Captain was the first

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!

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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.

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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.

David Hopson,
West Sussex

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Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Features at and in the April 2020 issue of Old Bike Mart – on sale now!

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