On Tuesday 11 June Club members visited the Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum nestled in the picturesque New Forest.
The majority of the group braved the inclement weather and arrived in convoy to the museum on their motorcycles lead by Club member Jeremy Dodd.
The Sammy Miller Museum was founded in 1964, after former 11 times British Motorcycle Championship rider Sammy Miller set up a parts business in New Milton and placed a few of his old racing bikes in the corner. The independent museum evolved substantially and is now home to one of the largest and finest collections of fully restored motorcycles in the world. All but 5 of the 400 bike collection are in full running order and regularly attend historic events.
Club members were met by the spritely 86-year-old Sammy Miller MBE for an exclusive behind the scenes tour. The tour started in Sammy’s workshop where he talked through the history and mechanical engineering of the three bikes currently under restoration, including an AER 350cc twin two stroke, a German Hoffman and an AJS 500cc Porcupine which he described as ‘the most exotic bike in the world of its era’. Leslie Graham raced the latter bike to victory in the inaugural 1949 FIM 500cc World Championship. The bike will be heading to Goodwood Revival to honour the 70th anniversary.
The tour continued at pace through the four galleries packed with over 400 motorcycles from factory racers and exotic prototypes to historic and those of racing significance. There were so many amazing machines to discover, from racing bikes such as the V8 Moto Guzzi, Velocette, AJS Excelsior’s to famous bikes raced by the likes of Mike Hailwood and Freddie Spencer.
The visit was enthralling, made all the better by the bubbly character of Sammy Miller MBE. His sheer knowledge and passion for bikes was staggering, as was the vast and diverse collection of fine English, European and Japanese motorcycles, memorabilia and transport artefacts. It was great to hear that the museum has recently been granted permission for a 10,000sqft two-storey extension to add more exhibits to the constantly evolving display.
To view images from the day click here.