Today's picture from yesterdays is a Panther Model 75. Panther's 250 and 350cc heavyweight singles were worthy enough machines but certainly not ones to get the pulse racing. Without wishing to offend owners these machines were perhaps amongst the least glamorous in the 350 single segment: budget ride to work machines very much in the mold of the Royal Enfield Clipper range. As noted previously in this blog though, what a bike was then and how it is viewed now can be two very different things. A Panther 75 may have made an Ariel Red Hunter look like exotica in its day but now can be seen as having a charm of its own and undoubtedly gives pleasure in ownership and has a certain cachet of rarity.
This particular Panther 'lightweight' (a complete misnomer but this is what they are known as in relation to Panther's 600 and 650cc single behemoths) is well equipped with screen and panniers. Little chap on board is ahead of his time safety-wise wearing a helmet in an era when most wore cloth caps on their bikes.
I remember as a child often visiting scrapyards with my father in the early eighties searching for interesting old vehicles and bits and pieces. One particular local scrappy had one of these Panthers; back then they were very much unloved and I suspect that, despite local enthusiasts knowing of its existence, it probably met its end in the crusher.
|Panther Model 75 looking loved back in the day,|
they had a dark period in the seventies and eighties but
are now cherished classics.