When I opened my February edition of Old Bike Mart I found a series of articles on readers’ first bikes – hmm, I thought, maybe its nostalgia time to look at the photos of my first bike…
On turning the pages I found a four page article on James Captain bikes, so out came the pictures of my first bike – a James Sports Captain! Purchased (under my father’s supervision) in 1965 from Elites Motors in Garrat Lane, Tooting.
I did many miles on the Sports Captain, using it to commute daily from South London to Holborn. I passed my test on it, and also had my first coming off!
The handling and brakes were good. And I think the AMC engine was much maligned, although the points needed regular adjustment whilst suffering the mechanical attention of a teenager!
I had the bike serviced and repaired by HG Hallett in South Norwood. Eventually it was sold on, but I still retain the James Instruction Book (priced 4s 6d).
Your article has cleared up one doubt I had about my bike’s authenticity, as I thought all Sports Captains were fitted with the Italian style tank and mine had the regular shaped one.
The new tank was fitted from 1964, while mine was registered in 1962.
Please find enclosed a picture of said teenager astride his pride and joy.
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