3/11/09

Bill and the "smoked Manx"

Norton Manx 500cc Model 30M Serial Number 102816 

Proud Bill after the Cranbrook Concours d'Elegance, Bloomfield Hills Mi. in 2004 
He has got the Blue Ribbon and a trophy

This motorcycle was built in January, 1963, and is the last of a very famous and successful series of racing machines which dominated world motorcycle racing for many years.
A really clean Motorcycle never restored apart new tires...

This Norton Manx was originally bought new from Berliner Motors of Hasbrouck, New Jersey in May, 1965 by Zachary Taylor Reynolds of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, the wild and notorious grandson of  R. J. Reynolds, founder of the tobacco company.

Zach picked up the Manx at the Railway Express office in Winston-Salem, where he left his Rolex watch for the shipping charges. He took the bike home, prepped and started it, rode around the neighborhood a few times, and then put it in the Reynolds living room where it stayed till bought from his widow in August, 1982. Zach had been killed in an airplane crash.

Besides the Manx in the very formal, French Provincial furnished living room, was a working 1/3-scale model of a Pitts Special aerobatic biplane. On the each side of the huge, marble floored front hallway of the home were a Triumph engined dragbike and a Harley-Davidson dragbike.

The basement had a complete radio broadcasting station, and in the attic was a collection of medieval torture devices imported from Europe.

The Manx was ridden on the racetrack a few times in 1983 and 1984, where it proved to be very competitive with modern bikes.

It has only been out of the house twice in the last 20 years.

The engine has never been apart or out of frame, carb and mag have never been off, the exhaust pipe and megaphone were off to clean-up then put back on. The paint of the gas tank and oil tank has been redone to remove the skulls, Egyptian cats, ace of spades cards, and Doctor Cancer cigarette packages which Zach hand painted on everything he owned. Zach's considerable wealth came from cigarettes, which he hated. His surviving brother has been spending his fortune in anti-smoking causes.


Zach loved cars and bikes and airplanes. He was an accomplished motorcycle racer, aerobatic pilot, and street racer.

Keanu Reeves' Commando

by Randy from " Chicks dig me "

Today we spotted Keanu Reeves awesome 1974 Norton 850 commando motorcycle. Parked along a quiet street in the Hollywood Hills it was patiently waiting for its master to chant “onward vixen”. This has got to be one of the nicest vintage rigs on the street. It looks as if it was just rolled off the show room over Memorial Day weekend for a lil river run trip. The chrome was perfect the bike immaculate. It has the appearance of a fine quality Leica camera, strong, robust and of a build quality that just isn’t seen anymore.