Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Motorcycle archaeology

When I lived in Italy and bought or found wrecked old bikes in boxes, damp cellars or old farmhouses, one of my favourite things to do was open up all the toolboxes, cubby holes or sidepanels to see what was inside; usually, I'd find a mouse's nest, an old oily rag and a rusty old spark plug, if I was lucky..

So when I picked up a rusty old frame, wheels and box of junk for a small Gilera of some kind, I had a nice surprise when I opened the tube-shaped toolbox - inside were an immaculate set of points in their box, a nice metal inner tube repair kit and a road tax disc from the year, I assume, the bike was last used - 1964 (three years before I was born..).

I eventually restored the bike which turned out to be a rare little 1951 Gilera 150 Turismo with girder forks, so it was nice to have all the original 'finds' with it.


Anonymous said...

Just got my first issue of the magazine, love it. And this little story... the finds in the toolbox are just the kind of thing that ads character to these bikes.

adam@italianmotor said...

Glad you liked the mag! - the period, original stuff is so nice to have. I've mounted the old licence disc onto the bike with a metal aftermarket holder from the early 50s and it all looks just right!!