Smiles in the Stafford sunshine

SUNSHINE AND CLASSIC motorcycles – the perfect start to Spring. The 38th Carole Nash Spring Classic at Stafford County Showground saw thousands of visitors pour through the gates, with a packed bike park stretching across the fields as thousands took the opportunity to sample the best in classic biking.

Thanks to the weather there was plenty of elbowroom inside. The very best private entries sparkled in the middle of the main hall, along with the bigger club stands and there was a healthy mix of entries and exhibits dotted around the other halls. The racebike paddock gave visitors a chance to see machines that are rarely viewed outside of racetrack paddocks, and the roar of BSA and Triumph triple racers mingled with the banshee wail of two-strokes revved to within an inch of their lives, while the visitors got their first chance to hear the unearthly howl of Allen Millyard’s RC374 Honda Six replica. Meanwhile, the throb of classic trail bikes drifted over the scene from the dirt bike track as members of the Owd Codgers club did their thing.

Inside the halls club members were besieged by visitors keen to talk the finer points of their preferred marques. All the regular trade stands were there, as well as a healthy scattering of new traders, all offering parts, processes and expert technical advice. Inevitably, you could also get your glasses cleaned free of charge and buy a large amount of sugary confectionery, books galore, magazines by the tonne and magical cures for things that ail both body and bike. After judging, a 1966 TR6R Triumph took the top honours, while a BSA Spitfire was the best postwar.

The autojumble was buzzing with activity – it is always fun to people watch as a buyer spots, seemingly from yards away, that all-important project-completing part and pounces upon it. Prices were at a sensible level and the benefits of being able to handle the object of your desires and haggle with the seller a little is always going to be preferable to clicking on an internet link and hoping for the best.

The biggest draw seemed to be the Enfield dealer who had managed to secure a pre-production Royal Enfield 650 Continental GT for display purposes – how many other manufacturers would be prepared to let their new baby be mauled by hundreds of potential buyers? If the appreciative looks on the faces of those checking out the new twin were anything to go by, RE are going to be hard pushed to keep up with demand.

For those looking for something a little more vintage, Andy Gregory, of Tri-Cor, had a beautifully sorted Triumph T140 special for sale and tucked away on stalls across the jumble were machines of every vintage and varying provenance.

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