Finally, finally the platers called Bert and told him the exhaust pipe was ready to come and collect. Vernon Moss had done a top job; well up to their usual high standards. Bert had schemed-up a jig to hold the pipe, whilst he peened over the exhaust port end, to trap the nut.
The pipe was fitted to the bike in its freshly chromed state.
Now it was a case of patinating the chrome… I have very mixed feeling about parts that are made to look old and original… If done well it can give an impressive illusion though I have seen some restorations that have employed the aged look to the whole machine – and it gave an impression that the vehicle one was looking at was phony from top to bottom… In the case of 2751 we wanted to achieve as uniform a finish as possible. And as the vast majority of the bike actually was original, any newly finished parts fitted would have clashed with the rest of the ensemble and looked simply horrendous. This was especially so with the exhaust pipe… So, that beautiful chromium plating really had to be tarnished.
Getting the exhaust pipe right has been a surprisingly difficult challenge. It’s been much harder than we could have ever envisaged… We are very happy with the result achieved here: the bend is as close as ‘dammit’ is to swearing and it is angled on the bike just where the original pipe would have been when 2751 left The Works in 1949. Without a doubt, as original, the pipe is positioned badly for serious circuit racing – many of the period photos we have show it damaged and scraped… It must have been a constant worry to Len Perry when he had the machine canted over on a fast right hander…
The “vinegar strokes” of the restoration have been reached. Once finished I will be updating the blog with photos of the finished bike.