Monday, June 03, 2013


The remains of an AJS K7 350cc OHC.  How do they look when finished?  Check here.
As generations of motorcycle collectors grow up, hoard machines, and finally pass to earth, the metal gems which so attracted them, their 'precious', those not ground to dust by the constant churn of oxidation, spousal disgust, familial ignorance, or simple forgetting, become available once again, emerging to light like long-abducted children, blinking at the glare of publicity and the passage of time, worse for their journey but still recognizable.
A Norton International M30, awaiting rescue
The least of these motorcycles never recovers from the neglect of decades, and carry on disintegrating in situ, or simply head to the skip.  The best of them - recognizable heroes, stiff and rusting in their armor - will be resurrected with the mingled application of time and treasure.
King of the auction, the stunning and very rare British Anzani 8-valve 1098cc  motor, ca.1924, waiting for a McEvoy chassis!
We may decry or delight in rising motorcycle values, depending on which side of the auction hammer we sit, but the simple truth is, the scent of lucre has drawn yet more intrigued collectors to the party, and all thoughts of economic uncertainty scatter before the undeniable reality of the Rare and Collectible.  The bottom line; if that pile of rust has a sexy history, it Will be restored.
The AJS K7, loosely assembled, and all the more evocative for being so
And so, I present a few long-lost Heroes, returned for the consideration of the motorcycling public, blinking in the light after a long confinement, waiting to become what they once were, and should be again.
The timing chest of the AJS K7, showing the Weller blade tensioner which made the simple chain-drive OHC system possible
These machines will be sold at the Bonhams 'Banbury Run' auction in Oxford on June 15th.  Oh, how I would love that Anzani 8-Valve motor!


Anonymous said...

Well written prose, Paul.

John Lawless

Anton Dee said...

There are still real gems to be found in old barns.. AMazing what turns up!
Thanks for sharing, Paul!

David in Fort Lauderdale said...

I love the line about "spousal disgust." I think that factor is over rated, an excuse offered for doing the unthinkable: taking these treasures to "the skip." Restoration is wonderful, but it seems to me that, left looking like junk, these objects can inspire generations to think "what if" whereas, polished and perfected, they can only inspire envy. I suppose that's the appeal of wandering through junk yards.

Lol W said...

Inspired writing, and very true!