No secret, it needed a service

Published: 10:49AM Aug 1st, 2012
By: Web Editor
What a lovely surprise to see ‘my’ old Thunderball bike after all these years, on page six of OBM July issue.
No secret, it needed a service

During the launch of the Thunderball film I was telephoned by Joe Miles of Miles Motors, in Uxbridge. He asked would I be free to ride this bike around to the London cinemas for EON Enterprises Ltd, to publicise the film for a week. Would I? Er, let me think...

The bike was delivered to Miles Motors in a very sorry state, not been maintained and I suspect ridden by everybody who wanted a go. I brought the bike up to spec in Miles’ workshop. You can imagine the interest it generated and I was the chap in charge. Not bad for a proud 21-year-old guy.

As far as I can recall, there were three special A65s.

One ended up in the lake, I had one, what happened to the third I can’t remember.

‘My’ bike had the number plates and tax disc holder removed, as were the rockets, though dummy ones were inserted into the tubes. The story goes that the actual projectiles were distress flares and had little directional ability. The film crew had to be housed in bunkers should the errant flare head in their direction. It is said that Chris Vincent wanted to install these flares onto his racing machines as the deceleration was phenomenal, but felt the ACU would object. Two flares had to be fired together, one each side to prevent the recoil from toppling the bike over.

I used the bike on the roads for fun, but was always being pulled up by the boys in blue. No number plate gave them some concern, however I had a letter from the then Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Joseph Simpson, who authorised these exceptions. I got fed up in the end being stopped. Tell you what though, it was great for getting the traffic to move over! The bike was handed back to Miles, I lost track of it from then.

But why me, you may ask, I’m not a famous name? Well, there was a road safety competition at the time called The Motorcyclist of the Year. Run by RoSPA and sponsored by The Company of Veteran Motorists. I was lucky enough to win it in 1963, ’64 and ’65. Guess, this qualified me to ride its precious machine. They say, every dog has its day, this was mine. Unfortunately all my records and photos have been destroyed.

Mike Pitson, Surrey

Responses to “No secret, it needed a service”

Current Issue: August 2015

Issue August 2015

• Letters
• Latest unearthed finds
• Latest classics news
• Hundreds of classified ads
• Out & about
• Latest events
• Workshop advice
• Tech features  


Buy this issue now

• Next issue on sale: September 5, 2015

Issue 362

Issue 362
August 2015

The world of classics at your fingertips!

Subscribe and get this issue

Buy it now facebook Sample on-line

Other Letters

Muc-Off Star Letter: Off-road memories are made of pictures like these

Muc-Off Star Letter: Off-road memories are made of pictures like these

Thank you for the club spot on the Tiger Cub Club, which has resulted in much interest and a few ...

Read More »

Muc-Off Star Letter: Memories of Matchless G15 CSR road test

Muc-Off Star Letter: Memories of Matchless G15 CSR road test

Imagine my surprise as I read Pete’s article on the Matchless G15 CSR because that very bike, ELB 322C, ...

Read More »

View all...


Related magazines:

The Classic MotorCycle CR Magazine Twist & Go magazine

Advertising Deadline:

September issue - August 20 October issue - September 17

Book advertising here

Next Issue Out:

September 5, 2015