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Mar 29, 2011

There and Back

After a thirteen hour road trip, riding on tire chains through the Siskiyous I arrived at my sister’s house in Santa Rosa and enjoyed loving hospitality unrivaled anywhere. In bed by 11 and up at 5, I was over the Golden Gate Bridge before 6:30. Breakfast at Mel’s diner (from George Lucas’ second film) I zoomed through downtown San Francisco and on to San Jose just as Rabers Parts Mart opened.

Even though this Friday and Saturday would be the busiest weekend the folks at Rabers would see all year, they were as patient, helpful and friendly to me as if I were the only person in the store. Counter person Richard pointed me upstairs where the used parts were categorized and stored. Each person who reached the top of those stairs let out the same gasp of awe for the sheer quantity of British parts was staggering!

Twenty shelves like this one

The parts I was hoping to find were either sitting on the shelf at Rabers or on a vendor’s table at the swap meet.

foreground are used parts

The boxes of bearings in front of the gaskets total almost $400 – all the missing parts I needed were found in the used-parts bins. While my estimate for them was $600, the man at the counter looked in my box at the end of the day and said ‘How about a hundred bucks?’ I was floored and delighted!

these parts are from the swap meet

Swap meet. I’d never been to an automotive or motorcycle swap meet before, but at this one there was everything available from finished 100 point concours motorcycles to rusty nuts and bolts. Above is the stock exhaust system for the 1967 ‘C’ high upswept pipes which I found new for $140 – saving hundreds again. The Stainless steel bars were had for $5, the remaining items were $20 or less. I came home with 99% of what I need to finish the bike and did so way under budget.

The evening before the swap meet there were indoor flat-track races for several classes, followed by a banquet honoring NorCal legands. I attended and had a nice dinner and got to rub shoulders with many of my boyhood heroes including Erv Kanemoto (famed tuner for several world champions), Jim Rice (a racer featured in the film ‘On Any Sunday’) and  Eddie Mulder just to name a few.

Here’s some pics of the swap meet.

The Swap Meet is a big indoor event
Cool Bikes – Old Guys – I fit right in
Triumph Triple in a Norton frame
I wish there was still Speedway racing in America
Similar to my project – Sliver frame, round oil tank, etc.


Ok – Now that I have all the parts, it’s time for me to get to work!


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