Kevin Wilson bought this rare classic motorcycle

Motorcycle being shipped from Parksville Qualicum Beach to Singapore

Rare bike to be shipped off to Asia for a collector based in Shanghai

Kevin Wilson is getting ready to ship another restored motorcycle, and this bike is headed to its fourth continent.

A rare 1965 Matchless 500 cc G8oCS R Police Special was recently restored at International Classic Motorcycles & Motortrikes in Coombs.

Wilson is the owner of International Classic Motorcycles & Motortrikes in Coombs. Along with repairing motorcycles, the shop also restores classic bikes.

The 1965 Matchless was a wreck when Wilson got it.

“It was just a mess. You couldn’t even see the colour of the paint. It was damaged. It was wrecked. It was hardly moveable.”

But that mess came with a long history.

This police special was one only 20 made for a special order for the Rhodesian High Commission, Wilson said. He added it was the last batch of bikes sent over from England because after Rhodesia broke away from the commonwealth, the country switched over to Japanese-manufactured bikes.

These British motorcycles were used all the way through the apartheid era before being left and scrapped, according to Wilson.

“This bike was eventually — it was in pretty bad shape, I understand — it was driven all the way down from Rhodesia down into South Africa,” Wilson said. “Then once it got to South Africa, a guy tried to start to rebuild. He got kind of partially through it. It was just running, and then he moved to Canada.”

From there, Wilson said the man shipped the bike to the United States and drove it up to Manitoba where he did a bit more work on the bike.

“He thought he was kind of semi-restoring it.”

It was then, about four or five years ago, that Wilson bought the 1965 Matchless.

“It was the stupidest mistake I ever made because it was in such bad shape,” he said. “It looked better in the photograph than what it was.”

The bike was driven from Manitoba to Errington, where Wilson was located at the time, and then the rebuild started.

“I wanted to get it exactly as I could to the original. It took about three or four-and-a-half years to get the parts back together.”

It wasn’t a continuous build. Wilson said there was a lot of standing around and waiting for the parts over the years.

Now, a few years later, the 1965 Matchless has been sold for $15,000 to a British bike collector in Asia.

Wilson said the price is up there for a motorcycle, but for a classic bike like this, “it’s about right.”

The restored bike will be shipped from the Island to Singapore and will then be driven all the way up to Shanghai.

Wilson is just waiting to find out when the ship is coming to take the bike, but he said it’s probably going to be in the next week or so.

“It’s a pretty special bike. I’m sad to see it go, but that’s what we do. We build them and sell them.”

Wilson added that he gets a lot of pleasure out of restoring motorcycles to their original standard.

Over the years, his business has restored and shipped bikes to Australia, Brazil and the United States.

Just Posted

Parksville man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says city official

Parksville roundtable highlights need for affordable housing, recreation

Mayor Ed Mayne held facilitated event in January to hear visions for city, council

Second delivery of building units for 222 Corfield in Parksville arrives March 21

Vehicles should expect intermittent single-lane alternating traffic

Public input sought on proposed cannabis retail store in Coombs

Application to be reviewed by Regional District of Nanaimo

Two nature-inspired artists display oil paintings at Qualicum gallery

Judy Maxwell and Lloyd Major depict scenes of wildlife, landscapes and the west coast

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Police lock down part of Okanagan city after ‘live grenade’ discovered

An ordnance believed to be a grenade found on Smith Drive between Dairy Queen and Anchor Inn Pub

Dutch police question new suspect in deadly tram shooting

Police are looking for additional suspects in the shooting

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Vancouver Island cougar might have been shot with bow-and-arrow

Conservation officer service looking for animal near Port Alice

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

B.C. mosque part of open-house effort launched in wake of New Zealand shootings

The ‘Visit a Mosque’ campaign aims to combat Islamophobia

Most Read