#313 Classic and Vintage Swap Meet : New Digs, Same Old Show

There was some worry we had jinxed “Todd’s Show,” but it’s back, baby.

It seems so long ago now when I wrote at length about the longstanding Tsawwassen Classic and Vintage Swap Meet & Show ‘n’ Shine and how for many west coast riders it traditionally signals the unofficial start of the new riding season on British Columbia’s lower mainland. The story, “See you at Todd’s Show” (July 2013) spoke of how the show organized by Todd Copan (with great support from his family and volunteers) has become ingrained over the years, and how it seemed (at the time) as though nothing about it would or even should ever change. And of course, that’s where the trouble began. Due to circumstances well beyond his control and just weeks before the 2014 edition was scheduled for its usual April calendar date, Mr. Copan was forced to cancel for the first time in the event’s 28-year-history. It was shocking news for everyone here.
But there was never any doubt that 2015 would be a bounce-back year. And so it was, albeit at a brand new venue in the Fraser Valley community of Cloverdale. Allan Lowson was there to take notes and shop for parts. The following is what the show judge, motorcycle book author and vintage connoisseur had to say about his time at Todd’s Show in its new Cloverdale Agriplex venue.

The morning of the Classic and Vintage Swap Meet dawned with no rain, however the kicker spring broke on my Chout (Chief/Scout) lest I get cocky. Stuck the bike in the Show ‘n Shine, donated four of my Tinker Tales books for door prizes, and hit the tables. Wow! At least 15 sets of panheads, reminded me of an old meet where knuckleheads were piled to the ceiling. Holy Ned: a dealer with blond dreadlocks down to his ankles; I once sported a braid to my waist, so I can’t talk. Being a judge, I received a free ($20) event T-shirt featuring Dan Smith’s Velocette ‘Roarer.’ The actual bike sat in the foyer; they only ever built one and Dan manufactured his from scratch, case castings, the works. He also created the AJS V-Four and an Excelsior/Cyclone—like his bikes, one of a kind.
Picking time: $60 for a pair of H-D leather saddle bags, comfy BAR seat complete with springs at $15, and a couple of new, Sporty-style mufflers at $30. Tempted by a chrome XLCH tin primary outer ($40) and a vertical magneto with drive for a cone shovel ($600), neither of which I had any use for, but builds sometimes start with just one part.
Out to the rapidly filling parking lot. Counted six Indians, including a Sport Scout and a pretty 741 smaller sister. Couple of 45s: one painted up like a cop bike complete with foot siren, and a 1972 Servicar ($15,500). There’s a sweet blue Squariel four-porter, a pair of BMW/Steib outfits and lesser breed Urals, one towing a big trailer. Dog in a Sportster combo and a new Bonneville with a Cozy sidecar, which had the manufacturer’s plaque stating ‘Cozy Sidecar—S.Hansray Lane, near Police Station, Mumbai’.
Back at the Show ‘n’ Shine, I renewed my acquaintance with Laurent Wiese’s 1935 Galimbreti combo which took Best Sidehack award. Gord Salisbury’s unrestored 1925 JD outfit earned People’s Choice, and Rob Priske’s 1965 Electra Glide claimed Best American. Dale Baston’s one-year-only 1957 all-alloy Ariel Fieldmaster received Best British, and a very smart 1955 NSU Spezial Max won Best European.
Best Japanese for Greg Bismeyer’s 1975 Z900 Kawasaki and Terry Frounfelker’s 1926 147cc Paragon Villiers took Best Vintage Unrestored. It had been stored 83 years but only took $100 to get it up and running.
Judge’s Choice simply had to be the 1932 74-inch V Harley that Rob Priske rode in the 4,000-mile Cannonball Run in 17 days. Rob related how he had to “get out and get under” once, only to find cops and an ambulance show up when a well-meaning motorist reported a crashed bike with a rider down.
British Owners trophy went to Eric NcNabb’s 1970 Triumph Bonneville with Best in Show for a glittering 1913 Henderson belonging to Peter Findlay. An immaculate 500cc Jawa Speedway motor in a Cheney chassis caught my eye as did the 2013 961cc Norton (#107 of 200) carrying full camping gear with Ontario plates.
Bikes for sale in the lot included a 1972 Daytona with only 185 miles on the rebuild for $4,400 and a 1956 Enfield Clipper with 275 miles on a fresh motor. Noticed Canadian Motorcycle Hall-of-Famer and legendary former BMW dealer/world explorer Phil Funnell with the 250cc Yamaha V-Twin streamliner/camper he claims returns 120 mpg.
Best colours of the day: UMF of America with their motto “Ugly is as ugly does” and patch of a monster blowing snot from its nose. Also noted were Nightriders, Veterans, and Castaways.
So, the rain held off and a good time had by one and all at this new location. Can’t wait till next year’s Classic and Vintage Swap Meet.
Allan Lowson

Keeping Canadian riders informed and entertained since 1980.