Sunday, January 30, 2011

KEMPTON PARK AUTOJUMBLE


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...

Mike Seate (above) of 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.

5 comments:

mp said...

Yea i was there, Absolutely freezing. I did notice the JAP logo a good few times, and some nice vintage cycle motor things on tiernans bit. One thing that drives me nuts is the girder prices. It seems a given now that if You have a girder to sell its carte blanche to charge whatever You want. See my pics from the day http://corpsesfromhell.blogspot.com/

Jason said...

I've been to many'a swap meet and tons o' flea markets but have yet to step foot on an autojumble. Wish I was there!

The Velobanjogent said...

When I see Smiths ATRC competition tachometers rigidly mounted on a bike- the Vincent in your last photograph- that will vibrate I wince...Aghhh.
They were designed to operate with the MS1001/00 anti vibration mounting...full stop!
These are "the Rolls Royce of instruments"...a crying shame....
Unless it is a static exhibit, the tachometer mechanism will be destroyed in time...
The Velobanjogent.

somer said...

Fast Lady is indeed FAST!I followed him in Canada one time.
He helped with a Vincent at the Salt Flats.

Anonymous said...

Hello Paul,

I'm a Face Book reader of your page the Vintagent, I really enjoy reading the stories and learning about motorcycle history, even though I don't ride.

Any way the reason for this email, I saw you recently went to Kempt Park and had a picture of Mike Seate from the Cafe Racer, I saw his TV crew filming last year when I went to the Rockers vs Mods get together in Dallas, TX (I live 30 minutes from Dallas), I wanted to share some of my pictures from the get together with you if you don't mind. Hope you enjoy them, I'm planning on attending The Rockers vs Mods get together again this year, if they decide to ride again.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/11934673@N02/sets/72157623592830711/

Barbara Barto