A long time ago...

Old is relative.

Our local club (The Veteran and Vintage MCC of South Australia) now caters for machines manufactured prior to 1965. Funny to think that before some of those bikes were even designed, there were machines old enough to be treated as quaint relics. The 1910 FN that I now own was surely in that category when it came to light in Adelaide in the 1950s.

The first picture is from a club member's scrap book, and shows my 1910 FN before it was restored, and presumably in "as found" condition. The venue is unknown, but was probably a Motor Show of some kind. (Possibly at Centennial Hall, Wayville - information welcome!) Interesting to note the headlamp that still adorns the bike, and the lustre of the original nickel plate

The 1910 FN, some time in the 1950s

Missing in the photo are the mudguards and the silencer body.

By 1960, the old girl had been "tarted up", and now sported a pair of mudguards, some chrome on the exhausts and a lick of paint. One club member remembers the first time it came out after "restoration", mostly because the enamel had been stripped from the brass tank which had then been highly polished. Suitably admonished, the owner later repainted the tank.

The 1910 FN, seen in 1960

The photo here comes from the June 1960 issue of Australian Motor Sports, where it was accompanied by the rather fanciful caption:

This beautifully preserved vintage FN motorcycle on show at a recent South Australian Gymkhana, aroused great interest. Believed to be the only one of its type in the world, the FN has four cylinders and shaft drive.

Well, not exactly the only one of its type... but very rare in Australia, especially in 1960.

Copyright Leon Mitchell 2000

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