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. In those pre-blog days, I just told my tale by putting up a photo and text, photo and text, photo and text, documenting what I did over the course of time. Through the site, I met many riders who communicated their own stories, or asked questions about how or why I did things the way I did. In 2000, I purchased a Featherbed frame. I had no particular mission for it, I knew only that I wanted to have something from Bracebridge Street in my garage. What followed sent me down paths I had never imagined taking. I managed to have some genuine successes in racing, and turned my obsession into an expanding business — rebuilding and restoring these beautiful machines to the highest level of detail for others who share this passion.
Early in the evolution of nycnorton.com one of my first entries was a little piece about my father. I think it sums up the roots of my love for Norton motorcycles and is worth repeating 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.”