How much is it worth?
You will no doubt have read on these pages the report from the Carole Nash Classic Mechanics Show at Stafford back in October. What an amazing weekend it turned out to be. If you made it to the show you can’t have failed to have been impressed with that line-up of Cagiva race bikes. For the first, and most likely only, time 11 genuine factory Cagivas, covering the whole of the company’s racing history, were in one place at the same time. The proud owners of the collection, father and son team Martyn and Dean Simpkins, are not known for courting publicity, much preferring to wheel out one, maybe two, exotic bikes from their collection at various events. But when they do they are certainly not just static displays, with Dean and various former GP stars getting to gallop them. The crazy idea of trying to create the display was first mentioned when Dean and I got chatting over a brew at a previous Stafford show, some 18 months earlier, when he mentioned Cagiva had an anniversary coming up in 2018 and perhaps he could provide a bike or three if I could organise a suitable display area at the show. Now, as I’ve already mentioned, I knew the lads had a few nice race bikes, but when the idea grew legs and we started talking about the size of the project, I was stopped in my tracks when Dean ran through a list of possible machines. I had hoped for three or four – I knew about the Haslam, Lawson and Kocinski bikes and thought how good they would look, but when Dean thought, with a bit of hard work on his and his father’s part, we might have access to 10 or more, I was lost for words. Those who know me know this is rare, but I was speechless, briefly. I think most people who really know me also know I don’t give up easily! And 18 months later I’m proud to say we put on a display that will never be repeated. Obviously,team Simpkins did the hard work getting the metal ready. All I had to do was persuade the Mortons show team to completely redesign the stand, arrange to get the bikes to the show (actually Portia did the hard work on that) and convince the insurance company that this was a good idea. How much is it worth indeed!