Wednesday, July 02, 2008
John and Sander from Holland have made an annual holiday of visiting British Only Austria... which might seem an odd choice for a weeks' vacation, unless you're a dyed in the wool vintage motorcycle enthusiast. In which case it all makes perfect sense - they come to play with the bikes. It's a win-win situation; Mark has his bikes started, mildly fettled, and exercised, and his visitors get their hands inside more old motorcycles than many enthusiasts see in a lifetime. Plus, Mark has been known to cut an irresistible deal if one of the bikes attaches itself to a visitor. My photos were taken in April when I visited BoA for a few days - the weather prevented much play outside, but I had plenty of time to check the stock. The top photo is an exterior shot of the farmhouse and an outbuilding; the second shows the 'livestock' entrance to the central courtyard (and a nice '35 Sunbeam Hi-Cam, which the lads tested).
Upham is a perfectly generous and trusting host, and his visitors are allowed to roam freely about his massive traditional 14th Century Austrian stone farmhouse, built as a large rectangle with central courtyard for keeping animals below and people on top, but now is half full of the 'other' horsepower. The living half holds his small family
(wife Christine, daughter Victoria), plus Christine's sister and mother. The motorcycle half is an ever-changing sea of Vincents, Broughs, Sunbeams, etc, with many tempting bikes on display (ask me about it - I found 3 which needed to come to San Francisco).
Around 100 motorcycles live on the premises at any one time, plus enough parts to build plenty more, but the Dutch boys come to play with the old bikes which run, or which they make run! Here is a video (it's 9 minutes long) of some of the 32 (!) bikes which they fired up and rode around the quiet country lanes and rolling hills of Pettenbach.