P.J. searches for continental Parillas
A trip was planned and promised to many of the folks who came to the Parilla Days event during Sept. of 1999. This was combined with a parts finding mission to areas close by.
Belgium: We arrived in Brussels on Sept. 8th and was received by Rik Van Eycken and family. The next day was spent pulling all of Rik's bikes out of the garage and spreading them all over the backyard lawn for discussions and photographs. This took nearly all day since we had to muse over each one in lengthy detail. Suffice it to say that there was no difficulty whatsoever to burn the next three days visiting Rick's friends with exotic motorcycles. Rik has three 175cc Parillas (a 250 in Europe is rare indeed) and one other of his pals had a Compitizione Sport high-cam 175cc of which pictures were taken. On the morning of the 12th, I was dropped at the train station on the Van Eycken's way to work and stage two of my journey began.
Germany: I hadn't ridden a train in Europe since the late 60's and was amazed to discover how smooth, fast, and silent things have become. We arrived in Cologne a day early for my meeting with Gerd Gerdes. Gerd is a Bultaco racing enthusiast that was instrumental in getting a one day racing license way back in May '99 for me to ride at Germany's Formula One race track, the Nurburgring. Back then, I was there to pick up a SOHC Parilla Compitizione 250. We spent the rest of our Cologne visit at the World's Fair Exposition and experienced the thrill of long lines.
Switzerland: This was the rocket train in the truest sense of all my experience. It was the quickest, quietest, newspaper reading, comfortable six-hour journey from Hannover to Zurich I could have ever imagined. The only wake up call I had after moving about the station upon arrival was that it would cost me 60 cents to pee and a $1.20 to dump. Ah yes, the land of secret numbered accounts! Arno Flach attended Parilla Days in '99. He is also the owner of four basket case SOHC Parillas. He met me at the station which began a very busy and informative portion of the European trip. From the second we got together it was go, go, go. After a two hour drive, we visited a friend of his, who also had a Compitizione SOHC Parilla. Then another two hour drive and another friend with some of the most exotic ex works Aermacchis and ex-works Guzzis and just about anything else ex-works you can name. My camera had a field day. As with most collections however, they were stacked so tightly I could hardly get good shots of my favorites. Next, we drove another couple of hours to see another collection with more high-cam and SOHC Parillas plus Rumis, Rumis, Rumis, and on and on. Now the only thing left is a two hour drive to eat dinner and bed. Arno had big plans for the next day. First, a quick breakfast and a rocket ride in his Ferrari around the twisty roads of Swiss countryside for several hours before heading back to his modest workshop to show me one of his finished single cam Parillas. It started quickly, and ran strong. We then started off in the Flach family VW to various towns in Italy in search for harder to find items for his OHC Parillas and for my DOHC ex-works job.
Find out what happened in Italy. Click on the greyhound.