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Old 6 Feb 2018, 08:37 (Ref:3798914)   #16
John Atkins
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John Atkins should be qualifying in the top 10 on the grid
I too remember Dennis as a true character. I used to call into the shop with my 'driver' when I was a sidecar passenger trying to source bits for our BSA powered outfit. On one occasion he tried to sell me a Formula Junior single seater on the basis that I only had to cut it in half lengthwise and widen it to make a road car. I remember him most though for a lesson in business he taught me. I was 19 and dearly wanted to make my Ariel KH twin road bike look like a Manx Norton. Dennis sold me a replica tank on the basis that if it did not fit he would buy it back. As the two frames were chalk and cheese it was impossible to fit and so I made a return journey to the shop with the tank by train and bus from Romford. I had paid 15 for the tank and when I arrived Dennis at first suggested all I had to do was cut and shut the frame, then when he admitted this wasn't very practical he offered me 7.10s (pre decimal money). When I pointed out that I had paid him twice that the day before he said there was a difference between buying and selling and that all he had said when he sold it to me was that if it didn't fit he would 'buy' it back. What with the fares both ways and the loss of what amounted to almost a week's wages for me at that time it was a lesson I've never forgotten, "read the small print".
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