Mexico by Motorcycle ... in 1981
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12-08-2013, 06:18 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
That’s a great link to Phil Funnel’s story. Here’s Phil in his traditional shop at 541 East Hastings in 1973, the place where I bought the bike I rode to Mexico.
There is a new 1972 R75/5 next to Phil, and the sidecar and “On Any Sunday” (1971, with Steve McQueen) poster behind him. Of course the pre-politically correct tool company calendars in the workshop out back were even better! Phil located his shop near decades-old Pacific Cycle, which employed Phil for awhile before he quit over their poor customer service practices. Soon afterward they lost their BMW distributorship but continued to sell other brands, including Honda and Vespa until they closed in the mid-1980s. These low-quality photos were taken with a Kodak Instamatic with Flashcubes. The first one appeared in the BMWMOA “The First 35 Years” Anniversary Book. Here is Phil today:
Here is another photo in front of the shop in 1976 with Pokie, the master mechanic now in Colorado, and Shail, another great mechanic who became a Vancouver BMW dealer himself.
BMW prices were a lot lower back then!
Back to 1981. Here is Phil Funnell in his live-aboard sailboat just after I returned from Mexico—and just as interest rates in Canada went over 22% in the final battle to control inflation.
The new owners of Funnell BMW were hurt by the 1980s financial crisis like many other business owners who had to finance their inventory. The Funnell BMW going-out-of-business sale in 1983 was like a wake. There would be no more dropping-in for coffee and a rag-chew with other touring enthusiasts on Saturday mornings—and Phil did indeed develop enthusiasts, also as a BMWMOA Ambassador.
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