Jacks Hill Cafe Ton-Up Day top six bikes

Published: 27 July 2012

Jacks Hill Cafe is an unremarkable-looking transport cafe on the outskirts of Towcester. But in the 1960s it was the meeting place for youngsters racing along the A5 on their hot-rodded British bikes.

Five years ago the first Jacks Hill Cafe Ton-Up Day was run and it has become the annual place of pilgrimage for the hardcore rocker - a chance for old timers to relive their memories and for the younger generation to discover how it was 'back then'.

It's also become one of Britain's best one-day bike meets.

1971 BSA Renault, Huib van Audel

"My father built this bike in 1971. It took him seven years to finish it and I have restored it. The engine is a four-cylinder, 850cc Renault Dauphine. The frame is from a BSA B31 (350cc single-cylinder). The forks are Yamaha RD250 and the front brake is from a Laverda. The rear wheel is Norton Commando. I’m in England just for this event. Eleven of us rode here from Holland in pouring rain."

1965 Norvin, Mark

"My Dad bought this as a box of bits in 1972. It took him 11 years to finish it. I was 11 at the time and he told me that they day I could start the thing, it was mine. I fired it up when I was 15 and my first go on it was around a grass field. It’s a 1951 engine in a 1954 Norton Featherbed frame. Apart from a few brackets which I’ve had to make, there’s nothing on the bike post ’65."

Suzuki/Featherbed, Martyn Roberts

"I call this Manki – it’s a Suzuki Savage engine in a Norton Featherbed frame. The Savage is a belt-drive and, initially the chain ran outside the frame, so I had to do some machining to take conventional sprockets for a chain drive. The rear hub had to be modified to take a different wheel bearing after I’d machined so much of the hub away it revealed the original bearing casing!"

1975 Trident Rickman Metisse, Mick Delaney

"I love café racers. This is ’75 Trident engine in a Rickman Metisse frame but I’m not sure what year the bike was originally built. Since I bought it, I’ve fitted an 850 Norman Hyde conversion. It’s also got a half-race camshaft, 30mm carbs and is something of an on-going restoration project. This winter I’m going to get it repainted."

Shaun Toms, 1946 Triumph 3T

"It’s mostly a 1946 350cc 3T Triumph – standard frame, engine and gearbox. I stripped the old mudguards off and my son made the seat at college. Fuel tank is a rusty Wassell thing I bought for £15 at an autojumble. The way I see it, it’s been on the road four years now and it’s not going to rust anymore because of the oil all over it! I ride it every weekend, all year round."

Triton Featherbed, Andre Hnylycia

"I’d only ever had modern bikes before but decided it was time to get shot of them. It’s a Norton Featherbed wideline frame from the ‘50s and still has the pump brackets on the frame rails. The engine is 1961 650cc Bonnie but I added a 750cc conversion. The café racer thing appealed to me because it’s what I started on. I’ve been all through the modern bikes and back to where it all began."

comments powered by Disqus