1948 VH replica 500 single[cover story in BSMCC Kickback Dec 06 - Jan 07] by Peter Ariel
1948 VH replica 500 single My motorcycle is a 1948 VH replica; I now call
it a replica as it was built 35 years ago with a 1948 Side Valve motor
and matching tinware of that year. It has been on many British Single Club
days and also put into the Phil Irving Concours' when possible. It never
wins a prize, but sure does drum up an audience. At one showing I noticed
a lady feeling every feature of the bike and as I proceeded to march down
there and tell her off, I was suddenly stopped in my tracks, she was blinded
in later life but used to ride on the back of one of these. So now I can
say it was shown in Braille. Funny that I had a lot to say before I reached
her and when I knew the story I was speechless, in fact both eyes were
welling with tears as she drew in all the surfaces, oil and all.
I do say the BSMCC is the best club when you have a bitsa; it won a best
British Single trophy once.
First restored by Allan Dolley (pictured with the bike) and Peter Ariel in 1974 as a side valve 600. Prior to restoration this bike was in flat track gear although quite a bit heavy for the dirt tracks. Mudguards and a lot of other parts were obtained to finish this bike as 1948 model. Of course we forgot to date the frame and later found it was a 1951 frame but almost the same as a 1948 frame. After completion and showing it in a country fair we then discovered that it was in a 1951 frame. The experts all appeared at this small concours' and we wished we knew them before hand. Allan Dolley helped me through the initial build and has since passed on. For that reason I am reluctant to alter the bike into the 2 different years it is supposed to be, although I have been gathering parts for both.
Editor's note. In a later interview Peter informed me that he purchased the Ariel when he was fourteen years old, from money saved whilst delivering newspapers. It took him eight months of saving, plus another twenty dollars he borrowed to obtain the bike at a price of sixty dollars.