Motorbike-mad teenager Colin Woodhams had two posters on his bedroom wall – a still from the countercultural biker movie Easy Rider and a Fantic Chopper.
More than 40 years later, the posters may have long gone, but Colin still owns his beloved chopper.
To a 16-year-old in the 1970s, the 50cc Fantic was the closest you could get to emulating Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper’s chopper-riding adventure through the American south and Colin couldn’t resist buying one.
“I should’ve bought an SS50, but when I saw the Fantic it was a no-brainer, Easy Rider was very cool at 16,” the 59-year-old told Bikesure Forever Bikes blog.
Colin, from Kidlington, bought the bike for £326 in 1974, a hefty premium over its competitors.
Initially, Colin’s relationship with the Fantic looked like lasting no longer than the average teenage romance – the pair parted company after about six months, when he still owed about £100 on the finance.
Two years after selling, fate intervened.
Colin, who now runs a construction company, said: “When I was 19 this chap said to me ‘I’ve got your old bike in my garden’. I went to have a look at it and bought it back off him.”
The Fantic then spent more than 30 years living a peripatetic existence: “I put it in my shed, then my dad’s garage.
“Then I shared a house with a mate and put it in his loft, and around 1988 he phoned me and said ‘do you want this bike, I’ve just tripped over it in my loft?’ I then put it in my shed where I live now.”
Colin’s own son is now 16 and is itching to ride his dad’s pride and joy.
“I don’t think I’m going to let him though – if he drops it I think I will be heartbroken.”
So why did Colin keep this bike for so many years?
“It’s the nostalgia. I passed my test on a moped, which meant I could carry girls on the back. I had the time of my life.
“Somebody did offer me £7,500 for it and I turned it down. I’ll keep it forever.”