A large box through the post???

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7 months 1 day ago #1652 by gioorl
A large box through the post??? was created by gioorl
A large box arrived today.
Wasn’t the postman delivering it but a van driver who left a large crate in my driveway.
 

It has been 9 months since I agreed the purchase of a 1915 500cc ABC. Aside from a 90 day journey by boat, it took what feels like forever to get it through the ports but it finally arrived today.

The previous owner, Harvey West from Balfour, New Zealand, had purchased it from Alan Brehaut in 2008. Back then it was just a rusty pile of parts but Harvey put it back together and made it work like it should.
I can only imagine he must have been quite sad to let it go but, at the age of 94, his family are also telling me he considered it as a “wonderful opportunity for the bike to go home”.
After we agreed the sale, he decided not to let the bike go without first fixing a dent on the tank and replacing a bearing which did not sound right. Very admirable behaviour when most people would have just collected the money without carying about the bike anymore.

 

Unfortunately Harvey run out of time and could not get it to run the way he wanted. Just a few weeks before the courier arrived, he had a stroke and not long afterwards passed away.
It must be said, his passion for motorcycles and especially the 1915 ABC was mentioned even at his funeral so he must have truly enjoyed Bradhaw's creation.

Three months later and the bike is now home.
I cannot describe the satisfaction and joy I felt when opening the crate but I look forward to my first ride with it. There is work to be done and it will take some time but there will be a 500cc ABC on UK roads again.

More news to follow...
The following user(s) said Thank You: Andrew Kelsey

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7 months 1 day ago #1653 by keithsams
Replied by keithsams on topic A large box through the post???
well done giovanni, only one more to go

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7 months 1 hour ago #1654 by Batten
Replied by Batten on topic A large box through the post???
Lovely looking machine, Giovanni. I'll look forward to seeing that in the "flesh".

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6 months 3 weeks ago #1655 by Tony
Replied by Tony on topic A large box through the post???
Well done you ,Fantasic purchase ,looks in great condition ,cant wait to see it and the big smile on your face ,congratulations Giovanni 
All the best Tony 

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6 months 1 week ago #1664 by gioorl
Replied by gioorl on topic A large box through the post???
I sent the request to the DVLA for regitering the bike with UK number plates but in the meantime I've been prompted by David Hales to try to find more details about the bike history.

So far I know the following:
1915 (February) -> Bike built at Hersham and shipped to New Zealand
1915-20 -> Unknown history
1920 -> W. Whites Ltd (motorcycle reseller) from Auckland seels the bike second-hand to Jim Rae
1920-54 -> Jim Rae lives in Opotiki (NZ) and uses the bike for racing between 1924-25. His brother Frank (~1900 - 1998) then took it over and eventually passed it on to his son (Jim Rae) who used it for going to school between 1947 and 1952
1954 -> Sold to Wally Jelaca in Hamilton (NZ), possibly takes the bike apart but never completes the restoration
1967 -> Sold to Alan Brehaut in Timaru (NZ), the bike is in pieces and Alan gathers spare parts from NZ and UK but never restores the bike
2008 -> Sold to Harvey West in Balfour (NZ)
2011 -> Reassembled  by Harvey West and re-registered with new NZ plates

Most of the above information was provided to Alan Brehaut by Jim Rae when living at 16 Marwood Place, Mount Maunganui, New Zealand.
I'm now in touch with Alan but he doesn't have any more details to share and Jim Rae's house has been sold several times so that address is of no use any longer.
I'm hoping by sharing this info on the Internet that somebody recognises some of the above names or is aware of organisations like the Kithead Trust in the UK which preserve old NZ registration records.
I would be well pleased if I could find the original registration number and/or details about the first owner.

Thank you in advance to however might be able to help

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6 months 1 week ago - 6 months 1 week ago #1665 by Andrew Kelsey
Replied by Andrew Kelsey on topic A large box through the post???
A splendid acquisition!
I hope you find the details to fill in the gaps, but as it is now, that history is really most fascinating.

 
Last edit: 6 months 1 week ago by Andrew Kelsey.

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