The event at the Royal Bath & West Showground was one for the purists, and the thousands who came along were rewarded with two days of cracking weather in which to explore the hundreds of bikes on display.
The Best in Show award went to Rodney Hann’s 546cc Husqvarna 180. He carried out a full restoration between 2002 and 2004, and the hard work was there for all to see with an excellent bike drawing many admiring glances. All the Best in Show winners at the ClassicBikeShows events are put forward into the Classic Bikers Club Bike of the Year 2013 competition, so Rodney’s ‘Husky’ will join Dave Orritt’s Kawasaki Z1 from last October’s Stafford Show and Ray Bourne’s 1972 Kawasaki H2A, which was Best in Show at last month’s Newark show.
Dozens of worthy winners were celebrating, and clubs played a major part, with the Norton Owners’ Club taking best club stand, while showing what a popular event this is in the South West, the Wells Classic MCC took second and North Devon British MCOC third.
But of course the 33rd Carole Nash Bristol Classic MotorCycle Show is about much more than prize winners, it’s also about the people, and show organiser Nick Mowbray said the atmosphere was fantastic: “It really helped that the sun came out for what felt like the first time this year after a few weeks of snow and ice. We had a great crowd through the gates and everyone just seemed happy to see the great machines on display and bag some bargains while there.”
A Mortons show isn’t a Mortons show without a bit of noise, and Chris Hawksley of Solo Motorcycle Products sent a shiver down the spines of showgoers as he fired up his Norton Domiracer 500cc replica. This is as near as anyone will get to the rare racing machine, as the project was wound up shortly after the original bike finished third in the 1961 Senior TT behind Mike Hailwood and Bob McIntyre who were on highly tuned race-bred Manx Nortons.
Private entries were a definite highlight, including everything from a little 1904 Humber Olympia Tandem, where the passenger sits up front, to a modern classic in the making – a 2002 Honda Dream.
Sadly, guest of honour Sammy Miller was only able to be there on the Saturday, as ill health meant he was unable to attend on the Sunday. Sammy took along two Moto Guzzi racers – a 1957 V8 500cc racer capable of 180mph and a 1950 Moto Guzzi V-twin 500cc – from his museum. But there was still plenty to see and do on the Sunday, as organiser Nick Mowbray pointed out: “We had a staggering number of motorcycles on display this year – more than one for every minute of the day the show was open.”