Automobilia is the oldest and largest fair in Portugal dedicated to classic vehicles, now in its 26th year. The fair is held in Aveiro, about 76km south of Porto, so there was no way I was going to miss a chance to see some classic bikes (as well as the cars and other classic vehicles on display).
Bev and I headed down there on Sunday, riding the Honda CBF600. Rather than using the motorway, we took the N109 down, but that extended the travel time to two hours. By comparison, we took the motorway and toll roads back and that took about 50 minutes.
The Aveiro Exhibition Park (Aveiro Expo) covers a total area of 50,000 m2, of which 15,000 m2 is covered. The entire covered area was choc-o-bloc full of bikes, cars and vendors selling parts and equipment. And those who couldn’t fit inside were scattered around the outdoor space.
Within a couple of minutes of entering the building, I came across this Honda P50 (circa 1966). My first motor vehicle was a 1966 P50 that looked identical to this one – purchased for a measly sum when I was 16 years old. It’s an interesting old bike with its 4-stroke engine mounted to the rear wheel and the fuel tank also serving as a rear carrier rack. I haven’t seen one of them since I sold mine in the 70’s, so this one brought back a few memories.
Another bike that brought back memories was this Suzuki GT550. When I was 18 years old, I bought a 1975 Suzuki GT250 with the ‘Ram Air’ intake over the cylinders. It looked very similar to this GT550, in the same colour, but the GT250 was a twin-cylinder bike, whereas the GT550 is a triple.
My Bermuda buddies will likely be interested to see the variety of Velo Solex bikes that were on display (and some for sale). There was also a smattering of Mobylettes, some nice Vespas and a Lambretta.
I have a soft-spot for the iconic Honda CB750. I considered buying one several years ago, but bought my Honda CB900 instead, due to the high prices the 750 was commanding. I stood and admired this nice, clean example of a 1974 CB750. I see that they are maintaining a high price here in Portugal also. This one is for sale at €12,500.
British bikes were represented, including some lovely vintage bikes. I particularly enjoyed looking at the 1947 Triumph 3T Deluxe (350cc), 1928 Triumph NSD Deluxe (550cc), and a 1928 AJS 350 Big Port.
And there were some lovely non-British bikes on display, from Europe and America. The French Terrot HST (350cc), circa 1930, with its hand-gear-shift, was particularly nice to see.
I really like the art-deco style on this 1965 Russian Saturn IZH bike (350cc twin). Beautiful, and reminds me of some of the bike;’s I saw in Berlin’s DDR Motorrad Museum!
And here is a miscellaneous selection of other classic bikes at the show, including some Portuguese-made bikes:
There was an excellent variety of classic bikes to see and it would have been worth the journey just for the bikes. But there was more to see on four wheels. After the bikes, the next big attraction for me was the display of classic Land Rovers, with some lovely examples of Series 1, 2 and 3.
Behind the Land Rovers was a nice World War II era military display, with a variety of Allied and Axis vehicles, including motorcycles.
There was a nice variety of classic cars on display. Of them all, this 1959 Jaguar XK 150 FHC was my favourite. Beautiful, classic Jag! But with a price tag of €92,500, it’s just for looking at in shows!
Here are some of the other cars that caught my eye:
It was a very interesting and enjoyable show. I saw some vehicles that brought back memories and some that I’d never seen before. I expect to be an annual visitor for years to come. Well done to the organisers!