Tucked away deep in Suffolk is a real mecca for fans of the Norton and Triumph brands. Malcolm Ward began Elm Villa Classics nearly 6 years ago now, although he does admit to having spent most of the last 39 years or so tinkering with bikes, having started at the age of 11. “I was a bit of a jack-of-all-trades before starting my own motorcycle business” Malcolm said “I worked as an agricultural fitter for many years and did anything thing that involved repairing mechanical objects. There was a lot of Norton’s in this area when I was a teenager, the local dealer, Revetts in Ipswich, was an ardent Norton supplier and kept the majority of the Japanese onslaught at bay in Suffolk for a good while during the mid 70s. Because of this, I had a Commando at the age of 17 and have never been without one since, so, with my extensive knowledge of the breed, it made prefect sense to go into business buying and selling British bikes.
The success of the sales side of Elm Villa then led to the repair side of things taking off and in turn, a fair bit of Jap stuff finds its way passing through too.
“The Jap classics are taking off nicely, and I usually have a nice selection in stock” Malcolm added “The prices of certain models, the larger capacity Yamaha two strokes for example, are on the up quite sharply, so it pays to keep an eye out on that side of the market, but buying wisely is essential, much more so than with the Brit machinery. I also do restoration and servicing for customers, among many other jobs in the workshop at the moment is a 1950s Norton and a pair of Puch Mopeds from the 70s, the latter not the norm for me, but a nice job none the less, full of memories of my youth. Although happy tackling any work my specialist subject is the late 60s and early 70s British twins, I have also dabbled in newer machinery, Far eastern scooters and motorcycles, but its not for me really, I like the classic machinery and its ability to grow in value while still sitting in stock or even during a lengthy restoration.
“I now sell Classic bikes all over the UK, and more recently, thanks to the internet, have seen machines and spares go all over the continent, the strength of the Euro against Sterling making it worth the while buying from the UK at the moment. The web is a great aid to selling to far away places as it ticks away 24 hours a day, and allows potential customers from all over the globe to make enquiries especially when we are closed for business. I am actively gathering in any suitable spares that come up for sale to enable me to maintain the machinery I sell and restore, this means I now have a vast stock of parts to hand, some of which I am happy to sell on to anyone who needs a particular part. The future lies in the British twins and triples, there is still a lot of machinery out there, as well as a seemingly endless amount of interest, and so for the foreseeable this is the way to go.”
Malcolm has successfully turned a life long passion and hobby into a thriving business that benefits greatly from his passion for all things two wheeled. Anyone in the hunt for an immaculately prepared classic machine should certainly give Elm Villa a call or check out their website.
Elm Villa Classics tel 01379 588115
Elm Villa Classics Gallery
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