An invite to the Emsworth base of Comet Classics, sent me down to Hampshire for their 2nd open day, to what is best described as a constantly evolving retail museum. The facility opened about six years ago and features an ever-changing display of 30-plus bikes from all era’s, ranging from the 20s to the 80s. Run by retired enthusiast Ray Waller along with his business partner Martin, a lifetime passion for anything classic resulted in a collection which apart from bikes includes petrol pumps, memorabilia and the occasional four-wheeler. Viewing is by appointment only, but a turnover of around 300 machines a year confirms Comet is always busy; preparing bikes for sale is done in-house. Ray explained they are always searching for quality stock and will often take complete collections to satisfy their clients world-wide.
The first machine they purchased remains in the showroom as sentiment over took business when it came to moving-on their lovely Sunbeam S7. So, what is the co-owners favourite bike? ‘Oh, it has to be the Triumph TR6 Trophy’ he decided, looking towards a 1966 version nearby. ‘But the 1958 model would be my choice’. Comet also support the very capable local racer Andrew Windsor and his success mirrors that of the company; currently leading the Golden Era class (Superbikes & GP1 Classic/Cup) within the Thunder Sports GB package, piloting his Yamaha R6, with just two rounds to go. Andrew has also competed at Goodwood’s Members Meeting and this year’s Manx GP and his on-board video of that event certainly attracted the attention of the mornings visitors, including a large group from the Vintage Motorcycle Club. Before letting me loose with my camera Ray explained Comet Classics was a lifetime dream that became a reality and when I ask about future plans he concluded ‘just being around old bikes till I fall over is the aim’. Sounds perfect to me also.
See more at www.cometclassics.co.uk
Grant Ford for classic-motorbikes.net