Vale, Phil Reeves

17 Apr

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.


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

Ride to Mannum, 28th February

19 Mar
Another perfect day for a ride.
Today we had 2 classic and 15 modern bikes, one with pillion, ready for the ride to Mannum. First stop was the Throttle Shed at One Tree Hill ,but unfortunately the Triumph Riders beat us there so the place was packed.No problem,some of us went to the shop down the road for our morning coffee and we were ready to go.
Next problem was as we were leaving Roger headed for home, and some riders followed him instead of looking for corner markers, then one of our riders decided to ride off the road and down a bank.No injuries, well maybe his pride, so while we waited for everyone to catch up and regroup we decided to shorten the route to make up some time. Finally we were on our way to Mannum.
After lunch and chat on the banks of the mighty Murray it’s time to refuel the bikes and back on the road to Adelaide. An uneventful ride except for being stuck behind a truck and trailer filled with cattle. Don’t you just love that smell. Still it’s always a good day to be out riding with friends. I made it home after 323kms of very enjoyable riding.
Tony Mitchell, Club Captain.

For Sale : Tip Truck

25 Feb

Tip Truck Ford Econovan Maxi 1994 Petrol and LPG Rego VPH 774 UL 1440kg, GV 3065kg, GC 4165kg $4500 John 0432 637 763

Upcoming Club event

17 Feb

Sunday 28th March


 Day trip to a museum and then visit an Indian Motorcycle collection in Pt Pirie. A bus has been booked or ride your bike. Meet at the West Croydon & Kilkenny RSL car park 8:30am for an 8:45am start. Further details, ring Bob Finnie 0411 687 666.

Vale, Ray Mann

10 Feb

Ray joined our Club in 1977 (member no.180). Ray was always active in the Club in one form or another. He served on the Committee as Vice President, 1993-1995, and 2007-2010. Machine Registrar. 1993-2001 and 2003-2004. He also welcomed new members to our Club from 1997-2001. Ray was also active in assisting in other facets of the Club’s activities, for which combined with his committee activities, he was awarded Life Membership. Ray was always an ideas man, and was largely responsible for the introduction of the Tuesday mid-week club ride. Ray was interested in all things motorcycling, but in particular he considered himself to be a motorcycle/sidecar aficionado. He will be remembered for giving sidecar rides to the children present at various Club functions, including a display at the Strathmont Centre. Ray also dabbled  in sidecar competition events, competing at Mac Park on his BMW R series outfit. He featured on the Classic Courier cover of the 1997 Jan-Feb  edition with fellow club member Julia Lake as passenger in the sidecar.

In his later Club life Ray would attend Club rides on his BMW K1100  outfit.

Ken Hartland.

For Sale : 1973 Triumph T150V

9 Feb

Yes folks it time for me to hand over custody of my Trident. Most of you have seen this machine at several club events. It is on club registration.

It’s very original with 21,000 on the speedo I believe this to be correct. It was an American delivery. Matching engine and frame numbers and that is all three cases. This is important. BH 01212 which makes it February 1973.

I am asking $12000 I don’t think this is unreasonable.

Contact Allan Morris 0425660619 for further details.