Not only do mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the mid-day sun, they also amble around parking lots in late January at 0 degrees, looking for motorcycle parts. The Kempton Park autojumble is held nine times yearly, and every time I've attended there has been a large crowd, plenty of vendors - some of them 'irregulars' - and plenty of interesting stuff. Eric Patterson, he of the salt-flat record-breaker JAP/Norton, has organized the 'jumble for many years now.
As I was looking for nothing at all, spectating at a 'jumble was fun too, more a matter of identifying really odd parts and keeping an eye on trends, prices, familiar faces. I noted lots of Triumph cylinder heads, especially fine-pitch early aluminum ones from the early 'Tiger 100' and 'Trophy' models, plus a lot of Norton twin parts, but not much JAP unless it was Speedway stuff. Not a lot of loose prewar parts either, so I guess ebay has taken a bite out of the selection here. I'm guilty of this too, having recently sold some interesting 1920s speedometers online...
Café Racer magazine (the American one) and now the TV show was there with his crew, doing 'atmosphere' interviews with stallholders and, later, a piece on the new Brough Superiors with Mark Upham. Eric Patterson is involved in the 'Brough at Bonneville' expedition next August, having supplied the JAP JTOR engine he used in his record-breaker Norton, for use in one of the new Brough Sup chassis. There is talk of dragging The Vintagent along to document the event, and see how one of the 'standard' SS101 models will fare on the salt. The current record for the 1100cc/gas/standard chassis/unstreamlined class is 101mph, which sounds easy to beat, but the salt flats have curious qualities, and are at 4700' altitude, which makes carburation difficult. Stay tuned.
|This little bike didn't eat its spinach.|
|Artist Roy Barrett at work, painting a lurid fuscia Suzuki Titan.|
|The Café Racers tv crew.|
|Chopped and stretched Norton Commando.|
|No shortage of paying customers willing to brave the freeze.|
|A mandala of old wet-sump engines...|
|Sometimes vendors think their parts are like gold...|
|'Naked under Leather', the European title of 'Girl on a Motorcycle'; nice poster.|
|Couldn't help but chuckle at this pile of rust...|
|'The Fast Lady', a well-known Vincent special sidecar outfit; excellent use of a 'conical' racing tach.|