Friday, 16 May 2014

Our Pick: Top 11 Vintage Vehicles

There are some proper lovely rides out there for sale at the moment. No 6 is my particular favorite, what a fantastic tearooms on wheels it could be, whilst Ollie prefers No 7 - road trip anyone?!

1. Bedford CA Van

The Bedford CA van with its distinctive pug nose was a light commercial van produced between 1952 and 1969. With an asking price of £4700, this late 1968 model is in fantastic condition and a rare find. In a burnt orange paint it has covered over 64 thousand miles on its 3 speed 1.6 ltr petrol engine.

2. Citroen 2CV

The Citroen 2CV is amoungst a short list of vehicles which have introduced in the middle of the 20th Century that remained relevant and competitive for many decades such as the Jeep, Land Rover series, Fiat 500, Mini and Volkswagen Beetle. This Babette conversion finished in cream has been re-built and is on eBay for £4780. A proper classic and real head tuner.

3. VW Bay Window Camper

This 1979 T2 campervan is on eBay with bids currently at £4650. It has been lowered like a lot of these old gals and is finished in a gorgeous sage green. Having been very well looked after this is a great example of the iconic VW campervan.

4. Ford Fordson

Check this van out! A true classic, this is a Ford Fordson 5 CWT van from the olden days. Having had a full professional restoration and paint job with sign writing it is on eBay for auction with bids currently at £7500.

5. Bedford CF van

An Original Morrison built ice cream van in blue and cream, this wonderful1973 classic Bedford CF Hard Scoop Ice Cream Van is called Lulu.  In amazing condition she has been fully restored and is ready to go. With loads of original features including a huge Morrison 6 lid freezer, a cone rack and Morrison twin sink. On eBay for a price of £25000, you would have to sell a lot of ice cream to make this a business!

6. Renault Estafette

This French classic 1969 Renault Estafette was converted to a food van very early in its life. It has a complete chilled display area which can be set to what temperature you desire. Perfect for cheeses , meats , sandwiches and many other possibility's. What a fantastic eye catching little catering van this would make! On eBay for £12000.

7. Leyland Bus

This is amazing! A rare converted 1955 Leyland Tiger Cub bus.  Originally owned by the Bournmouth Corporation one of her regular routes was Boscombe beach. Prior to her refit, she has had extensive restoration including a new floor, window fittings and bodywork and repaint. A ‘mid-century’ design style that suits her age and incorporates many of her original features. The beautiful beds were hand crafted from stainless steel tubing to mirror that already present in the bus. The double bed features an overhead canopy and vintage bus bumper. This amazing bus is on eBay for £17,500. 


8. Asquith Mascot

This Asquith Mascot was built to order for a customer in Japan in 1992, it was built on the very reliable ford transit 2.0 petrol chassis .It has been in Japan ever since and so is free from rot or rust .The Mascot combines both the heritage and classic lines of a 1920's vintage bus with modern day engineering. It is offered for sale on eBay in its current appearance for £14999 or fully refurbished with a full white respray for £25000 . 

9. Railway Carriage

This standard gauge carriage was one of the first in the world to be built using the monocoque design and, because of this, it is of extremely high importance as an historic vehicle. The body of the carriage acts as a load bearing structure, the drop windows having smooth contours in order to avoid stress concentration.  The design represents a significant advance in technology over the chassis based cars and similar techniques of construction are used today in modern rolling stock. The carriage represents a ground-breaking improvement in rail safety.

The nine compartments can house 72 passengers in comfort and there are open vestibules at each end. A central lavatory and wash-hand basin combined with electric lighting and steam/electric heating made for a pleasurable ride. The vehicle has been kept, until recently, in running condition at its present home. 

The vehicle has had some light restoration work carried out over the years and the interior is largely original in the Art Deco style. Each compartment is fitted with leatherette covered seats,  monogrammed mirrors and picture panels showing views of French cities.  

Vehicle comes with an historical dossier compiled by the National Railway Museum who considered this piece to be a very important historical artefact. On eBay for £8999 it seems a bargain!!

This 1988 double decker bus is on eBay for £2450. It seats 73 people but could easily be converted in an amazing catering bus. In an eye catching blue paint job, its a steal. 

This Vintage Bedford TK HCB-Angus Fire Engine has a 4.5 litre engine but alas doesn't have its blues and twos. For sale as a project, it needs a bit of tlc to get it up and running. On eBay it has a starting price of £1000.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Canterbury: Susan's Cafe

A shopping trip bought myself and a friend into Canterbury on a damp and chilly weekend. After a few hours of heavy browsing, a stop for a drink and something to eat seemed essential. Finding ourselves near the Old Buttermarket we wandered along Burgate Lane and found Susan's Cafe tucked under the arches.

Without the bright green canopys we wouldn't have noticed this cafe almost hidden under the imposing columns. With lovely bowed glass windows, this is a cafe we haven't come across before and decided to try it out.

Upon entering we were welcomed by a friendly young lady at the counter who was preparing another customers order, a much more friendlier welcome than what we got at Burgate Coffee. Taking a while to study the menu and the fantastic cake selection, which is all locally made, I admired the cakes presented in smart glass cake domes giving it the feel and look of high end produce. 

The selection on the day of our visit included carrot cake, coffee & walnut cake, Victoria sponge, macaroons, choc chip cookies, scones and croissants to name a few. Everything is presented well even the sweet colored teapots on a shelf at the back. We didn't feel rushed when trying to make our minds up but eventually ordered and took a seat.

I really wish I had tried one of these scrumptious looking macaroons, they were huge! Definitely need to try these out another time. All of the food here is all from Kent using local producers with lots of them deservedly having won awards.

The interior is very clean and uncluttered giving it an airy yet cosy feel. The seating options are great - comfy loom tub chairs, wooden farmhouse chairs with squishy cushions and lots of outside seating. The friendly staff and warm lighting create a comfortable atmosphere where you could happily come solo to enjoy a brew whilst people watching or with a group of friends.

This huge dresser houses a whole range of Teapigs tea including the Orgnaic Matcha which is all the rage at the moment. You can choose your favourite flavour to drink in for £1.95 a pot or buy a packet to takeaway. The paint scheme of this cafe has been thought about, very Farrow & Ball, even down to the lovely stripped wooden floor.

We didn't have to wait long for our food to arrive. Tester 1 went for poached eggs on wholemeal buns, which she said tasted good. The only slight criticism I would have is the presentation was not as good as my breakfast in the River Cottage Canteen.

For my mid morning snack I went for carrot cake with a flat white. The cake was delicious, moist and tasty with just the right amount of icing. I would say better than the cake I had at Browns Coffee House. The flat white was also good, not in the same league as Loaf's flat white but it is a good cuppa. Using Musetti coffee, all the drinks are espresso based and good value.

Tester 1 had a latte and some apple & raspberry juice, both very good with the juice being super tasty and refreshing and locally made.

The Verdict?
A great little spot for a refreshment stop in a modern yet traditional cafe. Comfy, friendly, good value with a great selection of cakes. Pop in for coffee, breakfast or an afternoon tea - there is something for everyone here. Also the loo was very clean, always an added plus. 

17b Burgate 

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Our Pick: Top 10 Classic Motorbikes For Sale

1. 1950 BSA

This is a 1950 BSA C11 250cc overhead valve single. With a rigid back end and telescopic forks this bike has its original log book present and its current V5C.  

The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited (BSA) was a major industrial combine, a group of businesses manufacturing military and sporting firearms; bicycles; motorcycles; cars; buses and bodies; steel; iron castings; hand, power and machine tools; coal cleaning and handling plants; sintered metals; and hard chrome process. At its peak, BSA was the largest motorcycle producer in the world. Loss of sales and poor investments in new products in the motorcycle division, which included Triumph Motorcycles, led to problems for the whole group.

On eBay with bids at £1250, this bike comes with its original registration number.

2. Matchless Model X

This is a lovely 1937 vintage Matchless Model X Vintage Motorcycle first registered in December 1937. It has had a restoration and with little use since is in great condition. She starts and runs well and is good original bike with original registration number which has sold on eBay.

Matchless is one of the oldest marques of British motorcycles, manufactured in London between 1899 and 1966. A wide range of models were produced under the Matchless name, ranging from small two-strokes to 750 cc four-stroke twins. Matchless had a long history of racing success; a Matchless ridden by Charlie Collier won the first single-cylinder race in the first Isle of Man TT in 1907.

3. Norton Model 18

A vintage 1934 OHV Norton 500cc, 18 Model with open valves. For sale in an unrestored original condition. An easy and reliable starter, it has also sold on eBay. A favourite with Ollie as his Great Gran used to work in the Norton factory painting the Norton logos on the fuel tanks.

4. British Vintage Excelsior Consort 

An eye catching Excelsior F6 98cc Classic motorcycle two stroke single cylinder 2 speed. It has been restored and has had a new clutch, primary chain ,base plate points and condenser fitted. Starts very easy and runs and ticks over spot. On ebay with a starting bid of £850 its a great vintage novice bike.  

Yamaha XT500 Thumper which has been imported from South Africa. In great original condition with patina to add to the flavour! It starts easily and pulls like a train. The bike has powder coated wheels, new tyres and a stainless steel exhaust fitted. It needs some tlc, but is in pretty fantastic condition for a 30 year old bike. It's currently on eBay with bids at £1000. I want it!

Made by Honda from 1975 to 1981, the bike was an instant success. The 21 inch front wheel and 18 inch rear wheel with enduro style tyres make it fit for both on and off road use. 

6. BSA A10

This gorgeous 1961 B.S.A Super Rocket 650cc is a fantastic example of this model.  Fully restored to the highest standards, with a comprehensive file of  work done it is in perfect running order and would be hard to find a better example. Taxed and MOT'd for 11 months it was on eBay for £5999 but didn't sell. 

The Super Rocket was a development of the BSA Rocket. It gained a reputation for reliability but struggled to compete against the Triumph engines and the Norton Featherbed frames. 

7. Honda CL77

A very nice older restoration of a 1966 Honda CL77 300 Scrambler, this is the model of machine that Elvis Presley rode in the famous film Roustabout. The bike starts and rides perfectly and is ready to go priced at £6489 on eBay. 

This scrambler bike differed from the sports bikes to allow for some off road riding. The upswept exhaust pipes were designed to increase ground clearance and a bigger tube frame gave extra strength. Its overall sound was one of the features that sold a lot of these popular bikes.

8. James Comet Ex RAF

A very rare ex RAF James 98cc, believed to be 1956. The bike has been in a collection for the past 30 years and has an older style log book, it is quite rare still having its original leg shields and its canvas pannier bags. The James is in running order and you can still see the original paintwork behind the side pannel and inside the frame. On eBay for £1800. 

Manufactured by the James Cycle Co in Birmingham, who were prolific bike and motorbike manufactures between 1897 and 1966, it became another British motorcycle industry casualty under the onslaught of Japanese imports. 

A fully restored vintage twinshock 1972 Suzuki TM250J. A fine example of a restored classic motocross bike with  what seems to be no expense, effort or detail seemed spared. The bike runs as well as it looks with a fearsome exhaust note! On eBay for £3450 it's sure to be a future investment. 

A truly lovely looking machine, this vintage pre 1965 trials bike is for sale for £8995. Handbuilt customised and modified it is road registered and ready to go. A real head tuner and recession proof investment.