24 Nov 2010
I just love this photograph.
I have no idea how the story finished, but it may not have been a pretty sight! Most probably the girl lost her glasses (at the very least) on landing, but, for the moment, she is in a state of suspended expectancy. The clothing is politically incorrect for contemporary bike attitudes and safety rules, but the man may have been wearing a tie, which of course improves the situation. The main problem is the total lack of helmets and other protective clothing, as well as the fact of being two on the machine in the air. The machine, by the way, is a very nice looking Matchless, almost certainly a G80 from the 1950's (see below, but without the pillion seat). Times have changed!
Speaking of Matchless, below is a painting of the famous racing model G50 which gave the Norton Manx a good run for it's money on short circuits a bit later. The example of this model rebuilt by the excellent Atelier Chatokhine was, for me, the best-looking bike at the recent "Moto-Legende" show in Paris, held between November 18th and 21st at Vincennes. I don't have a photograph of the Chatokhine machine beacause I had run out of battery by this stage. Shit happens! But the painting is very good and is true to the brutal elegance of this bike.