The re­birth of a New Hud­son

A much-trav­elled Mor­gan

Old Bike Australasia - - OUT’N’ABOUT - Story Alan Hosie

Gaven Dall’Osto at­tended the re­cent All Bri­tish Day at St. Joseph’s Col­lege Sports Ground in Bris­bane and spot­ted an in­ter­est­ing three-wheeler. “This Mor­gan had a rather amaz­ing story. It was a 1929 Mor­gan Su­per Sports, pow­ered by a wa­ter-cooled 996cc JAP en­gine. There was no gear­box, but it did have a 2-speed dog rear end. It was orig­i­nally pur­chased on 29th Au­gust 1929 and went to Malaya. It was ex­ten­sively raced in the 1920s and 1930s and was re­ported to be able to achieve 121 mph. Dur­ing the war the owner re­port­edly cov­ered it with en­gine oil and buried it, so it wouldn’t get into the hands of the in­vad­ing Ja­panese. Resur­fac­ing in 1945, it went on to be reg­is­tered to Cyril Bunting from 1966 then changed hands in 1976 and 1978. It con­tin­ued to be raced and even com­peted in the Vin­tage Car Race of the 1982 Malaysian Grand Prix. In 1988 it was pur­chased and was im­ported to Fre­man­tle by Derek de So­toPhillips where it was re­stored. Ill heath saw it sold to the late Robert Holmes a Court un­til it was pur­chased by Bruce But­ler af­ter Robert’s death. The cur­rent own­ers, Greg and Chris­tine Stevens pur­chased it in 2001 and use it reg­u­larly for many Mor­gan re­lated events.” Well I have to ad­mit I was sur­prised when my youngest daugh­ter Tracey ar­rived at my house with the lat­est ad­di­tion to our ‘Dad and Daugh­ter Mo­tor­cy­cle Club’. I was told she had man­aged to get a rare belt drive vet­eran mo­tor­cy­cle and ap­par­ently the few rusty bits of metal in front of me was a 1914 New Hud­son mo­tor­cy­cle. I knew parts would be al­most im­pos­si­ble to find, but I was con­fi­dent when Tracey told me our friend John Ben­nett from Kinglake would help us make what we needed. John is an amaz­ingly tal­ented man who as an en­gi­neer can make any­thing! I set up the mo­lasses bath to re­move the years of rust from the frame and the one wheel we had. Tracey was lucky enough to find a cou­ple of pic­tures of a 1914 New Hud­son on the in­ter­net so at least we now had a vi­sion of what we hoped to achieve. Ev­ery cou­ple of weeks, Tracey would pack her lit­tle car with bits and pieces and head to John’s work­shop. Hours were spent man­u­fac­tur­ing pieces on the lathe, weld­ing and grind­ing. I looked for­ward to her re­turn and hear­ing of the progress and frus­tra­tion when things weren’t go­ing to plan. Due to ill­ness, I was only able to go to the work­shop on a cou­ple of oc­ca­sions, but I was al­ways kept in­volved in the pro­ject, even if it was to buy more bits and pieces from the metal shop…with my wal­let! Tracey’s part­ner Bruce, who was build­ing a Penny Farthing at John’s, had be­come in­volved in the restora­tion of our New Hud­son. He hunted swap meets look­ing for parts and one day I was de­lighted when he found us an old leather seat. It was per­fect! Our lit­tle New Hud­son was be­com­ing a real fam­ily pro­ject. My wife Lou made us a can­vas tool roll to hold the tools we found on eBay. She did a great job! Tracey and I de­cided to keep the New Hud­son out of sight from the rest of the fam­ily. We were so pleased with the progress, we wanted to have an of­fi­cial launch. Bruce who was pro­gress­ing well with his Penny Farthing, loved the idea of an of­fi­cial launch and gladly ac­cepted our of­fer to have a joint launch of both projects, so plans for ‘Penny Hud­son Day’ be­gan. The day ar­rived and the sun was shin­ing, it was a won­der­ful day and fam­ily and friends gath­ered for a BBQ lunch. We were de­lighted to in­tro­duce John Ben­nett to ev­ery­one as our spe­cial guest. It brought a tear to my eye when the New Hud­son was un­veiled. There stood a beau­ti­ful lit­tle mo­tor­cy­cle. You couldn’t help but be im­pressed. Bruce was proud as punch to show off his Penny Farthing and stunned ev­ery­one when he rode it up and down the street. Most of the fam­ily joined him for a ride, but I’m afraid my dare­devil days are long gone. We had most of our mo­tor­cy­cles on dis­play. We all en­joyed joy rides in the side­car, John’s three wheeled Mor­gan-style hand built car and live folk mu­sic played in the gar­den by fam­ily. I loved it, had a ball. I’m such a lucky man to have a fam­ily that en­joy my pas­sion for restor­ing ve­hi­cles. I look for­ward to the com­ple­tion of our next pro­ject, a 1930 Radco mo­tor­cy­cle, and yes, I’m off to the metal shop again, with my wal­let.

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