"BRIT IRON" takes you behind the scenes at
Classic-British-Motorcycles.com

August 2011 - Issue #7

IN THIS WEEK'S ISSUE:
* My foot's still broke!
- But I'm getting used to it.
* Classic Motorcycle Auction in Monterey - and I was there...
* BSA back in the arms business? - I sight in a BSA Rifle Scope.


MY FOOT IS STILL BROKEN...AND I'M GETTING SICK OF IT!
This broken foot stuff is for the birds! I fractured my right foot about 12 days ago stepping off my deck at home. I've been in a cast for the first time in my life. Got it wet a few days ago & got a new cast, tighter than the last one, but strangely more comfortable. Of course, that's a relative term, because it is by no means comfortable. The cast should come off this Friday & if the new X-rays look good, I'll be getting a lightweight, removable walking cast. I'm holding out canceling my reservations for the California BSA Rally in Visalia CA Sept 8-11. I was planning on riding my '79 T140D Bonneville, but now, with the bum foot, it's doubtful. But, I can't bring myself to cancel just yet. I'm a fast healer, after all...


NOT RAIN, NOR SLEET, NOR BROKEN LEG...
Despite warnings from "the experts" I drove myself the 100-or-so miles to Monterey to attend the Mecum Auction held at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel & Spa, out on the Del Monte Golf Course. The 4-day auction ran Thursday through Sunday, August 18-21. The weather was overcast & cold, typical for Monterey. But out on the golf course were some 600 classic cars, trucks, tractors & even boats lined up to be auctioned off, over the next 4 days. The Mecum Auctions people took great care of me, providing a gold cart & an 'escort' to drive me around, as the auction was spread over a broad area. They're a first-class outfit & they did a fantastic job at this auction.

600 CLASSIC CARS & 200 CLASSIC BIKES
Like any good classic car auction, it was really also a big car show. I wish I would have felt more like walking, because I would have loved to ogle each & every one of those cars & trucks. In addition to Classic British Motorcycles, I have an extensive background in classic cars & the classic car business & I just can't get enough.

BUT FOR ME, IT'S ALL ABOUT THE BIKES!
Mecum Auctions is starting to break into more Classic Motorcycle Auctions. They have often had bikes sprinkled in with their other auctions, but this Monterey auction is the largest batch of motorcycles they have ever sold in one event. They had approximately 200 classic motorcycles on auction, staring at around 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, August 18. I arrived at around 1:00 & got to preview all the gorgeous bikes, and take lots of great photos. Roughly a third of the bikes were Classic British Motorcycles.

HIGH ENERGY - DECENT PRICES
The auction itself was a non-stop whirlwind of excitement & activity. Bidding action was hot & furious but overall, prices didn't seem to soar into the stratosphere. I'm not sure how prices went for the car auctions (usually car buyers are much bigger-money players than motorcycle buyers), but prices seemed pretty good for the bikes that I saw sold. Not too high, but not too low either. A few failed to make reserve, but most sold for very reasonable prices. I will publish a full page on my website about this Mecum Auction in a week or two, with tons of photos & all the sales stats. I also plan to do a video for our YouTube channel.


BSA BACK IN THE FIREARMS BUSINESS?
BSA stands for Birmington Small Arms, originally a loose confederation of small cottage gunsmiths who teamed up to produce rifles for the British Army in 1956 for the Crimean War. They branched out into bicycles, then motorcycles, then cars, buses, steel, heavy equipment & more...and the rest, as they say, is history. For better or worse. BSA bought Triumph Motorcycles in 1951 at a time when they were at the peak of their power, a true multinational megacorporation. However, poor decision-making, even worse management & the onslaught of cheap, high-quality motorcycles from Japan (mostly Honda) drove BSA to financial ruin by 1972. They went into receivership the following year selling off the motorcycle business to rival Norton-Villiers, creating a new company, Norton-Villiers-Triumph or NVT (also a flop). The last BSA motorcycle rolled off the assemblyline in 1972 & BSA was effectively out of business.

SIGHTING IN A NEW BSA RIFLE SCOPE
A couple of weeks ago, and about a week before I fractured my foot, I was up in the Mother Lode Country visiting family, who live in the country. They literally have a shooting range in their back yard! Our host asked me to help him sight in his new 9X scope for his .22 rifle. As he handed me the box, I saw the big winged BSA logo on the box & engraved into the scope body itself. Made in England, they are now an optical company, specializing, among other things, in rifle scopes. Glad they're back. Now, how about making some new Gold Stars? Check it out for yourself. Here's the link to BSA's website: http://www.bsaoptics.com/


UNTIL NEXT TIME...
Please pass this newsletter along to your friends (forward it) & encourage them to Subsribe as well. I'd also love hearing from you with any comments, criticisms, ideas, or suggestions on this website, so please CONTACT ME.

Enjoy the ride,
Andy