Restored Norton wins top NZ award

ROSA STUDHOLME
Last updated 12:46 26/02/2013
John Pateman
MYTCHALL BRANSGROVE/Fairfax NZ

CHAMPION: John Pateman with his award-winning 1928 Model 18 Norton motorcycle that he restored.

John Pateman's 1928 Norton motorcycle before he began restoration work.
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RUSTY WRECK: John Pateman's 1928 Norton motorcycle before he began restoration work.

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A vintage motorcycle rebuilt from scratch by a Timaru man has earned him a national trophy.

John Pateman won the PPG Concours Cup for best presented bike at the national motorcycle rally in Whangarei this month with his 1928 Model 18 Norton.

He was "stoked" with the recognition.

The bike was originally owned by his father, who rode it in the 1930s.

"He sold it and then an uncle of mine returned it to the race track in the 40s.

"It was worth nothing and my uncle wanted to dispose of it. Basically when it was finished he just left it to sit. It sat around for years and years after that."

Mr Pateman owns a collection of bikes but had never paid any attention to the Norton. It was not until he attended the Isle of Man TT Races in England in 2007 that he realised its significance.

"It's a very coveted machine.

"I really decided afterwards ... it was time I got my A into G and did something with it."

The bike was the fastest machine in its day and broke 60 world records, Mr Pateman said.

He built most parts himself, only outsourcing some of the major paint work. He also had new parts made.

"You can't buy anything for (a Norton). I've spent years just making parts for it and getting parts made for it. I like to do most of my own work where possible."

The bike was restored to "as close as I could get it", he said.

For years the bike was worth nothing but was now worth a "significant amount".

He had hoped he would win the trophy at this month's event but knew there would be tough competition.

"The standard of machines that go to this rally is very high."

Mr Pateman already has more restoration projects under way, including a 1969 Triumph Bonneville and a 1974 Triumph Trident.

He also owns a 2006 Triumph Rocket.

Mr Pateman hopes to defend his title at the national rally.

"I'll maybe come up with something else but we'll see what happens. Considering the standard of bikes at the rally I was quite stoked really."

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- The Timaru Herald

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