Again I receive an e mail from my friend in Virginia.
He is in the final stages of moving to South Carolina but has heard from a friend of a friend that a widow living about two miles away from him wants to sell some motorcycles---and some of them are British
Am I interested?
So I call the widow and a pretty fantastic sory unfolds.
It goes something like this:
A guy called Michael Holt lived in Banbury UK.First coincidence---I was born about twenty miles from Banbury.
He was into bikes and had a 1951 Triumph Thunderbird and in the late 1950s had built a Triton road racing bike.
He was then into raising a family and starting and running a business.
The two bikes got pushed to the back of the garage.His son was an engineer and worked for Vickers Defence Systems--working on the Challenger main battle tank for the British Army.
Second coincidence--I designed the cooling system for that tank.
The son moved to US with his work, met and married an American girl and they had a family and moved to Virginia.
Then in 2012 the father was diagnosed with advanced dementia and put into a nursing home in Banbury.
The son cleared the garage and moved the two bikes (by then the Thunderbird was in basket case form) to US with the intention of restoring them.
Unfortunately in 2012 the son was diagnosed with cancer and passed away in 2014.
The widow waited but towards the end of 2017 decided to try to clear the garages of the bikes.
The bikes included a 1962 AJS single and a Montesa which she decided to retain for her two daughters to remember their father by.
He also had other Montesa and Maico dirt bikes.
I ended up by buying the 1951 Triumph Thunderbird basket case and the Triton race bike.
This photo shows them on my trailer having driven back home---I drove 500 miles yjat day and also did the deal and loaded up the bike and basket case.