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Sad Good-Byes

From The Vincent HRD Owners Club Newsletter, triubte by Phil Mahood

Ross Thompson

Ross Thompson of Nairn Ontario, is well known to Vincent Owners in Eastern Canada, and well beyond, for his sheet metal restoration skills. Just after Christmas he died suddenly and very unexpectedly from a heart attack. Ross was very fit, seemingly healthy, active, and very vibrant. This was a shock to the Vintage M/C community and a huge loss. Our deep condolences go to his family and friends.

We guess that Ross has restored well over 100 Vincent gas tanks many of which were lost causes. He also repaired/restored many sets of our valanced touring fenders. These are especially tricky because of the rust that invariably formed in the pressed seams. But, if it was even remotely repairable, Ross was the go-to guy. Ross built his reputation with BSA owners doing metal-only repairs (no plastic body filler). This is critical because so many BSA tanks have chrome panels. It had to be all metal. So, he did his share of Royal Enfield, Brough Superior, and Series "A" Vincent tanks too. He was receiving exotic work from all over the world, such was his reputation.

He is pictured above at the legendary 2017 Cobble Beach Concours where his Norton won a 2nd place ribbon against the toughest field of bikes ever assembled in Canada.

The work was meticulous. On receiving a tank, he sent it to be acid dipped to remove rust and to expose all pin holes, pits and splits. Pressure testing showed him where all the repairs were needed. After pulling out dents and smoothing creases, he applied lead, braze, or weld as appropriate. Once smooth, he lined the inside so that it would never corrode again. From there, we took the tanks, fenders, headlight buckets, or what-have-you to our painter – most often John Connery. It was a path we walked for the past several decades in project after project. As wonderful and valuable as Ross’ work was, he was perhaps most known for being one of the nicest people in our game. Always smiling, always helpful, he was a true gentleman. In recent times he wanted to spend more time traveling with his wife, going to rallies, and enjoying motorcycling. So, he stepped back from the workload and did just that. But he still found time to help us out if we really needed him.

Above: Probably, the last of the Thompson/Connery tanks, this one is for my B Rapide. A treasure.

Rest in peace, Ross.

Phil Mahood, Section Organizer, Eastern Canada
From The Vincent HRD Owners Club Newsletter

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