‘I USED TO SIT ON IT AND PRE­TEND I WAS RID­ING IT’

Classic Bike (UK) - - Your Classics - Melvin Mer­ton

This is my dad’s 1939 5T Speed Twin (KMY 988), which he bought on April 14, 1958; I have the old log­book and all the num­bers match. Do any pre­vi­ous own­ers re­mem­ber it? Un­for­tu­nately, over the last ten years it was stored in a series of un­suit­able places: a damp shed, down the side of a house un­der a tar­pau­lin, then in a garage with rain com­ing through the roof.

From what early me­mories I have, I don’t re­mem­ber dad ever rid­ing it, but I do re­mem­ber it be­ing parked in the garage un­der the win­dow and from the age of about ten I used to sit on it and pre­tend I was rid­ing it. It was all to­gether then. I’m 60 now, and dad passed away nearly four years ago, so I in­her­ited his four old Tri­umphs – the oth­ers are a 1947 Speed Twin, a 1950 Tiger 100 which dad in­her­ited from some­one he worked with and a 1953 Thun­der­bird on which he used to take me to Brands Hatch to watch the Transat­lantic races.

This 1939 is the only one that has sur­vived in one piece – the rest are in bits, also wait­ing to be re­stored. I moved mum just up the road from me three years ago and, be­lieve it or not, I have found all the parts for it – apart from the head­light. Dad stored the head­light for the ’39 and all the petrol tanks un­der the stairs for 30 years, and be­tween my­self and my mum we have man­aged to lose the head­light in the move.

Dad would turn in his grave (only mum’s still got him in the wardrobe, bless her). Los­ing this head­light has re­ally up­set me, be­cause dad looked af­ter it for all those years. I’m re­ally des­per­ate to com­plete this bike in its orig­i­nal con­di­tion and hope that some­one who reads this could help me out by sell­ing me an orig­i­nal Lu­cas D142F head­light to re­place it. I can be con­tacted on 07850 717715.

‘UN­FOR­TU­NATELY, OVER THE LAST TEN YEARS IT WAS STORED IN A SERIES OF UN­SUIT­ABLE PLACES’

A lit­tle bit of clean­ing up to do here...

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