2013 Del Mar show
As long as there has been an old bike hobby, there have been old bike shows. The Del Mar California location has a long history with races and shows, and the latest incarnation is called the Celebration of the Motorcycle. That name may remind you of the Legends of the Motorcycle show that was held in Half Moon Bay for 3 glorious years. The Del Mar team has done a great job to update their show, and if their goal is the Legends, then they are moving in the right direction. The venue is much smaller, but there was a high quality of bikes present, and the judging team headed by Somer Hooker (with Legends and Pebble Beach ace Ed Gilberston on board) was to the same standard. For example, bikes were docked 5 points from the 100 point scale if the owner failed to start them on cue. It is a small item, but it highlights Hooker and Gilbertson’s enthusiasm for motorbikes as celebrated machines. Note that they are not referred to as pieces of art…
I was volunteered to judge this year, and gladly took the opportunity to get a free breakfast and coffee. It provided me with a great chance to study the earliest machines in detail and chat with the owners and fellow judges too. All of the bikes were so nice, it really was a pleasure. Regular readers will know my preference is to hear and see machines on the open road, but for this weekend I left my leathers at home and went down to the San Diego coast.
There were a lot of bikes at the show, including classics and more modern machines. But our focus here is on the earliest ones, and here are some photos kindly taken by the missus:
Urban brought this New Era. I think that he said that 4 or 5 of these bikes remain. This one was restored 15+ years ago, and still looks very fresh. Note the seat design, and this one is uniquely fitted with the NE passenger seat, handle and footpegs.
Fluted glass like that fitted to some brass era cars.
Urban’s Hudson is one of just a few remaining examples. It dates from 1910 and has an atmospheric intake valve breathing through the swan neck Brown and Barlow carb.
Rotten Richard’s 1916 Militaire has a million little things to see. Study the pics to spot the hub center steering details, wooden rims, shifter, frame, etc. About a half dozen of these machines exist. More pics of another of these rare bikes here.
An 1890’s highwheeler and some of Jeff Decker’s sculpture.
Lattin also brought this sexy Cleveland racer.
The Pierce single was a crowd favorite. It ran pretty well, popping and burping for the audience several times throughout the day. The 600 single was a strong running bike of the era, and is more highly regarded than the Pierce 4’s by riders.
Evidence of use and repairs.
Cannonball veteran Jon Szalay restored this Indian 8 valve this year, and it sparkles like jewelry.
Rider’s view of an unrestored FN single.
This early DDB motorbicycle also caught my eye.
Stay tuned. I’ll post a few more articles on the Irish Rally soon, and also some pics from the Banbury Run and some photos from old pre1916 runs held in Hollister in the 1970s.