Brooklands Ton-up day is ace

Published: 06:30AM Jul 31st, 2013
By: James Robinson
Ton-Up Day at Brooklands, on June 23, was the first joint venture between the Ace Cafe and the motorcycle section of the Brooklands Museum. With such a broad spread of interest, it was no surprise to find bikes of all ages in corners around the sprawling museum site...
Brooklands Ton-up day is ace

Martin Smith, understandably, looks pleased with his single cylinder Norvin

In front of the main clubhouse gates, the Ace Cafe had a display of cafe racers, a fine mix of classic 1960s examples of polished alloy, clip-on’d and rear-setted quasi-racers, together with later creations that showed the genre is still very much alive and well. There was no shortage of enthusiasts ready to admire the quality of the workmanship.

Serial Triumph collector Dick Shepherd also had a presence on Ton-Up Day. His ‘home-from-home’ race transporter contained a pick of bikes from his collection. While he has many Meriden examples, many of them famous competition machines, or specials, he has also acquired some Hinckley-built bikes, including some used for film work.

Rather than prise a Vincent V-twin into a Featherbed frame, Martin Smith had produced a very satisfying Norvin with a 500cc Comet engine. He has owned the bike for “six or seven years”. Next to the Norvin was Roger Newman, with his self-engineered ‘Platinum Star’. Arguably, the way BSA might have developed the Gold Star (hence the evolutionary name!), Roger created his own version. A cooking BSA bottom end contains a Pearson crank and the drive to a single overhead camshaft on top of a four valve cylinder head. Camshaft comes from a Godden single. The bike has only been completed recently, but the performance is already showing great promise, according to its builder.

In the old race paddock a number of local clubs had supported the event, offering yet more bikes and most with a story. Elsewhere, an impromptu cinema was showing the classic films The Wild One and The Leather Boys.

For a first-time event, in less than brilliant weather, the organisers were pleased with the support from riders and spectators. It seems that Ton-Up Day will become another ‘must-see’ event on the busy Brooklands calendar.

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