The AMCA Australia National Meet

The goal was to attract owners and enthusiasts of all makes and models of antique, vintage and classic motorcycles, 35 years and older, to attend and get involved

HOW bloody good a weekend was that? Attending the inaugural Australia National Meet of the AMCA Australia Inc held at the Bulli Showgrounds just north of Wollongong, NSW. The goal was to attract owners and enthusiasts of all makes and models of antique, vintage and classic motorcycles, 35 years and older, to attend and get involved. The gates opened Friday lunch-time for on-site campers and swap-meet vendors to set up , and then a few refreshments via the bar facilities and a welcome reception.

On the Saturday the gates opened at 6 am and the swap-meet was on in earnest as customers sought that missing part amongst a treasure trove of old iron. The entire day was non-stop with related activities including half a dozen technical seminars with international guest Don Dzurick, AMCA Chief Judge, on the interesting subject of AMCA judging which, unlike many judging programs, is relatively simple. Motorcycles are not judged against each other, rather on its merit against how the motorcycle would have looked the day it left the factory.

Then avid motorcycle collector, enthusiast, participant, historian, and rider, Dave Reidie, spoke with enthusiastic authority about Harley-Davidson’s OHV DAH racing series introduced by its Competition Department in 1929. We were able to not only inspect the detail and craftsmanship of the rare three different factory racers from Dave’s personal collection on display, but we all got to hear one of the motorcycles kicked into life close up—and what an awesome crackle sound it produced under the acoustics of the roof—in one word ‘brilliant’.

Later in the afternoon an auction was held with close to $500,000 passing hands; the audience was very much engaged in the process of going, once, twice, sold. An exquisite 1940 Indian-4 that has had a meticulous complete restoration sold for $107,625; a 1929 Harley-Davidson in similar condition sold for $95,000.

Following the auction the bar was opened for refreshments and a social chin-wag about the day’s events, the great swap-meet, and the variety of vintage motorcycles on display.

Sunday was an early start at 8 am with the swap-meet in full swing, a People’s Choice motorcycle display that resulted in the crowd favourite, a beautiful 1959 Red Ariel Square Four, and the Bulli Showground’s Manager’s vote for an impeccable 1969 CB Honda Four.

Sunday also saw the AMCA judging and presentations, numerous seminars including the Evolution of the Motorcycle, Historic Police motorcycles, The Australian Speedway Riders Association with a very high standard of classic speedway bikes on display, and a demonstration by Indian motorcycle tragic Peter Arundel and his eight-valve racing Indian which he kicked over much to the delight of everyone present—what an amazing engine for its time, and the decibels!

AMCA Australian President, Tony Blain, said the organisers will hold the AMCA National Meet annually on the last weekend in August at the Bulli Showgrounds.

Words & Pictures: Dave ‘Baldy’ Hellyer

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