For immediate release
HONDA OWNERS CLUB (GB) CELEBRATES ITS 60TH ANNIVERSARY
This year the Honda Owners Club (GB) celebrates its 60th Anniversary, we predate Honda UK by 1 year and the club was formed as a support body for the strange new Japanese machines trickling onto the UK market.
One of our previous presidents and founder member of the HOC (GB), Pete Goodger, remembers its inception well –
‘Well it all started in the spring of 1961. I exchanged my Heinkel 197cc bubble car at ‘H and A Motorcycles Ltd’ in Thornton Heath/Croydon. These new Honda motorcycles – C100, CB92, C92 and C72 – had just arrived from Japan and were being shot to pieces in the motorcycle press at the time for having winkers and many other ‘extras’.
Anyhow they only had one C72 which was sold so I had to wait another week for the next one. This was collected that next week and riding it away with a wave from the salesman, now the quite famous Chas Bates of Gilberts of Catford now Gilberts of Mottingham (Honda cars).
I was simply amazed at the quietness and comfort of the C72, a week or two later I wrote to Harry Louis, the editor of the Blue ‘Un ‘The Motor Cycle’, thinking that it would be rather nice if we could get together to form a club to look after the interests of those of us who would be riding these Hondas. Harry Louis said he had just heard of a young bank clerk around Birmingham who was thinking of starting a club for Hondas. He passed me an address which I wrote to, it was of course young Mike Evans . I believe he started the club in the Spring of 1961.
Our first London Branch secretary was, I believe, Richard (Dick) Pryor a London taxi driver who also raced, I believe it was in Dick’s house we were having a meeting at the time when the phone rang it was for Derek ‘King of Brands’ Minter, yes he was there too, the phone call was from Honda in Japan offering him a works 4 cylinder Honda and a good wage into the bargain. I think he was offered a back up to Jim Redman and other works riders of the day. He turned it down, so we heard later, on the grounds that he didn’t like riding to team orders and he liked British bikes!
I think he would have gone on to be a world champion in one of the Honda classes.’
In 2021 the club is still going strong and has embraced technology in order to stay in touch in these Covid times with regular Zoom meetings for both Branches and individual members. We also have an active Facebook page and a bright and up to date website. Before Covid we had an active programme of runs, rallies and events and we plan to continue this when Covid allows.
We currently have 1574 Members and 24 Branches spread throughout the country. We are an independent non profit making social club for all those who own or have owned a Honda. We produce a quality quarterly magazine which incorporates a Dealer Discount list and an active diary of events (well—we will have when Covid releases it’s grip)
We have been busy planning lots of events to celebrate this our 60th year. Foremost in these events is the Honda Owners Club Classic Show which this year is to be held on June 27th at Sammy Miller Museum in the New Forest. We hope that anyone (non members welcome) with a classic Honda will come along and show it off at this event . There will be classes for all classic Hondas and we will be awarding prizes ! We will also be attending the Ace Café on Sunday 4th July for their Honda Day at the Ace and the year will culminate in a National Rally in Cornwall which will be a huge celebration of our 60 years.
For immediate release