Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Classic Motor Heads

3000 enthusiasts, only some in leathers filed through the New Plymouth Classic Motor Cycle Club's show peering up and down at the 90 bikes - BMWs, BSAs, Triumphs, Ducatis, Matchless', Maicas...  An architect friend was manning tickets at the door - and told me to my surprise he had a Velocette and a monster BMW on show.  

The Velocette LE (Little Engine) was most unique with its boxy look - 150cc water cooled.  It was in production from 1948-1970.  Their breakthrough came when the British Police ordered more than half their production for patrols. The Met Police normally had to salute Inspectors and above but this meant taking their hand off the handlebars, so it was agreed they could nod instead.  This lead to their nickname 'Noddies' and the bike became the 'Noddy Bike'

It was a lot of fun watching the enthusiasts and sketching midst the distinctive smell of sump oil. This 1932 Royal Enfield 500 Bullet certainly had a classic look.


  1. Love the line of bikes. A fitting 'nod' to them.

  2. Thanks Adam - the admirers were just as interesting. If you are ever up in New Plymouth you are most welcome to join us, we sketch each Saturday at 1.30pm.

  3. Never seen a velocette before – strangely cool looking.