Friday, 9 April 2010

Old bikes in ads

Thanks to fellow blogger Jaargang ( for these priceless images.

Who'd have ever guessed that the Estonians would feature 2 well dressed terriers on a Velocette as a theme for a Happy Birthday card.

Or that Montesa would stoop to the use of such sexist advertising! Probably sold a lot of bikes though.

And according to Jaargang: "This bike lives in a world of broken hearts, giant roses, and whisky that never spills." Well said and thank you Ms Jaargang.


Recent discussion on the Yahoo UK Velocette forum centred on the price of a recently restored Velocette Thruxton. You can snap up VMT400 (above) for a mere 24,000 Euros. This discussion prompted me to scan an article I wrote some time ago - June 1988 to be exact.
In my view the following words are as relevant now as they were over 20 years ago.

With the price of Velos rising rapidly there’s a risk that some normally sane Velo riders might succumb to the “collector” mentality. The result — more Velocette museum pieces and less being used for their intended purpose. With a $15,000 Thruxton appearing in The Melbourne Age recently and prices in England often exceeding 8,000 pounds sterling (which converts to 20,000 weak Aussie dollars) you can understand the pressures we’ll face in the future, not to risk our valuable machines by actually riding them.
However, let's see if we can turn the tables on this line of reasoning. If, like me, you consider that Percy, Eugene, Bertie, Charles, Phil & Co. created these things to be used and enjoyed, then you don’t sit around with a calculator in one hand and the classifieds in the other calculating your capital gains — you actually get out and ride the damn things. Surely, the only way a true motorcyclist can reap the benefits of his investment is from memories of rides past and anticipation of rides to come. Some perverse souls even enjoy tinkering with them between rides.
At present values, you probably don’t have to ride your Velo all that often to justify the investment to yourself and/or spouse, but as prices rise, you’ll find that you have to ride your Velo more and more to maintain the status quo. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? ‘Sorry dear, can’t go to Aunt Freda’s tomorrow — the price of Velos has just gone up by $3000. I’m going to have to go for a very long ride with the boys!”
So by all means keep an eye on values, but don’t ever lose sight of a Velo’s prime purpose.