Return of the Ner-a-car
has been doing the rounds again. Here’s his latest discovery... Many years ago (Life Member of the HMCCQ) John Finglas shared a private museum with his dad Jack. They had over 100 bikes in the collection and amongst them was a 1923 Ner-a-car. These were not very common in Australia at the time and although complete in a visual sense it still needed a few hard- to-source components to have it on the road. Back then there was a moment in time where the Finglas family had the Ner-a car on display at a public event when the very first Surfers Paradise Meter Maid, Annette Welch also was in attendance. Annette sat side-saddle on the Ner-a-car for a photo which made the newspaper and John still has a copy of that photo today. I wonder if Annette ever thought that her photo would once again be published in a motorcycle magazine in 2015. Ironically it appears that recent media reports predict that meter maids are soon to disappear from Surfers Paradise streets forever. Unfortunately some time after that day the museum was disbanded and John had a one-day sale to thin the collection to just his personal selection. The Ner-a-car was one that was sold all those years ago. Recently though, John was contacted by someone who believed he had just acquired what was John’s old Ner-a-car. A meeting was planned for a Saturday morning where the new owner Bob Pritchard would bring the Ner-a-car to John’s house for confirmation and a reunion. I went along that day to record the event. Bob was a panel beater and had been working on some old Essex cars for a collector when he noticed a small twowheeled machine under a canvas sheet. Bob had to satisfy his curiosity and asked ‘What ‘s that under the sheet?’ “It’s an old Nera-car I bought years ago” was the reply. Long story short, Bob was very interested and a deal was done. He managed to find out that it was part of John’s museum sale and tracked down John which set the scene for the reunion. The bike was pretty much exactly as it was when it was sold and included a few boxes of loose parts. There seemed to be no deterioration at all over this period of storage. The paint and panel work were in incredibly good condition. Restoration is under way and the plan is to have it on the road by the end of the year. Bob’s son Barry is also involved and has convinced his Dad to leave the patina intact and just go about having the mechanicals restored. They have already done extensive research and have sourced missing kick start gears. Barry informs me that this machine was in fact an American model circa 1923. The Ner-a-car is a unique and interesting machine with a ‘C’ section chassis, large mudguards, step through design and a clever centre hub steering system. Sort of half motor car, half motor cycle in its build construction. Low slung with a comfortable riding position it was apparently very easy to ride and was also ideal for the lady motor cyclist. Ner-a-car was also made in the UK under license but again it had a very short production life. A truly wonderful day when old friends get reunited, new friends are made and an old motor cycle looks like coming back to life.