NEXT weekend, the largest vintage motor show in the area returns after its three year break because of the pandemic, and one of the most curious exhibits will be a 101-year-old motorbike which has no clutch, no gears, no kick start and no pedals.

The Teesside Yesteryear Motor Club is holding the show at Hurworth Grange on Sunday, May 8, from 10am to 4pm.

“At our last show in 2019, we had some 400 entries covering from the 1920s to the end of the 1990s,” says organiser Tony Gray, of Low Coniscliffe. “After three years of no show, we are planning for the largest and best spectacle of old transport.”

Starring in that spectacle will be the 1921 OK Junior bike that his son, Ben, has spent lockdown restoring.

The Northern Echo: Ben Gray with his 101-year-old OK Junior which has no clutch or gears

The OK was built in Birmingham where pushbike manufacturers Humphries and Dawes were churning out 2,000 basic motorbikes a week to cater for the huge demand for personal transport immediately after the First World War.

And the OK is about as basic as it gets. “To get it going, you push it off, run alongside it and jump on, release the brake lever on the handlebars and then it just accelerates up to 25 or 30mph,” says Tony.

The brakes do help control its speed, even if it does backfire noisily as it decelerates, and when they take it out, Ben likes to plan routes with only left hand turns. If there’s a right hand turn, he might might have to stop in the middle of the road to allow the oncoming traffic to pass and then he’d have to run alongside the bike and jump on board again to get it going.

But at least the OK, which has a 270cc engine, is going. It seems to have been last sold in 1958 for £3 10s and it then looks to have been involved in a head-on collision, and so for the last 60 years it seems to have been hanging on the wall of a garage in Summerhouse, awaiting attention.

When Ben bought it, the bike was 80 per cent complete with 20 per cent of bits in boxes – although that 20 per cent was not necessarily 100 per cent of the bits that were needed to complete the bike.

After much confusion, the OK is OK for the first time in six decades. “They don’t make them like that anymore,” says Tony, “which is probably just as well.”

Entry to the show costs £3. Children are free. Refreshments will be available.

The Northern Echo: Tony Gray's 1936 Bentley, which has a top speed of 95mph. In 1936, it cost £1,510 - compare that to the price of the mid 1930s houses in the west end of Darlington on Page 2X

Tony Gray's 1936 Bentley, which has a top speed of 95mph. In 1936, it cost £1,510