I previously wrote about the Trev Deeley motorcycle collection in Vancouver, and shared the fact that I was disappointed with the new set-up and location. Bevin Jones of the Trev Deeley team sent me a very nice note in response to that post asking me to give them another look , so when visiting Vancouver this past week for my step mother’s funeral, I decided to give take him up on his offer.
The new Trev Deeley motorcycle exhibit entitled “End of Empire” is about the British motorcycle industry and its rise and fall – I first need to say that it does have a nice range of machines on display, and as always the level of restoration/preservation is first class. It would have been nice to have a few more examples of older bikes – the display is weighted toward the 1960’s and 1970”s – but overall it is great value for the money as they still only ask for a donation rather than charging some outrageous admissions fee. My personal favourite, the Scott Squirrel, which is a twin cylinder, rotary valved, water cooled 2-stroke built in 1929 was on display. It was well ahead of its time from an engineering perspective and in many ways may have been the inspiration for the Suzuki Water Buffalo’s that I like to work on, as Scott did develop a three cylinder 750cc water cooled 2-stroke version of the Squirrel just prior to World War II.
Its a pity that as of this writing, the Deeley web site still hasn’t been updated to show information about the new display, even though its been open for about three weeks. As was the case the last time I visited, we were pretty much the only people there which is really nice, but it also may mean a lot of folks are missing out on seeing a great exhibit due to a lack of proper advertising. It is also worth mentioning that the machines on display are not behind glass or mounted so far away that you can’t really seee the details – each bike is very accessible.
One bike of note was the twin rotor Wankel powered 1992 Norton Commander seen to the right- this is one of two that was imported into Canada out of a total of 253 built, and I’d only ever seen photos of this model previously. It will be interesting to see what the new Norton company manages to produce as there have been a number of false starts to date – hopefully this time they are successful !
Bottom line – although I still personally prefer the old display and location, Deeley are to be commended for putting on another good display which folks should try to check out if they happen to be in the Vancouver area.