classic Mechanics Show where some 1,000 vendors will be offering all manner of parts and spares to the masses. You could be a multi-millionaire or relative pauper but it matters not if you have or are offering that elusive part that gets a restoration back on track. Even if that part remains elusive there’s the thrill of the chase and, of course, the on-a-plate opportunity to simply have a natter with like-minded enthusiasts.
Over 70 clubs have taken stands at this year’s show, bringing with them some of the finest examples of their respective marques and specialist interests. Among them will be the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club which, with some 6,000 members, is one of the UK’s biggest owners clubs. As such it has a huge selection of bikes from which to choose when hitting the shows. Word from the Stafford show organisers is that as it celebrates its 30th anniversary the club’s Classic Mechanics line-up will be “mouth-watering.”
Legendary trials rider Steve Colley is returning to wow the Stafford crowd with his own brand of superb stuntery. The three-times World Trial des Nations and British Solo Trials champ will once again be impressing with his two-wheeled trickery. If you’ve yet to catch him live, get a taster of his brilliance by checking out his greatest stunts on YouTube and then get yourself down to the County Showground for an unmissable live experience.
A quick quote: “be in it to win it”!
As said earlier, the Carole Nash team will once again be pitching up at Stafford to meet, greet and quote. This year there’s even more to attract you to the company’s stand than the ever lovely calendar girls, and if you pop by for a quote, you’ll gain free entry to the Ultimate Biking Giveaway. Win it and you’ll bag a prize offering more than you can shake a proverbial stick at! Included in the prize package is a shiny Suzuki GSR750; a GP or SBK holiday for two; helmets and leathers; tickets to the UK’s top bike shows; monthly refreshment and goodies at the Ace Café; not forgetting a nippy Suzuki Alto SZ car and Carole Nash’s Six Wheel insurance to cover your prized two and four wheels. Remember, you don’t need to buy, just get a bike insurance quote, to be in with a chance of winning!
* The 20th Carole Nash Classic Mechanics Show runs at Stafford County Show Ground, Staffordshire, ST18 0BD on Saturday 19th and Sunday 20th October. Day tickets cost just £12 on the gate, £11 for seniors and £4 for children. Weekend tickets cost £24, £22 and £8 respectively. Doors open 9am and close 5pm on both days.