Ardie destroyed 5 Replies From JD, out of the pile of information remnants from the former b-cozz site. Photo’s from the through fire destroyed Ardie of Vin Ardie “Meran” RBK 503
Attention Lester Morris and the rest of the world! Yesterday I got a call from Vin’s son-in-law, who tells me he is in posession of the Ardie RBK 503 and has been trying to restore it to some of it’s former glory. It needs a total restoration and some engine casings will have to be re-cast. He also has the Zundapp K-800 4-cylinder and has the engine running, though with some clutch issues. So it seems all is not lost. I’ll ask hime for some photos.
Dear Mr Lester Morris, (how does your name ring so MANY bells!!!!!)
It’s very nice to hear your kind words and sentiments. You and I are 100% agreed that the Ardie was probably “THE most beautiful motorcycle we have ever seen”. All I have are the memories and the two photos above. I’m still crying. Such a huge loss. Vin Minogue is my mentor and an absolute legend. Vin is now in his 90s now, and has had a voicebox transplant. I spoke to him recently for the first time in years, although we have always sent each other a Xmas card and a note or two.
It took him 20+ years to restore his beloved Zundapp KS750 army sidecar bike from the ashes ($????) but then he asked me if I could source a tonneau cover for the sidecar. This made me smile. I sourced one from the remnants of KMZ Ukraine for $25 + $25 freight, and Vin received it 7 days later, and he excitedly told me “It fits like a finger in a bum!” 🙂
Long live the legend. I got to have a blast around the block on Vins K800, black with gold pin-striping, of course. It was the last bike featured in the book The Golden age of the Fours.
Lester, I would like to have a copy of ALL your books! The last decent book I bought was Jim Scaybrook’s “Along for the Ride”.
We must have met before, somewhere… maybe we could have a lunch if this damned COVID pandemic ever ends.
That would be like John Surtees making Juris Ramba a white bread sandwich with tomato sauce!
Cheers and sincerely, JD, Sydney
How very sad! I carried out an in-depth road test report on Vin’s Ardie, which was published in Two Wheels magazine in 1981. What a beautiful machine, but it was a total tragedy to have lost it in that fire. I have only just heard of it, Saturday, 4th September, 2021,as I am about to add the photos to the text, to go into my fourth book on motorcycling, along with reports of some 36 all-time Classic Motorcycles, a book I hope will be finished by Christmas time. Please be advised that I am desperately sorry I am to have heard of this. I know it wsa rare machine, and that his restoration of it was great job. Lester Morris, Sydney..
Vin’s beautifully restored Ardie was one of the most beautiful motorcycles I have ever seen. From the beautiful mudguards to the exquisite fuel tank with clock and map holder, to the Robert Bosch manual advance/retard spark “ambassador” to fire the spark plug. You can see it in the top photo just below the exhaust pipe. It was identical to the same unit used on M-72 thru MT-9 but instead of Robert Bosch cast into the unit mine says CCCP.
A tragic loss when Vin’s place went up in flames, at least he got his dear wife Wilma out.
What a monstrous tragedy! I carried out an in-depth road test report on Vin’s Ardie (and the Zundapp Green Elephant as well), the Ardie report published in Two Wheels magazine in 1981, the Zundapp in Classic Bike, Australia. I mentioned at the time that the Ardie was probably the most beautiful motorcycle I have ever seen, and I knew the enormous amount of work which was put into its restoration. I have only just heard of this, Saturday, 4th September, 2021, as I am placing the photos of this bike within the text, along with some 36 other Classic Motorcycles. This will be my latest book, which In hope to have finished by Christmas. My most sincere condolences on the loss of this most rare motorcycle. Lester Morris, Sydney.