Spagforth Special Resurfaces
At the recent Maleny swap meet, fellow HMCCQ members Lawrie and Suzanne Godde called me across to see their latest acquisition. In the back of their van they unveiled a shapely sidecar based on a lightweight aluminium aircraft belly tank. Lawrie is a devout Spagforth enthusiast and based on the information posted in his complete set of OBA chronicles, is sure that the said unit is probably one of Sir Carruthers’ rare later prototypes developed from the original Spagforth Skink. Like many high performance machines at the time, the technology involved in the bullet-like aerodynamic shape of the disposable aircraft tank was utilised by civilians to produce purposeful landbased machines at an affordable price. This would not have gone unnoticed by the Spagforth design team and so Lawrie’s theory appears well founded. This humble example had been long separated from its original powerplant, re-emerging attached to a BMW. Over the last several years it had been stored in a shed in Gladstone. I recently caught up with Lawrie and Suzanne who had spent some time resurrecting the Special to what they believe was its intended self. They did the best they could considering they couldn’t find any surviving records from the Spagforth archives. Amazingly magnetic levitation was incorporated so that the Spagforth sits horizontal on one wheel even when uncoupled from the motorcycle. The invisible force field was strong enough to stay upright even when Lawrie jumped in – truly the most magnificent feature of the Special and (to my knowledge) something which no-one has been able to replicate to this day.
Lawrie was excited to take the place of Edgar’s right-hand man Jethro Agrippa as he donned a later version of the Spago-lid and demonstrated the finer details of the design. He flipped up the fighter aircraft inspired Perspex windshield to allow easy access. Lawrie’s over six-foot frame was comfortably cocooned into the enclosure and the screen design ensured he stayed warm and dry when returned to its final position.
It would have cut through the air like a knife, reducing the top speed of the solo Spagforth minimally. A substantial support frame and semi-elliptic spring mount ensured a limousine ride while a handy compartment behind the seat could store the appropriate beverages, picnic set or extra fuel meeting the needs of the elite group of Spagforth owners.
Not having a rightful ridgy-didge Spagforth to bolt the Special too, Lawrie is making this saved treasure available to anyone out there who does. He would like nothing better than to return the Special to its rightful steed such is his devotion to preserve the heritage that has been left by the Spagforth legend. Lawrie would also be interested in any information on the Special and can be contacted on 0468 762834. Gaven Dall’Osto Aspley, Qld