Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Triumph Motorcycles, Meriden Documentary 1983


Just watched this on Youtube. Quite sort of depressing actually, but very interesting none-the-less. Ive read about about Norton and its coming to an end, but hadn't read much further into the demise of Triumph. I was very interested in that it became a workers cooperative, but this doco shows up, superficially, some of the flaws in that. There's also an interesting bit near the end at the new factory where one old chap talks about not wanting to get work done, or parts made, elsewhere. It's a really good illustration of that old (post war) attitude towards foreign production. It was rife here in NZ as well. I was reading an old issue of 'Twin Eagle' from the mid 1990s a couple of weeks back and there was a guy writing, very proudly, about how nothing in his house was 'made in Japan'. Funny how something so specific to a particular point in time can have hung around so long. It reminded me a bit of Sid's posters for the Born Too Late chopper show, how they have 'No Jap shit' on them. But it's not like it used to be. It's a pastiche these days, because the strength and relevance of that original sentiment has faded away. Which brings me around to the new Triumphs from the Hinckley factory, with their Mikuni carbs and whatever else. It's strange, I think, that some people deny these as being 'genuine' or authentic or whatever. Again that's a nostalgic sentiment from another world that's been passed down to us from our grandfathers. It's not real anymore, and no one cares. It's just xenophobia and racism these days I think? It's what lead to Triumphs' demise in the first place.

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