The deadline for the Hamilton Motorcycle Club Centenary may have been postponed for a year due to Covid-19, but for Te Awamutu enthusiast Neville McBeth that didn't make his job any easier.
Originally planned for Easter 2020, the club (now 101) is holding a celebration event based at the Hamilton Classic Car Museum from tomorrow until April 11.
Around 50 bikes that have competed in HMCC road race trials and motocross events will be on display at the museum, plus a number of motorcycle related activities are planned for the next two weeks.
Included in the display will be historic motocross machines owned and raced by four times world champion and national motocross champion Hugh Anderson MBE.
Neville has been a racer since he was 16 and is owner of Kiwisport Restorations. He owns one of the ex-Anderson racers and while the extra time was appreciated, the problems getting parts during a global pandemic put him on the back foot.
CZ motorcycles dominated world motocross competition from 1965 to 1971.
In January 1969 Kiwi ace Hugh Anderson travelled to Czechoslovakia and purchased both 250cc and 360cc machines for racing in European and UK events.
The CZ machines afforded Hugh great success, including a French national title and top ten placings in all his International motocross GP debuts.
He returned home to New Zealand in 1970 with his bikes and claimed a number of national motocross titles.
Neville owns the 1968 CZ 250 race machine and has recently completed a complete rebuild.
"The bike has seen nearly 50 years of motocross racing, including 30 years of classic racing, and was well due for a freshen up," he says.
Testimony to the Czech motorcycle companies' manufacture quality, the bike had no major frame or engine issues but did require a new piston and two new chrome rims as they were out of shape and quite rusted.
Kiwisport Restorations also completed a complete rebuild of 1973 Yamaha SC 500, a similar bike on which Hugh won his last New Zealand motocross national title.
The bike is owned by former motocross national title rider Lance Hawkins of Kiwitahi.
Lance rode the SC 500 to win the 1974 New Zealand Open Beach Championship at Whakatāne.
He was still riding it when he hosted the 1976 New Zealand Championships on his farm.
It required a full major engine rebuild.
Neville says the main problem with this big displacement 2 stroke race machine was related to the very early Japanese electronic ignition.
"Inconsistencies with the ignition timing advance curve led to complete engine destruction.
"Fitting a new aftermarket ignition system sourced from Germany was essential," says Neville.
"The restoration process was extremely difficult as most parts for the bike were no longer available and needed to be sourced through eBay, but this process became next to impossible during the world Covid-19 pandemic.
"Some parts just never turned up."
Regardless, necessary parts were found and the bike is now ready for display at the HMCC centenary celebrations alongside two more Yamaha race bikes belonging to Lance – a 1973 CZ250 and rare works YZ360B – believed one of 211 built and only six in New Zealand.
Other centenary events include a Reunion Dinner on Easter Saturday, a swap meet in conjunction with the Waikato Classic Club this Sunday, an art exhibition at the Waikato Art Museum featuring works funded by contributions from the club via the Founders Theatre Road races in the 1970s and the release of the Centenary Book.
To find out more go to www.hamiltonmcc.org.nz