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Malta calling

Johnbull

Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Good evening all.

My name is Joe Anastasi and, whilst being new to this forum, I am not new to Vincent / HRDs. In fact I presently own, run regularly, and enjoy riding a Series B 1948 HRD Meteor, which I have owned for some 25 or more years.

I was brought up with motorcycles, my father's firm, The John Bull Ironmongery Stores, started by my grandfather in the late 1800s, were sole importers for BSA motorcycles in Malta. I moved into the business in the early 60s, the hayday of the British parallel twin.

My Series B Meteor has also spent most of it's life in Malta. It was purchased new from Pankhursts of Weymouth in 1948 and was soon on it's way to Malta where it's British services owner had just been posted. On ending his 3 year stint of service in Malta he sold the Meteor to a local motorcycle dealer, Mr. Carmelo Tanti of Nofsis Garage, The Strand, Sliema, who then sold it on to it's first Maltese owner, a gentleman from Tarxien known by the nickname "Is-Sieheb" who was also not new to HRDs, and who passed away recently. I believe Mr. Tanti was actually the official Malta importer for HRD motorcycles.

The next owner was a Mr. Albert Jackson from Hamrun, who has also owned a series of Vincents. Mr. Jackson too passed away recently, and the picture on his tombstone is actually one of him riding one of his Rapides. I have a copy of the picture which I will try putting in the Vincent page on Facebook.

Mr. Jackson sold it on to Mr. William (Bill) Kind, who then sold it on to me. I have just been talking to Bill, who is now in his 70s and has also owned a number of Vincents in the past.

Throughout the years, the Meteor has never been restored and still sports it's original paintwork. I only recently took the head and barrel off and gave it it's first rebore, a new set of valves, guides, springs etc, new clutch plates, cush drive springs, brake linings and cables in preparation for the 1000 mile Giro di Sicilia to which I was again honoured to be invited again this year. The Meteor ran like a bird throughout the 6 day rally.

I also participated in last year's Giro di Sicilia, as well as the famous Milano - Taranto Rally in the early 90s, all riding the Meteor.

All the HRD's and Vincents which were in Malta in the 50s and 60s have unfortunately disappeared, except for my Meteor, but recently 2 twins have been imported from UK. One is a Series C Shadow belonging to a Mr. Joseph Fenech from Tarxien, and the other, a C Rapide, has recently been purchased by my friend Mr. Tony Cassar. Facebook members may see pics of both my HRD and Tony's Vincent in our respective pages.
 

Johnbull

Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Do I feel a rally coming on?

That wouldn't be such a bad thing, except that I'm too old for that these days. I prefer enjoying other peoples' rallies, rather than going through all the thankless hassle of organising them as I did in the past.

However, now that you mention it ..........

VOC member Tony Cassar and I have just returned from 4 great days riding around Sicily - modern bikes this time, and it get's better every time. I find I need this sort of medicine regularly these days. And the weather was glorious throughout, which made it even better.

Vibrac. Judging by your comment, you seem to know me. Is that right ?
 

vibrac

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
No Joe sorry, unless you have been on the IOM rallys
Thing is I so liked the VOC Greek rally I need the south again
Who organises the Giro di Sicilia for bikes is there a web site?
 

clevtrev

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Joe, I am trying to find a photo of your bike, taken at St Pauls Bay, with me on it, during a short tour of Malta.
 

nkt267

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
Let's have a Vincent owners rally in Malta during the fireworks festival,no one will complain if you have a loud exhaust:D. Best viewed in my opinion from Birgu with a large Hopleaf or glass of wine:cool:..John
 

Johnbull

Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Trev. So you've been to my place in St. Paul's Bay ? And joined us on a Saturday run on the Meteor ? Well, well, well; small world, isn't it.

John (NKT). You'll have to try the Blue Label Ale. I'll buy you a pint next time you visit. Now there's an incentive !!! Actually, I have it from authority that the Blue Label is actually the best of the Farsons beers, not just because they sponsored both our International Vintage Motorcycle Rallies in the 90s of course. Ask Tony Cassar on here. He's quite partial to a pint or three too.

Vibrac. We have Mimmo, the organiser of the Giro di Sicilia with us here in Malta this weekend. I'm sure something can be arranged. The Giro is basically a gathering of likeminded friends, and Mimmo likes to keep it BY INVITATION. This way he only has the people he likes !!! Last year it was 16 bikes. This year it was 13. Both Tony and I have been lucky to have been invited to both last year's rally and this year's. It's not competitive, apart from the number of cakes and bottles of wine one consumes, and the riding is "out of this world". I have done 5 Irish rallies and it compares well. This year, one day of the rally was devoted to the Targa Florio, with the route encompassing a lap of the famous 47 mile Madonie circuit, plus visits to the Targa Florio museums. All great stuff, and of particular interest to me since I had actually competed in the Targa Florio in 1972. Facebook members among you can get a better idea by having a look at my pics of both Giros in which we have participated.
 

Robert Watson

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I am pretty sure that one of the bikes in Vancouver was an original Malta bike, now owned by "Monkeypants" who subscribes to this list. The engine anyway, an early B, I think engine 38, but in later C chassis parts.
 
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