In the mid-1990s, I registered the domain nycnorton.com on the still-untamed World Wide Web (think back to those days!) to document the restoration of my 1974 Norton Commando. As a webmaster, I didn’t really know what I was doing. There were no conventions or aesthetics to adhere to. I just told my tale by putting up a photo and text, photo and text, photo and text, documenting everything I did, over the course of time. It was a blog long before the word “blog” was in our vernacular. I posted my ups and downs, and through this met many folks who communicated their own stories, or questions on how or why I did things the way I did. Kindred spirits. In 2000, I purchased a Featherbed frame with no directive or mission, only that I wanted to have something from Bracebridge Street in my garage. What evolved sent me down paths I never imagined taking. Norton motorcycles have consumed me, from a very early age to this day. I have managed to have some good successes in racing, and am proud of my aesthetic and direction – to walk the walk, and look good doing it. I have now turned my obsession into my career – racing, rebuilding, and restoring these beautiful machines to the highest level of detail, not only for myself, but for others who share this passion, and am a happy bloke because of it.
Early in the nycnorton.com days, one of my first entries was a little piece about my father. I think it sums up the roots that were planted in me, and is certainly worth telling again here:
“A few years ago while visiting my father I mentioned in passing that I’d bought a Norton. My dad gave me a perplexed look and asked, “Why a Norton?” ”I dunno”, I replied. “I’ve always had a thing for them…I can’t really explain it.” My father chuckled and walked out of the room, only to return a few moments later with a dusty old photo album. He opened it up and there, in true 1970s Polaroid glory, were pictures of me as a child sitting on my Father’s Norton. I about fell off my chair. Wow! Sure, I remembered he had a bike but had no idea it was a Norton! I never knew how cool my dad was (is). He then proceeded to hand over his stylin’ leather jacket that he wore in those days, a bit tight on him now I’d say, but looking good on me. Thanks Dad.”