The Classic Motorcycle Club's annual 1000 Bike Show, held as usual over the first weekend of July in the grounds of Germiston High School, not only featured hundreds of classic and exotic motorcycles, polished to within an inch of their lives and on display in the huge marquee, but also attracted about 10 000 visitors, many of whom came on their own motorcycles and trikes, creating another, impromptu bike show in the parking area.
Chairman of the Classic Motorcycle Club and show convenor Pierre Cronje said: “This year's show raised more money than ever before, benefiting a number of charities in addition to Germiston High.”
The 1000 Bike Show dates back to the first concours d'elegance organised by the Classic Motorcycle Club in Springs in 1970, and has grown in stature over the years, moving from the East Rand Mall to the Avril Elizabeth Children's Home and the Carlton Centre before finding a home at Germiston High School.
The undoubted star of this year's show was a 1000cc Hesketh V-twin, believed to be the only one in Africa. Hesketh motorcycles were built to Rolls-Royce standards in the 1980s and 90s, in very small numbers, on the estate of Lord Hesketh, better known as the team principal of the Hesketh Formula One team.
Each one carries the Hesketh crest and the machines were advertised at the time under the slogan “The power and the glory”. Today they are collectors' pieces and most of them, sadly, are in museums or private collections, rather than being ridden.
Of equal interest to the cognoscenti, however, was a 1978 Ducati 900 GTS, with an unusual non-desmo version of the iconic Fabio Taglioni-designed 864cc square-case L-twin engine. Softly tuned, with a long, rangy wheelbase and slow, predictable handling, it was as stable as the Great Pyramid of Cheops and a superbly comfortable sports-tourer.
TIME CAPSULE ON TWO WHEELS
The distinctive lettering of the tank badge was created for the much more angular 1977 860 GT model by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign, better known as the creator of the original VW Golf.
This largely original example had been carefully stored with its more vulnerable components (particularly the LaFranconi silencers) wrapped in brown paper, in a garage in Cape Town since 1983. Gauteng enthusiast Dan Steyn - who'd owned a 1982 900SS in the 1990's - heard that it was up for sale as the garage was to be demolished and bought it without a moment's hesitation.
This 'time capsule on two wheels' was started for the first time in 30 years at the show - and fired up within seconds when Cronje pushed the button.
CONCOURS D'ELEGANCE RESULTS
Best on Show:1969 Triumph Bonneville - Neville Nicolou
Best Vintage:1929 BSA S29 - Mr Viljoen
Best Classic:1938 Matchless - late Bob Baker
Best Post-Classic:1961 Triumph Tiger 100 - Ken Jones
Best New Era:1973 Suzuki GT 750 - Mr Gibbon
Best Competition: Matchless G50 'Wagon Wheels' - Ian Groat
Ladies' Choice: OK Supreme - Rod Thomas
Best Stand: Classic Off-Road Motorcycles.
Best Triumph :1957 Tiger 100 - Dennis da Silva
Best BSA: Golden Flash - Frank Struckmeyer
Best Yamaha: YAS-2K - Mr Gibbon
Best Royal Enfield: Bullet Racer - Dion de Beer
Best Honda:1972 SS50 Z - Johnny Helleva
Best Suzuki: Katana - Randall Norman
Best Ariel: Leader - Mike White
Best BMW: R50 - Dan Steyn
Best AMC:1938 Matchless - late Bob Baker
Best Norton: Commando - Gareth Harvey
Best Velocette: KSS - Des Burton
Best DJ bike: Excelsior Manxman - Kevin Robertson
Best Italian: Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans - Mr Shadwell
Best Kawasaki:1976 Z750 - Roy Hallaby
Best Off-Road:1974 Yamaha YZ 250 - Mike Payne
Best Historic Motor Group Racing: Kawasaki - Etienne Louw