Vintage Motorcycle Pictures
* Email us your VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES
* Can you IDENTIFY ANY OF THESE BIKES?
People send me old photos of bikes all the time. Sometimes just to share them, and sometimes trying to figure out what kind of bike it was. Now I'm sharing them with you. And unless I tell you what kind of bike it is, it's open for your input.
We love Vintage Motorcycle Pictures
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #137
Glen Jones of Birmingham, England writes:
"Having a sort-out during lockdown I came across this photograph of my nan. She’s the one on the front of the bike. Sadly she’s no longer with us but seeing the photograph took me straight back to the times when I was in my 20s and I used to visit my nan on my own bike. She used to always joke about wanting to ride my bike and she would tell me that she rode a motorbike when she was younger. Well here’s was the evidence and i just love the photograph. I know it’s not a clear shot of the bike but I would absolutely love to find out what the bike is and I’m hoping some experts might be able to narrow it down. As the Reg plate is so clear I wondered if that helped identify it.
I dare not dream about it still being in existence as I know that is very unlikely. I’ve had a brief dabble at the number plate and it’s suggested that the OX prefix relates to Birmingham? I’ve not got further than that."
Well, there you have it, lads and lassies. Get out your good glasses and see if you can solve this mystery for Glen. Don't forget to include the number #137 with your guess.
Posted Sept 26, 2020
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #136
Mark writes: "All that i know is that it was taken in Market Street, Bingley, West Yorkshire. I think it is my great uncle Samuel Smith on the bike, but not 100% sure.
It will have been taken sometime after 1925 I think."
Let's sharpen our thinking caps and see if one of your geniuses can tell Mark what kind of bike this is. It's a real challenge considering the nature of the shot. Don't forget to include #136 with your guess. Thank you. And thank you Mark for sharing this with us.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #135
Neil Barnes writes: "Can anyone identify what make and approx year the motorcycle and sidecar is on the left of the photo please? Sorry it's not very clear."
This picture is believed to have been taken in SE London on Monnow Road, perhaps in the 1920s. Let's see if we can help him out. Don't forget to accompany your guess with the #135 so I know which picture you're identifying. Cool old photo, eh?
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES # 134
This one won't be easy. There's hardly any bike to see here, but perhaps one of you classic motorcycle savants can spot some telltale feature on the bike. If you have a guess, please email it to us and don't forget to include #134, so we know which bike you're talking about.
Dave Pastorius writes: "A friend found this photo of his wife’s grandfather in Ireland. I’ve had no luck identifying the bike. The triple tree looks unique and the sidecar has a name on it, but I’ve found nothing. I love the picture, pure badassery!"
Smoking, drinking and driving...my kind of blokes!
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES # 133
Lois from New Zealand writes:
"Picture 1 is a sad story. This is my Uncle Max. He lived in rural New Zealand and while returning home to his family farm on his bike, he hit a wild pig on a gravel road. He was 18 years old (1938) and suffered a head injury that changed his life for ever."
Poor Uncle Max. Can anyone help to ID this bike? Please include Vintage Motorcycle Pictures #133 and this is Picture 1.
"Picture 2. This is another family member, I can see the bike is BSA. Could it be a Y13? It looks to be around 1940s?"
"Picture 3. Brothers and brother-in-law standing. Nephew on back. I’ve done my best to improve the quality but this is it!"
"Picture 4. I don’t expect this to be ID’d, I’m enclosing it for interest! The woman in the sidecar is my grandmother with her youngest of ten children on her lap and her son is riding the bike. It would have been taken about 1928.
So, let's see if we can help Lois figure out these bikes. Please send me your guesses and again, use #133 to tell me which photos you're referring to. Thanks and good luck.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #132
Ffranc from South Wales writes: "I'm so pleased I found the Classic British Motorcycles site. I have attached a pic of my late father on his BSA A7 Star Twin but I'd like to know which variant of A7 it is. I don't even know what colour it was. Sorry to ask you to help me with this but I can't pin-point what year the picture is or what model A7 it is. I know my father once bought a new start twin and I'm guessing this is the one in the picture. Any info you could provide would be incredible and valued."
"Quick story: My Mum and Dad had gone out for a spin on the bike one day to Denbigh moors I believe and the bike broke down leaving them stranded. Luckily a lorry came by and my Dad persuaded my Mum to accept a lift back home to raise the alarm with his brother Ken; that he was stuck on the moors. Mum informed Ken, but unfortunately 'Ken's bike was in bits in the garage' as Mum described. Quickly Ken reassembled his engine and set off to help his brother. The fuel for the whole ride of some 20 miles was supplied by kerosene road lamps that Ken emptied along the way in order to get to his brother, repair the bike, then the two of them rode home together. You couldn't do that with a Japanese bike!!"
Any help, lads? Please include #132 with any guesses on the year and displacement of this bike. Thank you.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES # 131
Liz Leighton writes:
"One for someone to hopefully identify. I think the reg number is 294 but unsure of the letters, maybe TU or TY. The family were from Runcorn, the Manchester Ship Canal is in the background. The men mostly worked on the tug boats. Grandma is on the back and the woman on the front is her sister in law I think. Apparently she and her husband were regulars at the TT. Just noticed that the footwear is not motorbike friendly, black patent shoes tied with a bow!"
So, there you have it, lads (and lassies). Any ideas on this bike? Don't forget to include #131 with your guess. Thank you.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #130
Gary writes, simply: "Hello here is a pic of my dad on his motorcycle. He passed away recently and would like help identifying the bike."
So, can you help the guy out? What kind of bike is this? Don't forget to include #130 with your guess, so we know which one you're talking about. Thanks
Vintage Motorcycle Pictures #130:
Bruce Kirby says it's a 1954 BSA C10L. Is he right?
Bruce writes: "Hi Andy, pretty sure it’s a 1954 model. The C10L in that form with the D3 front forks etc ran from 1954-7 with the colour scheme unchanged, i.e. light and dark green. The differentiator for me is the carb, which seems to be a pre-monobloc AMAL 274. The carb was changed to a 375 monobloc in 1955. The throttle stop housing on the pre-monobloc is much shorter that that of the 375, and it appears to be the shorter in the picture."
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES
Colin Bryant writes: "Just for posterity, a few pics of my Grandad’s bikes. ‘Dave’ (actually Dennis) Bryant lost his right leg in a motorcycle accident in 1938. As a skilled cabinet maker he spent the war working for De Havilland building the wooden framed Mosquito fighter bomber, then turned his motorcycling hobby into a business, buying ex-army bikes in job lots at auction and rebuilding and selling them. His first sport was trials riding with a sidecar on the ‘wrong’ side for UK roads and a transfer linkage to put the gear pedal on the other side if the bike, he then refurbished a 1922 Coventry Eagle for rallies and then went to competitive standing quarter mile sprinting."
1.) An earlier Vincent HRD with a JAP engine and sidecar.
2.) Dave and son, John, Bryant on a restored 1922 Coventry Eagle combination in 1959.
3.) Dave with his sprint combination when he eventually retired in 1964.
4.) Dave and John Bryant on an Ariel combination trials outfit in the mid 50s.
Wow, thanks Colin.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #129
Our friend John Crofts sends yet another great old vintage motorcycle picture for help ID-ing the bike. He writes:
"t belonged to my wife’s uncle but the couple on board are posers. The registration is RY, meaning it is Leicester and about the same age as my dad’s.
It also looks, to my eye, like the same model taken from the other side."
Let's help him out. Don't forget to include #129 so we know which bike you're identifying. Thanks, and thank you again, John.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #128
John Crofts writes: "I’ve attached a photo of my father on his bike around 1930. I know from the number plate,RP, that the bike was registered in Northamptonshire between 1924 and 1931, which is where he lived at that time, in Kettering. It would be great if you could identify it for me.
So, let's see what we can do, eh blokes? Who can ID this bike? Don't forget to include the Vintage Motorcycle Pictures #128, so we know which bike you're talking about. Thanks.
Posted May 17, 2020
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #127
Check this out! During World War II, these blokes were either training for mounted combat, or were just having fun. Notice all the men in uniform.
Luke Woolfenden sent us these great photos of his grandfather, Peter Woolfenden. Luke wanted some help identifying the bike he's riding. I think it's a pre-war Matchless, but that's as close as I can get. Any ideas on the year and model?
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #126
Any ideas on the make, model or year of this bike? It's obviously pre-war with a girder front end, and the tank looks like maybe a Rudge or a Velo. Not sure though. What do you think? If you have an idea, please email it to us and reference Vintage Motorcycle Pictures #126, so we know which bike you're referring to.
This wonderful photo was contributed by "The Brain", and he says it's of his grandfather and grandmother, Ivor and Iris Capes, taken before the War in South Wales UK. Wonderful photo. Thanks, Brain.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #125
Tess Walker presents this picture of an unknown rider up front, and a family friend in back who became a London Metro Police Officer in the mid-1930s. Tess tell us that her father was "a Brough Superior man", named Bill Beckingham (1914-1986). But the real issue is the make, model and year of this bike. Can any of you faithful Brit bike fans tell us what it is? If so, email your answer to us and make sure to include the VMP#125 so we know which bike you're referring to. Thanks and good luck.
ABOVE & BELOW: Two more shots this time of Tess's father, William Donald Beckingham, The Man himself. Looks more like a Norton Man to me. I love the WW2 pic below with the sandbags piled against the wall.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #124
Here's one for you. Craig Lower sent in this photo of an old fender-mounted license plate to see if someone could help him ID it. It seems to be cast, although the lettering styles are different, the the 3 last ones looking Arabic or maybe Cyrillic. Anyone have any ideas? If so, please email to me with the #124 so we know which guess you're talking about. Thank you.
John Shoesmith of WA offers this:
The license plate that Craig Lower sent you a photo of (#124) with the red CL in the middle is a cycle plate from Egypt. It is from before 1956 - likely from the late 1930's although they are hard to date for obvious reasons. It is a nice plate.
If Craig is ever interested in selling or trading the plate please have him contact me. I collect world license plates and would be interested in adding that one to my collection.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #123
Chris Lawson of Sydney, Australia sent us this picture of his dad. What a cool picture! A little 'Rockers vs. the Mods'-look. This photo was taken in the mid-1950s, and he's sitting on a Matchless G80 500 single. Chris would like to nail down the year and any other special nomenclature, because he would like to buy one, for nostalgia's sake. Any of you Matchless mavens know what year this bike is? Let us know and please include the Vintage Motorcycle Pictures #, which in this case is #123. Thank you Chris. Wonderful picture.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #122
David Jiggens sent this photo of his as a wee babe sitting on this mystery bike. The year was 1952, in Benfleet, Essex, England. Anyone have any idea what make, model and year this motorcycle is? If so, EMAIL US. Thanks.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #121
Jamie Hulse writes: "This is one of my grandfather's motorcycles in Liverpool, England c.1950's. My Dad, Richard, is the handsome chap standing on the left of the picture and his lovely sister, Marjorie, is standing at the back. Do you have any idea what the make and model the motorcycle is? It appears to be a twin cylinder and has some distinctive features, but I cant seem to match it up with any motorcycle pictures I've come across on line? I really want to tell my Dad what the bike was."
Well, there you have it, chaps. Can anyone ID this bike? If so, email me here and we'll publish your guess (maybe it's not a guess). Good luck.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #120:
Kevin Kitson sent these incredible vintage motorcycle racing pictures which he said were from "Speed Trials in the UK". He'd like some help identifying the motorcycles and perhaps placing the exact year. Anyone that sharp, out there? If so, click here and send us your answer, but please include the above #, which is #120. Good luck, this is your moment of glory.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES:
TAKING THE YOUNG LADIES FOR A SPIN
Ransom Pieces of Upstate New York submitted this cool picture, probably from the 1920s, of what may be an Indian with a sidecar rig. Little more is known about it, but what a cool picture, huh?
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES:
FIRST WOMAN IN ENGLAND TO RIDE MOTORCYCLES
Submitted by Ron Glenister of Australia:
ABOVE: Hilda Pollitt. The first women motorcyclist in the North of England shown here sitting astride her Douglas twin in 1906. Credit Joan Cope.
BELOW: Here is a postcard/photo of Hilda in her Morgan 3-wheeler taken on the road to Blackpool (she lived in St. Helens). Hilda writes on the back:
"On the Blackpool Road the week war was declared – notice the large flag – heard you met Walter last week –
Ina informed me in the car last night Bob and Willie are in the trenches at present –
but haven't lost many of their men yet. About five as far as we know.
Yours as usual Hilda.”
(She flew a large Union Jack on the passenger side)
What an independent Woman.
Thanks Ron, what a treasure!
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES:
1961 TRIUMPH CHOPPER
John A writes: "Built this 1961 TR650 custom during the winter of 1970. Obtained the bike as a frame and a couple boxes of parts. Sold this bike decades ago, however, the build was very fun and riding this guy with no rake and a 16” springer was a challenge to say the least. This is the first time I’ve ever sent this pic out to a Triumph site. Wish I still had it!"
Brings back memories of those crazy chopper days of the early 70s. Even looks like my living room! Thanks for sharing this with us, John. Cool bike.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #118
Jane Concha writes: "Hi, I’m trying to identify this man in a family photo. It’s been said it’s an uncle in Queensland, Australia who died in 1909. I’m hesitant to agree as I see the AJS motor was only invented in 1909 and bikes first appeared in 1910/11. Is is possible this is just an engine of AJS or is this bike possibly from a later date? Any info would be helpful."
So help us out, here. Can you identify this early AJS? Make sure to reference Vintage Motorcycle Pictures #118 so we know which bike you're talking about.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #117
Blake Clark of Ontario, Canada writes: "I have this picture of my grandparents on my grandfathers motorcycle. This is the only picture I personally have of the two of them.
Are you able to help me to figure out what BSA motorcycle this is? I’ve tried but can’t figure it out....I’m a motorcycle rider myself and would love your help to learn more about this picture. My grandpa was dead long before I was born. The war was tough on my ancestors."
So, Blake needs our help in ID-ing this pre-war BSA. Do you know the year and/or model? If so, email me here and make sure to reference Vintage Motorcycle Pictures #117, so I know which bike you're talking about. Put on your thinking caps, lads.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #116
Can you identify the year & model of this AJS V-twin? Luca Rotta Loria sent this amazing picture, and writes:
"It is of my father and grandfather on an AJS motorcycle I am guessing the date to be around 1928/29, my dad was born in 1909 and he looks like a very young man in the picture. I am curious to know more about that motorcycle. I am a motorcyclist myself, I own a 1975 Moto Guzzi 750S3, and a newer 2012 Moto Guzzi Griso, I live in Canada."
Thank you for that, Luca. Let's see if our readers can ID the bike. When you do, please reference #116, so I'll know which photo you're talking about. Let's help Luca out.
Posted January 30, 2019
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES:
1948-ish ROYAL ENFIELD FLYING FLEA
Of course the Flying Flea was designed as a lightweight 2-stroke patrol bike that British troops could parachute in behind enemy lines, during World War II. After the war, they became cheap bikes for the transportation-starved British public.
Here we have a lovely post-war civilian version of the Flying Flea, being piloted by a young Eugene Nevin, probably taken somewhere in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. Born in 1924, he would have been around 24 in 1948. He became a bus conductor for Ulster Bus & eventually went on to become a bus inspector. Thank you to Carmen Nevin for sharing this wonderful photo.
Posted January 11, 2019
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #115
Can you help ID this bike? Francisco Castelo writes: "As I am the manager of the Municipal Photo Library of Lagos, Algarve, Portugal, I try to date and add data to the old photographs that are part of our collection. We know the owner of the motorcycle, we assume that the photograph was recorded in the late 1920s, but we do not know anything else. Thank you for your attention"... So, any help out there? Make sure and accompany your guess with the Vintage Motorcycle Picture #115, so we can tell which one you're referring to. Good luck.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #114
Rachel Penaluna sent this picture of her Grandmother riding this pre-war bike. She thought it was a Velocette, but I don't think so. Look at that tank logo. Is it an Ariel? You tell me. Send us your best guess to the email address above and don't forget to include the number of this picture, which is #114.
Rachel says that her Grandma raised a full family of riders, including Rachel's father and brothers. They lived in the Aldershot area of England at the time. Rachel, her family and her parents now live in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Rachel just bought her first motorcycle, a 2010 Royal Enfield Bullet, so she is carrying on her family tradition. Thanks for the wonderful photo, Rachel. Enjoy the ride...
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES
No mystery here. These are pre-unit Triumph 6T Thunderbirds, at least one of which is a 1958 model. The above photo was taken in Youngstown OH in the late 50s. The handsome fellow on our left is Bob Marsch. Bob is about to turn 80, and his son Fred, pictured as a baby below, wants to find a '58 T-Bird to buy his dad for his birthday. Anyone have any leads on one? If so, email me with it and I'll pass it along to Fred. Oh, BTW, the fellow on our right, above, was Bob's friend and riding companion Duke Snyder.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #113
This should be an easy one. Obviously its an AJS single. It has a rigid frame and telescopic forks, which puts it at 1946-1953 (unless I'm mistaken, which has happened once before LOL). What year is it exactly? Which model, 350 or 500? Any guesses would be much appreciated by Andrew of South Africa. He writes: "Photo attached of what I think may be a Model 18 - maybe late 1940's. Not certain if it is a 350 or 500. Belonged to a friends father (Raymond Clews). Looks to be in nice condition! I tried to find the registration number in the DVLA website. No result - so looks like it hasn't survived - or perhaps needs further enquiry. Any help would be appreciated to ID the model in detail." So, help us out.
ABOVE: The full shot looked so cool, I had to include it. BELOW: A closeup.
BELOW: As an added treat, Andrew sent this picture of himself at age 4 perched on the back of an ancient Triumph single. He says he still has the bug, the motorcycle bug that is, and he says there is no known cure.
VINTAGE MOTOCYCLE PICTURES #112
Karen Wand submitted these wonderful old pictures, about which she writes:
"Recently a relative shared some old photos of my grandparents and these interesting bike pics turned up. That's my grandmother in the first and second photos, and I'm curious if she may have been a despatch rider during the WW I years. The bottom photo is of the gentleman appears to be visiting my grandparents, around 1918, but have no idea who he is. I'd be interested in what the licence # on the bike means.AB 4704 or 6. The baby in the sidecar was born Feb 9, 1918, and they lived in Christchurch.'
So now the ball's in your court. Can you ID any of these bikes? If so, reference the Vintage Motorcycle Pictures #112 in your guess.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #111
Please help us identify this cool old bike. Edward Das writes, "The bike is an Ariel as you can make out the name on the gas tank. It belonged to my grandfather, Wessel Dallinga who lived in Groningen, Holland where this picture would have been taken. He got married in 1938 and did not have the bike when he married so it was a pre-1938 bike. Not sure if it was colorized- my brother had it repaired though." So, it looks like we've ID'd the make (Ariel), help us with the year and model.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES: 2 GUYS ON A TRIUMPH
This wonderful photo was sent in by Greg from Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada. He writes: "I have attached a picture of my father on his bike post-war, likely in Ipswich or nearby. Can you tell me what year, make, model and anything interesting about it? Who knows, I might get one! Thanks in advance.". Check out that Medieval church in the background. I've identified the basics, which any of your astute Brit bike nuts have probably already done yourself. But, to make it easier, let's look at a blow-up of the bike.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #110
So, let's look for some clues in this photo. First off, the distinctive shape of the Triumph logo is clearly visible on the tank. The telescopic front forks mean it's a post-war bike (1946-or-later), and the rigid frame means it's a 1952. Since there is no headlight nacelle, it's not a Speed Twin or Thunderbird. It has down-pipes, so it's a roadster, not a scrambler. So, what do you think it is? Send in your conclusions, or even your guess.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES: 1938 ARIEL
"This is an old picture of the bike my dad had when I was a little girl (and I'm 67 today). It was a 250cc single cylinder, 2 valve, double exhaust ports. He bought it from a Col. Shanahan who had brought it back to the states in the rear of a B-17 bomber during WWII. My dad was an aircraft mechanic at Wright Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. The exhaust pipes were P-38 gun blast tubes. I thought you might like a vintage pic of this bike.
My dad was Ralph Jones and has been gone since 1992 but I'll always remember his bike."
Submitted by Alison Wagner, Seattle WA, USA.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #109
Taken September 1937. Our viewer writes:
"Dear sir, can you please identify the model of this bike for me. I am trying to compile my family history and this picture (not very good i'm afraid) is of my dad on his matchless bike taken in 1937 - the date on the back of the pic. I would be most grateful for your help so I can add a full title to this pic. My aim is to pass the family history on to my grandchildren hoping they will do the same when the time comes.
Thank you in anticipation, Mick Clarke."
Let's see if we can help him out. Can you identify the bike?
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES: BSA GOLDEN FLASH
Way back in around 1950, Archie Horne bought this BSA Golden Flash in Ipswich, Queensland, Australia for 272 pounds. It was a brand new release at the time and only the second one to come to the city, according to Archie. This photograph was taken near the old Ipswich Showground. Archie is now 83 years young and fondly looking back at the good old days. He can't recall if this is a 1950 or a 1951 model Golden Flash. Thank you, Archie for sharing your memories with us.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #108
. WOW! Talk about cool! Tina Breeden of Florida was nice enough to share this incredible picture, and some fond memories. Tina writes: "Here is a picture of my mom and dad on a Triumph.
Picture of: Bill and Bernice Jones in Love. And before they knew it their six girls came - Tammy, Kim, Kathy, Tina, Kandi and Tarisa Jones!". The bike is a mid-50's Triumph twin, probably a 500, maybe a TR5. Care to take a guess? Just reference the VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #108 so we know which picture you're talking about. Keep 'em comin', folks. I'm lovin' this!
Marc Bertrand of Quebec, Canada submitted these next two vintage motorcycle pictures. I will share with you Marc's own words in describing them:
ABOVE: "The little boy sitting behind the driver is my grandfather, and by the license plate says 1926" Any guesses on the bike? If so email us with your guess, and make sure to include the code VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #107 in your email so we know which bike you're identifying.
BELOW: "The three policemen were in Montreal in the mid 50’s. It was taken in front of a church that doesn’t exist anymore during the wedding of Yvon Robert a real rock star in his time. The bikes, Springer Indians, were called 'killer bikes' because you had to leave the handlerbars to shift. The man in the middle is my grand father."
Great pictures, Marc, thanks for sharing some of your family history with us. Bikes were in your grandfather's blood, it seems. I looked up Yvon Robert online and he was a professional wrestler in Canada.
ABOVE: The Stan Marks Ariel showroom in England from the 1950s.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES COME WITH STORIES...
As you can well imagine, I get a lot of email from British bike enthusiasts of all ages, and from all over the world. I've heard some pretty amazing things and gotten some great pictures. I recently got a story so full of heart, and history, and motorcycles, that I was immediately captivated by it. There were supposed to be pictures with it, but technical glitches delayed their receipt by several days. All the while my anticipation was building, after having read his story, I couldn't wait to see those pictures. When they finally arrived, they were even better than I was hoping for. But, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start with his original letter to me, below, Anthony Marks.
BELOW: A hill climb event in NW England c.1930. That's white limestone on the road, not snow.
Anthony Marks writes:
"My father was Stan Marks of Preston, Lancashire (England) who started a motorcycle business in 1918 after serving in WW1 as a mechanic working on lorries fitted out as workshops for repairing Motorbikes. His business grew to become one of the leading Motor Cycle dealers in the NW. He had the Agencies for BSA, AJS/Matchless, Vincent, Ariel, Panther, Scott,(water-cooled engine,much favoured by older customers for its incredible reliability..our mechanics used to say they hardly ever had them back in the workshop) Among his customers was George Formby who because of petrol rationing traded in his Buick car for a motorbike.In the late 40s and early 50s all new bikes for the home market were in black enamel. Coloured bikes went for export. We also sold Swallow sidecars of Blackpool (later to become Standard Swallow Jaguar..S S Jaguar then simply Jaguar, a car which my father favoured for many years). During the war my father was asked to establish a workshop to repair and rebuild damaged bikes from the Front. Hundreds went through his workshop in Aqueduct Street Preston with a staff of over 50.after the war he bought lots of these bikes at Ministry auction sales. He rebuilt them at the same workshop and sold the all over the N.Northwest. They were especially popular among farmers! Hope these will be of interest to you. I left the business in 1950 to go to university and then ordination in the Church of England. Next year I shall be 90 so I wanted my memories to be passed on.
Well said, and we'll certainly do our part to keep these memories alive.
BELOW: Another off-road race and judging by the bike, maybe circa 1920s. Check out the cigarette hanging out of the riders mouth...in a race! You've gotta love those Brits.
ABOVE: A late-50s Ariel twin, likely a 500cc KH, on a rotating dais.
BELOW: An AJS display, likely at a trade show of some sort.
ABOVE: Talk about vintage motorcycle pictures, Matchless built tons of bikes for His Majesty's Army during WWII, and they were very proud of that. This is a postcard that was sent to all Matchless dealers just after D-Day in 1941.
BELOW: A proper English motorcycle dealership in the 1930s. The signs say they sell Royal Enfields, BSAs, and Ariels, yet out of the seven 2-wheelers parked out front, five are bicycles, only two are motorcycles. The window sign in the far right says "1933 Models".
ABOVE: AH HA!!! This is the MYSTERY BIKE! And your big chance to prove your depth of knowledge. Can you identify the make, model and/or year of this interesting old V-twin? If so SEND IN YOUR GUESS HERE.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #106
ANSWER: Submitted Dec 14, 2017 by Simon Robinson of Suffolk, England . Simon says it's a Montgomery Anzani twin. He guided me to Google where I found this vintage Montgomery Anzai advertisement. According to Simon, Montgomery an early British motorcycle manufacturer, was the first to invent the sidecar, and was based out of Suffolk, just like him.
BELOW: The hero of our story, Stan Marks on an ancient Douglas, during his time as a motorcycle mechanic during World War I. Any guesses on the model & year?
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #105
ABOVE: Our hero wins a combination (sidecar) race in the freezing snow, with his wife Doris in the sidecar. She looks cold!
BELOW: Anthony Marks, the author of the above letter, the custodian of these historic photos, proud son, and, as it turns out, a Reverend. What a guy. Thank you for sharing it your memories with us, and these wonderful vintage motorcycle pictures.
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #104
ABOVE: Stephen Peretti sent us this incredible photo. Can you help ID the bike?
Our resident license plate expert says that based on the plates, this was likely taken between 1927 and 1932 in St. Gallen, Switzerland. Thanks, John.
Stephen writes: "Attached is a picture of my late grandfather, Emil Peretti (on left) and his friend, Zep next to his wonderful old motorcycle. I love the riding gear of the day, specifically the rolled up pants, socks and backwards caps. My grandfather was from Switzerland and moved to the US in 1930, so I’m not sure what year or country the photo was taken. The licenses plates both match and I’m sure someone knowledgeable in motorcycle registration could establish if these were European or US plates. I’d really love to know what year, make and model my grandfather rode. I never knew of this photo and motorcycle when my grandfather was alive, but I have a deep connection to my Grandpa as I share the joy seen in his smile that conveys a timeless biker axiom, "four wheels moves your body, but two wheels moves your soul”. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
Regards, Stephen Peretti"
Wow, Stephen thanks. I think I know what it is, but I don't want to spoil it. Send me your best guess (or maybe you know) via the link at the top of this page. And don't forget to include the BIKE PIC #, so we know which bike you're referring to. Good luck, and thanks for the help. I'm sure Stephen will appreciate it also.
September 25, 2017
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #102 (below) & #103 (above)
ABOVE & BELOW: Lee Barnard sent us this amazing pictures with the following description:
"All I can tell you about these photos is that the Norton was taken on Boxing Day 1920 outside the Kursaal Amusement Park in Southend on Sea; and the group shot was taken on January 6th 1921 outside The Minerva Public house that was next door to the Kursaal. I have been told that the Norton was no more than a few weeks old, according to the license plate."
August 27, 2017
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #102
ABOVE & BELOW: Richard Schofield sent this photo. It was taken in Derby, Derbyshire England, I'm guessing early 1960s. He wanted me to ID the bike. It's a "Bathtub Triumph" (1958-1966), either a 350cc 3TA Twenty-One
or a 500cc 5TA Speed Twin
. That's a BMC Mini in the far right, and I don't know much about busses. I zoomed in on the bike, below to show a little more detail.
August 28, 2017
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE PICTURES #101
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS BIKE?
Owner Adrian Barnes from Australia explains:
"Way back when I was a teenager I had the bike in the photo. (this was about 1953). I have no idea what it was. I have searched the internet for various photos but nothing comes up as a likeness.
Volunteers at the local motor museum have suggested –
1 it probably had a Villiers motor
2 it may be a James
3 it may be a Sun
4 don’t know
I apologize for the lack of detail – both info and photographic quality.
Any suggestions you can offer will be greatly appreciated."
So, email us via the link at the top or bottom of this page if you think you can ID this bike. Use its BIKE PIC # above, as reference for your answer.
August 29, 2017
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