For most of us that are involved in older motorcycles pre 1960, we are getting older and as the years go by we wonder where the time has gone. Most of us regards the ‘60s and ‘70s as days ‘just gone by’ and certainly not 50 to 60 years ago.
It is this early time in our hobby of vintage/prewar motorcycles that is now to be captured as a time of importance, a time that had it not happened our early years of motorcycling and motorcycles would have completely disappeared into rubbish dumps no doubt. Even now we are still hearing of valuable photos and memorabilia being discarded by family members into landfills. Yes landfills, a motorcyclists dream spot, scouting through mountains of trash for a surprise find of a unidentifiable part. Once I acquired the majority of a BSA Dandy from a landfill, didn’t realise why it was there and later discovered why I should have left the useless thing there. But times have changed and now you are not allowed anywhere near a landfill, with the risk of being served a non trespass order should you try.
So with respect to all of those who fostered our sport in the early days of vintage motorcycling we have put together a few photographs of some 1960 to early 1970s events of true vintage motorcycling. The quality on some is average but still worth publishing, remembering that many motorcyclists were budding photographers in the making. The popular point and click Box Brownies and the new Kodak and Agfa instamatic cameras were in abundance, with the occasional more expensive Canon and Leica models present.
We all have great memories of those early rallies, whether it be the machines, the rides and gymkanas, or just the owners who shared in the same fondness for the ruggedness of early motorcycles.
Celebrating stalwarts like Pat Woods, Barry Williams, Lee Brookes, Bruce Anderson, Bob Atley, Neil and Diane Barnard (now Humphries), Roy Barker and Tom Belch we can appreciate their dedication simply by riding the machines that they did 40 years ago. Years passing have seen a lot of these riders departing this world and their machines, well a lot have been sold overseas to private museums never to be seen again and most likely never to be ridden. If you do have such a machine, whether it was grandads, a great uncles, or just a silly purchase for the corner of the garage get it out and ride it. You don’t have to be on a rally, just a nice sunny day will do. When you stop people will want to be your friend, even if it is just to have their photo taken with your motorcycle. And when they walk away you can smile, pull on your helmet and ride away thinking what a lovely day.
Many thanks to the people who have lent photographs for this . . . .
The possible start of it all? Young vintage riders keen on old motorcycles or just some university students wanting cheap transport. Photo is dated to pre 1964 as the machines still have the older 5 yearly issued number plates. Machines are, from left to right – 1920s BSA, 1930s Harley Davidson and a 1920s AJS.
A gathering before ‘the off’. Taken from outside Bruce Andersons garage in the late 1960s. Bruce’ garage was a gathering place for monthly motorcycle meetings for the members of the Auckland Veteran and Vintage Car Club right through to the mid 1980s when they moved to the club rooms because the meetings were getting too big. Interestingly 2 of the motorcycles in this are still in Auckland and are ridden out on Sunday afternoons. The machines are (from left) Indian, 1925 Royal Enfield – Roy Barker, 1929 Harley Davidson 10/12 – Pat Wood, and 1930 Harley Davidson 5/6 – Lee Brookes. And the young lad on the pushbike (4th from the left) is a very young Ken McIntosh of the now very successful McIntosh Racing.
Another gathering point was the top of the Albany hill for those wanting a break on a run or who were heading north for a rally. Just love the Vanguard ute which was used as the backup vehicle.
Riders contemplating the benefits of the all superior Royal Enfield 350 of owner Roy Barker (now Knobsters jaunty jalopy happily treading the tarmac north of Auckland)..
Its that Vanguard again! Roy Barker on his 1925 Royal Enfield, sidecar rider unknown. Note the lack of weekend traffic on the Auckland roads. And look at the condition of the roads. We think we have it hard now!
An interesting display of riding at a small hill climb event believed to have been at Glen Murray (Ron Roycroft) in the early 1970s. (John Moss Collection)
A run orgasnised by Neil and Diane Barnard in 1972 called the Toad Hall Run. It started from the Barnards residence, coincidently called Toad Hall, on the North Shore. (Neil Barnard Collection).
And finally, a run somewhere with a stop off at Pokeno? Even today it is still a favourite place to visit for an ice cream but you have to join the queue with all the other weekend travelers out in their cars. (Neil Barnard Collection)