Tougher than the rest

Rob Taylor’s magnificently distressed 1948 BSA M33 is his winter bike. Retired garage owner Rob, a cheerful guy and a skilled mechanic, has several interesting classics, including a smart Silk 700 and a near-unique Silk 500cc racer. But the ohv 500cc M33 with its irreproachable patina is a standout.

He acquired the BSA, complete with its ‘MPH 459’ registration, some 36 years ago in 1981. It had previously pulled a sidecar, but as I’ve found with ex-AA M21s, the sturdy brazed-lug frame needed no realignment. Soon after he got it, a car cut across him, and Rob and the BSA went down. The hardy bike was okay, but Rob suffered a broken hip.

Some riders might have sold on the M33 at that point, but Rob just fitted it with a spare fork tube, its bottom end welded up to take the cane he needed to walk with for a while, once he was out of the saddle. He still has a slight limp today.

Read more in the November issue of TCM – on sale now!

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