Wednesday, February 20, 2019

2019 Las Vegas Vintage & Antique Motorcycle Auction
                                                                                                By Gordon Perlow
     This years Mecum Motorcycle auction in January was again held at the South Point Hotel. There were over 1,750 motorcycles up for auction. Prices varied from $1-2,000 up to $704,000 for a 1939 Croker big tank. A collection of 235 museum quality bikes were brought over from a single collection from Stockholm, Sweden. 
     Every bike was listed at no reserve and they all sold over their predicted prices. There were several Brough’s the bike made famous by the legendary T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), who owned seven at the time of his death.
     The auction also featured various pieces of antique motorcycle collectibles and art work. The auction ran for five full days. It was fun and exciting. This was only my second time there. Not only were so many great bikes to see and watch the crowd bid, but it was a social event to meet and talk with motorcycle enthusiasts from all over the world.
Last year I won a 1961 BSA A10 Super Rocket, pre unit bike. 
     This year I got this awesome 1961 Triumph T120C. This bike was the American version that was sold at Johnson Motors, in California, made famous by the late Bud Ekins. By the way, he was a racing partner of the late great Steve Mcqueen and Mr. Ekins was famous for making that infamous barb wire jump in the film “The Great Escape”.

     I’ll be back next year and maybe I’ll get another bike. Possibly another blue one to match the BSA and Triumph. I highly recommend going there for the experience alone. Maybe I’ll see you there.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

The Stampede Reunion

My ride to Cottonwood did not go quite as expected,
 but that's another story.
Packed and heading to Cornville.

Bob Marshall arrived in Cornville on his unique KZ1000 P. We hung out in Cornville, as other Stampeders arrived, visiting and talking till late. 

     Next day everyone rode to Jerome in the rain. The town of Jerome is stuck on the side of a mountain and was a copper mining town at the start of the 20th century. By the 1960's it was virtually a ghost town. Now it's a place with restaurants, bars, art galleries and wine shops. Touristy without the junk shops.

It was good to hang around The Spirit Room at the Connor Hotel, watch the rain come down and listen to the band.

On Sunday everyone got together for breakfast and some photos in the parking lot. Paul Corey brought out his drone and we all gawked at it like farm boys who just saw a horseless carriage for the first time.

Charles Davis, Charlie the Nomad, a man of many talents, who organized The Stampede and knows more about The Stampede than anyone. I sure hope he's got a book in him.

After breakfast John, Jessie, Paul and I decided to go for a little ride to Sedona and up Oak Creek Canyon.

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Paul's plan was to tour the Northwest, Jessie headed to the Southwest. John and I returned to Northern California. Everyone else went in their own directions. I think everyone had a great time. I hope there is another Stampede Reunion.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Stampede Reunion

      Few people know what The Stampede was, The Stampede was a cross country race for choppers,There were a total of 10 Stampedes. The last "Now or Never," Stampede was in 2015.
     The rules were that the bike had to be hardtailed, have a solid mounted motor with no windshields, fairings or hard saddlebags. No chase vehicles were allowed and anyone not in the race was considered a chase vehicle. Strutts were allowed.
     Each year the race started somewhere on the west coast and ended in Pine Bluff, North Carolina. Pine Bluff was near the Rockingham Speedway that hosted a chopper event called The Smokeout. 
     The Stampede was a race. It was illegal, dangerous and it was hard. For me, and I believe most of the riders that competed, a life defining event.            
     I learned about The Stampede just before Stampede 5, but not in time to get a bike together for that race. I rode my Electra Glide to Lake Tahoe to see the start of that race, which followed Highway 50 to the east coast and to Pinebluff, NC. I would compete in the next 4 Stampedes.
     At Tahoe, while taking photographs, I met Jim Hunchuck, who was working on the carburetors of his Kawasaki KZ750. I asked him if I could take a few photos. I found him to be a really outgoing and a nice guy, I knew that Jim and I would be friends.
     In November of 2017 Jim started a Facebook Group called "Stampede Race Alumni." Jim suggested a Stampede Reunion. He asked for suggestions for a location and time. Cottonwood, Arizona was set as the location and the dates were set, June 15-17, 2018. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Saturday Morning Breakfast Ride

     Most Saturday mornings I meet with friends in Novato, California and ride to Point Reyes Station for breakfast. Some people ride every week, others, when the spirit moves them. But every Saturday there are some very cool bikes.

     Then it's off on some of California's best scenic roads. 

     Point Reyes Station is a small town that is located on Tomales Bay and right on top of the San Andreas Fault. The brick Grande building was a hotel built a couple of years after the 1906 earthquake and was closed in 1950, and it is just across the street from our breakfast stop.
     For breakfast it's the Station House Cafe.

      So that's how I spend a lot of my Saturday mornings. I've got no idea how long this ride has been going on. If there is any organization, I can't see it. Nobody is in charge and any kind of bike is welcome. So here's the word, if you are a motorcycle enthusiast and you can get along with people, 0900 San Marin High School any Saturday.