Spag­forth Spe­cial Resur­faces

Old Bike Australasia - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

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

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