The return ride was a spirited run back to Seaford again covering many of the back roads of the Fleurieu. I travelled about 300kms, so those riders from north of the city must have covered over 350kms. Maybe next time we do this ride, we do it in the warmer months and we can spend time stopping at the lookouts and enjoying the scenery.
Riders:- Alan Wallis 1950 Tilbrook 197cc Graham Riley/Sharon 1956 Vespa 125cc G Christie 1987 Ducati 750cc David Saint 1966 Puch 250cc Mick Hayes 2016 Suzuki 650cc Warren Duncan 2002 Honda 250cc Tony Earnshaw 1972 … Read More »
Talk and presentation on his Tour of Vietnam piloting a Vintage Scooter. All welcome
Philippe (Phil) Reeves joined our Club in 1978, Member No 207, and held continual membership until his passing in March 2021.
It is fair to say that Phil inherited his interest in motor bikes from his father, Oliver Francis John Reeves, who was a fanatical collector and restorer of motor cycles. There was a period when Ollie and Phil were heavily involved in the collection and restoration of BSA Bantams. At the culmination of their collecting they possessed about 35 Bantams ranging from the first D1 to the B175 Bushman. Phil’s reputation as a restorer was so appreciated that he drew the attention of Jim Scaysbrook (editor of Old Bike Australasia) to the extent that one of Phil’s machines adorned the front cover of Issue No 17, along with a comprehensive 6 page text and photo compilation inside.
Phil’s interests were not confined to Bantams as he also constructed a 250cc Gold Star BSA. I know there are many who will not believe the authenticity of the previous statement ( and they are quite correct in not believing it) but Phil’s reasoning for creating this unique motor bike was that he could not afford the genuine article, and he wanted to create a talking point among other bike enthusiasts, a goal that he certainly achieved. One could be forgiven for believing that this home built “special” was nothing more than a bitsa, but nothing could be further from the truth. The quality of the project was of such a high degree that it also featured in Old Bike Australia (issue No 21, Sept/Oct 2010 ). [The two action shots at the top & bottom of this post are from that shoot].
Phil’s interests were not confined to British bikes, as he also developed an appreciation of Italian bikes, notably Moto-Guzzi, and of course Ducati, both marques of which Phil possessed. Phil was also employed as a mechanic for an Adelaide based Ducati dealership.
A personal anecdote I can relate about Phil’s expertise, and his willingness to assist a fellow Club member in trouble, occurred to me one day while out on a run in the Adelaide Hills on my ST4 Ducati. I am sure you have all heard about the dubious reliability of Italian electrics. This particular day after morning tea at the Lobethal Bakery, I attempted to resume my ride, however turning on the ignition key did not result in the customary fuel pump priming. After many futile attempts to start the bike, I hit on the rather inconsiderate decision to Phone Phil, and seek his advice. After explaining the situation to him, he was able to walk me through various tests that could be performed on the roadside, that proved to be successful, and saw me get home without needing a trailer. Needless to say my respect and admiration for Phil on that day knew no bounds.
This willingness of Phil’s to assist other Club members, saw him being recognised by being awarded with Life Membership of our Club.
Phil will be sorely missed by Club Members, and all who knew him.
by Ken Hartland, former president.
REMEMBERING PHILIPPE REEVES
Red was Phil’s favourite colour by a mile. His Alfa Romeo cars were all crimson, bar one. During his Ducati-racing days he had red leathers and scarlet bike. His wind cheaters were red. His trademark baseball cap was red. Red drew Phil like a flower attracts a bee.
He was passionate about all aspects of motorcycles, whether racing, restoring, or collecting them. His specialty was Ducatis and he spent much of his working life employed as a mechanic for them.
As a young adult he battled non-Hodgkin lymphoma, a kind of blood cancer which is often fatal. Phil was rescued from a fatal outcome, but at the cost of permanent injury to his heart and lungs. He tragically lost his battle with longstanding complications on Sunday March 28th, at the relatively tender age of 62. Phil was a stalwart member of the Classic Owners Club. Only illness kept him away from meetings.
I first met Phil about 35 years ago through our mutual interest in motorcycles. At a Classic Owners’ display at the Birdwood Mill, we struck up a conversation about BSA Bantams and a lasting rapport was established. My friendship with Phil was long but my wife, Diana, met him 55 years ago, when he was a child of seven and her grandfather was teaching Phil’s sister, Ann, horse-riding skills. Diana’s father and Phil’s discovered their mutual interest in motorcycles and their respective sons became firm friends too. I had no idea, when I met my wife-to-be, that she was also a friend of Phil, but soon he and we were doing rides together and sharing pleasant meals.
Phil enjoyed competing, especially in motorcycle racing. He loved nothing more than speeding around a race-track. He was seriously successful in car and bike shows too. His cabinets groan under the weight of all his trophies, some for racing, most for his vehicles’ impressive presentation at shows.
Phil was always ready to help out when that involved a vehicle. When I hit a road-block in my recent restoration of a Ducati 750GT, Phil was more than happy to spend days on end working with me in my shed to complete the project. On another occasion, Phil sold me an MV Agusta basket-case, then did the whole rebuild of its engine, for no charge, at my place.
Phil’s knowledge of Ducatis, and motorcycles generally, was awesome. It seemed limitless! A wealth of knowledge will have been lost with his passing. He will be greatly missed.
by Rob Elliott and Diana Waters
Eighteen bus passengers and seventeen motorcyclists congregated at the West Croydon & Kilkenny RSL on Sunday morning for another Pt Pirie trip. As our registrar, Bob Finnie, remarked ‘it’s a pretty piss-poor turnout considering we have almost 300 club members to date’. Bob’s damning assessment is unfortunately quite true and we should all be grateful that he made the effort to arrange this excursion. Thanks, Bob!
We hit the road at 8:45am, first stop was the United servo in Pt Wakefield. After a quick coffee, we were back in the saddle – next stop: Pt Pirie. The bus and most of the bikes were parked on the side of the road just outside the town awaiting the stragglers. We were guided to our first attraction: a collection of old bikes including some lovely examples of early Indians. The gentleman, who owned the bikes, was delighted to show us around his sheds. Some highlights included an Indian 4, an Indian Scout, a Scott Flying Squirrel and an early 250cc Levis (all restored). In the back shed was a timber framed Humber car and a freshly restored Tilbrook sidecar (destined for an early BMW). The owner was particularly pleased to see Alan Wallis, who he sought for some Tilbrook expertise. There were several unrestored bikes : a Velocette GTP, a 1930s 500cc BSA and an early Velocette LE – a great collection!
After a short speech from President Bob Cole thanking the owner for showing us around, we took off again to visit a transport museum on the outskirts of the town.
The owners, a retired couple, had an amazing collection of material: predominately transport related, but also, what I describe as early Australian social history. This included masses of toy cars, dolls, a small military exhibit, tools, Elvis memorabilia, Coca-Cola paraphernalia, Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice exhibit and much, much more. There was almost too much to take in on such a short visit. Out in the back sheds were trucks, cars, buses and some small stationary engines.
We enjoyed a BBQ lunch outside and the owners really did us proud with a great selection of salads, sausages and steak. We all agreed that it was a glorious day with lots of interesting things to look at. Bob Cole thanked the owners for their hospitality and allowing us to inspect their collection.
Most riders and the bus opted to take the quick way home via Pt Wakefield, and a handful of us took the scenic route via Crystal Brook, Gulnare, Spalding and Burra. I clocked up about 500 kilometres for the day. What a great day and again many thanks to Bob Finnie for making it happen.
PS. I’m sure some of you took much better photos than I’ve posted here – maybe you could pass them on to myself or Trevor Jones for publication.
Ross (Rosco) Edwards’ also wrote his own version of the trip report:-
Tip Truck Ford Econovan Maxi 1994 Petrol and LPG Rego VPH 774 UL 1440kg, GV 3065kg, GC 4165kg $4500 John 0432 637 763