torsdag den 14. november 2013

Say Hello to Albert

Do you wanna meet Albert? Of course you do! :) Albert is an old fellow and the crown juwel in dad's collection of vintage vehicles. But why is he named Albert? Here is the story:

Albert is a Harley-Davidson from 1925, a very rare jubilee model, that were first officially released for sale in 1927-29, so some says that there max. are 10 left in the whole world. He is a beauty:
Harley-Davidson 1925

Let's look at some details - here is the nice tool box ("the lunch box") at the front of the handlebars:
Harley-Davidson 1925

And here is the simple engine that still runs impeccably - with some TLC from dad:
Harley-Davidson 1925

I love old speedometers:
Harley-Davidson 1925

A view from the tank:
Harley-Davidson 1925

The gear-change is at the tank and there is foot-clutch. Not many know how to drive like that today:
Harley-Davidson 1925

In 1971 we moved to the isle of Moen and dad heard the rumour of the fantastic vintage Harley, which an elderly gentleman would not sell - several had already tried. Dad went out to see it, he gave it some TLC, oiled it and started it and thus became friends with the nice old man - Albert. The engine had not run for at least ten years but dad started it with the old gasoline. Dad wanted to borrow it for a Harley meeting, since he thought it should drive and be shown, but Albert said that he should then register in his own name, since Albert himself was old. But dad didn't want to do that.

Time passed by and the friendship continued. I remember Albert became a kind of reserve grandpa for my siblings and I. He often came to dinner and we visited him until he could not recognize us anylonger. Finally, Albert said that dad could buy it, but since dad didn't have any money he had to refuse - although the price was only about 90 dollars. Dad just wanted to take good care of it and borrow it now and then. But Albert said that he could have it and pay when he could afford it. That is true friendship!

Dad took it home to his garage and took it completely apart. Albert was a milkman and when the weather was bad, he didn't want his poor horse going out with the milk, so he drove the milk in the sidecar, so the Harley has never lived an easy life. Dad changed the sidecar for a speedometer, which unfortunately got stolen with some other vintage spareparts. Albert also drove a lot of contour races and had a wall full of prizes. Dad only got a few of them, and you might always discuss whether such prizes should follow the machine or the family. Albert bought the Harley in 1925, and although it was very expensive - he could have bought two other nice cycles for the same price - it was the one he wanted. So it is also special that dad is only the second owner! Very rare for such an old cycle.

My parents have attended mc meetings in every part of Denmark, and my siblings and I also sat at the back seat since we were small children. We had a tiny helmet to share. Our favourite was when we were invited to a birthday party, then we wanted dad to drive us on the coolest mc in the world. But we had to pay, the cycle should shine, so the cleaning was quite easy for dad when we were kids. At each mc meeting dad won the prize for oldest cycle, and we were afraid if he would get disappointed if he one day didn't win it. At first mum sat at a back seat made of an old football directly on the rear mudguard, but her butt hurt, so later dad made a twin-seat by taking a cast of the original seat.

The Harley was metallic baby blue for many years, which looked really good, but a few years ago dad painted it its original colour - horse shit brown, in daily speech. ;) He has improved it a bit, but it is the most original vehicle he owns. He has only built an alternator since he thought it lacked light. He often rides it with open exhaustion, which means he opens the little lid on the exhaustion and then it is really noisy. Much more than normally. Many years ago he was sure he woke up everybody in the City of Stege when he drove through early in the morning. The Harley has 7 to 9 HP when the lid is open, and 7 when it is closed. But those "tricks" are only for use in the country, as he says.

My parents have driven all the way to Paris on it, attending an mc meeting with 15,000 cycles and about 20,000 participants. And who did the oldest machine prize to to? Yep, dad! :) The Harley drove all the way down to Paris and almost back again, but right before the ferry the engine broke down (the cylinders got a huge grove). Ough! But another benefit of driving a nice vintage cycle is that everybody wants to help, so they were picked up by a truck. The truck driver drove the Harley into his truck by using a ladder. They have also driven all the way to the Netherlands and to Sweden, where they have visited High Chapperal.

Here is dad at the annual MC Moen meeting at the square of Stege:
Lovely moustache, dad! ;)

Notice the royal jools:

Dad has put on his old and original vest with the club logo:

And if you think his leather jacket looks worn, you're right - he bought it when he was 16 years old:

There is always a lot of audience when dad starts the Harley:
Harley-Davidson 1925

But beware, if you hear Albert, because it always starts raining when he is out.

2 kommentarer:

  1. I really enjpyed this post and the photos. Handsome Harley and handsome dad! Flaurella

    1. Thank you, Flaurella. Dad is still a dish, although he has finally started looking older. He turns 70 next year. :)


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