Old Hat Editorial
(Author unknown, but possibly Edgar Jessop)
Welcome to our seventy-fifth issue – an odyssey that began more than 12 years ago with what was initially intended to be a twice-yearly magazine. That idea lasted just two issues before we went quarterly, then bi-monthly, and finally, seven times per year. Each of those steps was in response to increasing sales, both at the newsstand and via subscription, and by support from our advertisers, without which we would be long gone as printing and distributing paper magazines is a costly business. Some of those advertisers have been with us since issue number one; Triumph, Royal Enfield, Motociclo, Procycles, Classic Style (then called Classic Motorcycle Warehouse), Shannons Insurance and The National Motor Racing Museum. Thank you to all our advertisers and we like to think we have brought value to your marketing campaigns along the way.
And let’s not forget Pete ‘Cob’ Smith, who has penned his column for every single issue except issue number one, and never missed a deadline. Well prior to issue number two, I was driving around Melbourne speaking to prospective advertisers when I received a phone call from Cob, who had just read the inaugural issue and was very enthusiastic about the future of the title. Being an habitué of the swap meet scene, Cob hears all the gossip, and when I suggested he come on board as a regular columnist, he did so without hesitation. As a former police detective, he said he was used to writing reports, so a few words for OBA would be a snack. Thanks heaps Cob.
The ethos of OBA has always been home-spun; the personalities, events and motorcycles that are part of our rich heritage. And on that note I must praise the photographers who have made their work available to us; without the images from people like Michael Andrews, Rob Lewis, Keith Ward, the late Charlie Rice, Doug Voss and many others, this magazine would simply not have been possible. Please, don’t lock those photo albums away, share them with us and thousands of others.
So where do we go from here? Well, OBA is now the most widely-read classic magazine in the southern hemisphere, so why change a winning formula? In reality, the format of the magazine has remained the same from the outset, and from the feedback we receive, readers like it that way. I keep thinking that perhaps our most popular regular feature, Tracks in Time, must soon reach its conclusion, and then along comes another lead from Australia or New Zealand, so you can look forward to quite a few more yet in that series.
OBA represents a lot of work by a very small number of people, not least Mrs Editor Sue who handles most of the advertising sales, does all the proof reading, and quite a bit of the photography. And then there’s Mat Clancy, our indefatigable art director whose brilliant design work has been praised from the beginning, and who is also responsible for our recently-launched web site. So that’s enough reflecting, time to get back to work, issue 76 beckons!
OUR COVERDave Cole on Kevin Grant’s Duacti Supermono at the NZCMRR Festival at Pukekohe. See feature story on P58.