has just popped through the letterbox and what a great read it is and I thank you for the selection of articles. Reading them was a real trip down memory lane for this “obsessive” motorcyclist, specifically your review of the Rob North Rocket 3 of Gerry Rowley. I have had the pleasure of Gerry’s company as we have both attended the Triples Rally here in Northern NSW for many years now and it was unfortunate that he was unable to bring the Rob North machine up this year, but he did bring his 1969 BSA Rocket 3 similar to the one that I have owned for many years. As a result we both scored awards this year; he for the best BSA and for me the best BSA Rocket 3. The other article that got the grey matter moving was “Durban to Johannesburg by Velocette” by Dave Whitnell. I would concur that this is possibly one of the best and most interesting rallies and is one that I have had the pleasure of competing in 1975/77/78/79/80 on various bikes such as a 1911 Rudge, 1934 Triumph and my favourite, the 1933 BSA.
As noted it is a regularity run with penalties for each second early or late at checkpoints and instruments other than stop watches are a no-no. We used to count the white lines in the middle of the road, or the power poles, if there were any, as the South African authorities at the time were meticulous in the spacing of these items and the results were very accurate with competitors having very low penalties over a two day event. We then converted the time recorded into KM/H or MPH to keep a check, I wonder if they still do this, as it was a wonderful feat of mental arithmetic? The article “The one the Army missed” is of particular interest. Why? Well, this article is about the BSA Q7 OHV version, and I have had the 1933 SV version (W35-6) for almost 45 years now and it is the one that I used for the DJ in South Africa in the mid to late 1970s. This little SV battler is now a family heirloom having gathered a sidecar over the years to transport two young sons, who are now in their late 30s but have limited to no interest in the old bikes. A couple of years ago we entered it in the Northern Rivers Classic Club Rally and it was well received and I was asked about its history. So I wrote a brief story of what it was and where it came from. This addressed the DJ part of its history but more importantly how I came to own it and