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Friday, 19 June 2015

Behind The Ton Up Boys




A few years after this video was made I recall seeing a motorcycle showroom full of British bikes each with a drip tray to catch the oil leaks from the crankcase. Not far away was a showroom of Hondas with not a single drip tray in sight. The rest as they say, is history. 

8 comments:

Michael said...

Didn't Private Eye have a running comment on Mr Toyota, and his plastic cup vending machine, which was used by Grocer Heath?

Back then, we laughed at Toyotas, and Japanese cars and motorbikes...

Now, my Honda powered tiller for the garden, has the best small engine imaginable!

wiggiatlarge said...

I remember aninterview with the wonderful Len Vale Onslow a few years ago when he in a desperate attempt to stop Japanese motorcycles from taking over the market, put the drip trays that were under British machines under the Japanese bikes to put people off.
It didn't work for long and he relented.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/obituaries/len-valeonslow-6170172.html

Demetrius said...

Father-in-law was a motor engineer and motor cyclist who did the TT Races. He left the trade around 1960 because of low standards of workmanship on the products coming out of British factories.

James Higham said...

Ton up with sidecar?

graham wood said...

I had a Honda "Dream" exactly 50 years ago. My wife and I went on honeymoon on it to Skye from London. Brave lady!
No drips on that m/c

Sackerson said...

I've heard that our industrial decline is just as much down to lazy management neglecting to reinvest as to union obstruction and militancy. Factories making things with pre-WWI tools.

A K Haart said...

Michael - I remember Grocer Heath but not the plastic cup vending machine. I vaguely remember the Toyota Crown being reported as an ominously well-engineered car.

Wiggia - I've just looked up Len Onslow - continued to ride until the age of 102 - blimey.

Demetrius - my first motorcycle was a Norton ES2 followed by a BSA Shooting Star. Should have kept the Norton.

James - I knew a sidecar racer who must have reached a ton on the track.

Graham - that must have been quite a journey. I did Derby to Ardnamurchan on the BSA without a passenger.

A K Haart said...

Sackers - that's my impression too. The motorcycle manufacturers seemed to do nothing innovative until it was too late.