Classics looking younger
By: Web Editor
In 1974, aged 17, I spent £70 on exactly the same model Matchless. Built in 1950, AEN73 was like a huge number of old Brits then, worn out in every department! Painted matt black all over, saddle replaced by plywood and foam, extinct lighting system etc. It was a heap, but it took me everywhere and I loved it.
But here’s a thing; despite the ‘Teledraulic’ forks, it wouldn’t have looked too futuristic in 1930 and by 1974, even a layman could tell it was almost an antique. Alongside a H1 Kawasaki, it could have been from another planet and yet it was only 24 years old!
Now, back to that classified ad, a cooking 250cc Yamaha from 1980, perhaps to many readers not even old but at 32, it makes my Matchy look like a youngster! I suspect it goes and stops much as it did 32 years ago, and our layman would probably not recognise it as being particularly old. A classic? Who’s to say. Was my Matchless one in 1974?
Hmmnnn. Perhaps, as with us humans, 60 is now the new 40!
Mark Brett, via email
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Current Issue: June 2016
Triumph T-Bird: TR6 Twin
1920s Sporting OHV Single: Rare new Hudson
Rich pedigree: Velocette racer on the road
Making dreams come true: Riding day at the National Motorcycle Museum
PLUS: Matchless pair of military singles; Barry Briggs interview; Cotton Blackburne; The Pioneer Run; Cult of the black leather jacket
• Next issue on sale: June 3, 2016