Four decades. That’s 14,600 days and thou­sands of in­spi­ra­tional bikes, com­pelling peo­ple and an aw­ful lot of PG Tips. And it means that, now we’re 40 years young, the world’s favourite clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cle mag­a­zine has be­come a clas­sic it­self.

It should also mean 480 is­sues, ex­cept CB hasn’t al­ways been a monthly. In our early days the is­sues were sea­sonal – sum­mer, au­tumn and so on. You had to imag­ine the glo­ri­ous yel­low of a Nor­ton Com­mando Pro­duc­tion Racer or the sen­si­ble green of a Fran­cis-bar­nett Fal­con, as it was black and white too – glossy colour was re­served for the front cover and cen­tre pages (which of­ten car­ried an ad­vert). We be­came bi-monthly with the Fe­bru­ary/march 1980 is­sue, which was yours for 85p. That’s £4.10 in to­day’s money, al­though you only got 70-odd pages back then – this is­sue of CB has al­most 200, mean­ing far greater value... Through the ’80s, ’90s and 2000s the mag­a­zine soared. We got more pages, full colour and went monthly. Es­tab­lished as the big­gest-sell­ing clas­sic ti­tle, CB rev­elled in ev­ery­thing to do with clas­sic twowheel­ers – from iconic ma­chin­ery, ex­trav­a­gant events and fine restora­tions to gritty work­shop ad­vice, buy­ing in­sight and hap­less road trips on un­re­li­able old knock­ers. Cru­cially, the fab­u­lous peo­ple that make our world such an en­ter­tain­ing place have al­ways been at CB’S core.

Over the fol­low­ing pages a se­lec­tion of past and present staff cel­e­brate 40 years of our ever-chang­ing clas­sic world and its big­gest-sell­ing mag­a­zine. They’ve each also se­lected their most mem­o­rable fea­ture from the mag­a­zine’s pages, for you to en­joy in full pe­riod glory.

A lot has changed in four decades. Back in 1978 we would prob­a­bly never have imag­ined the in­ter­net, or the boom­ing clas­sic race scene, or the prices folk read­ily pay for a de­crepit ‘barn find’. Some things have stayed ex­actly as they were, mind. Clas­sic Bike still brings you the most in­trigu­ing peo­ple, great­est bikes, finest events, most amaz­ing tales and gen­uine hands-on ad­vice. It’s still put to­gether by a group of pas­sion­ate folk with broad ma­chine in­ter­ests, a lik­ing for tea (and cake), and their own span­ners. And it’s still the finest clas­sic mo­tor­cy­cle pub­li­ca­tion in the uni­verse*.

Here’s to the next 40 years.

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