The Michael HARPER-SMITH Collection

European Picture Vehicles

BIOGRAPHY

AN INTRODUCTION TO MICHAEL AND HIS COLLECTION

Michael has been involved with collecting cars and motorcycles for over thirty years and is now able to offer his extensive knowledge of European vehicles to the Entertainment Industry.
Michael lived for over 25 years in Paris and also lived several years in England, Spain and Italy as well as owning a house in the South of France near Monte Carlo. In the mid 1960s he was involved in driving Austin Healey 3000s in rallyes and riding his Vincent Rapide motorcycle on long journeys all over Europe. Living in Madrid (Spain) in the late sixties, Michael worked as a movie extra and bit actor in many commercials and ‘Spaghetti’ Westerns.
Before his flying days Michael owned the biggest Triumph and BSA dealership in France in 1970 and 1971 as well as being a Norton, Laverda, Suzuki and MZ dealer. He then became the importer for France of Russian motorcycles from 1971 to 1975. Apart from experiencing many interesting business trips to Russia in the early seventies, Michael has the dubious honor of being one of the first two people to cross the Sahara desert on motorcycles without truck or car support. Using Russian URAL motorcycles with sidecars to carry the fuel, he and his friend Fred Wells, joined London to Lagos in seventeen days across the middle of the Sahara. He subsequently became an advisor for the committees organizing the first African rallyes of the late seventies like the PARIS-DAKAR.
In 1975 Michael rode an early fifties URAL with sidecar from Afghanistan to Paris via Teheran and Istanbul in twelve days. In 1978 he explored all the Atlas Mountains in Southern Morocco on a 250 Yamaha trail bike. Over 100,000 miles on motorcycles all over the world has enabled him to experience unforgettable adventures.
Michael then spent many years as a commercial pilot delivering aircraft around the world for a company based in England. His many travels gave him first hand experience of life in different countries and enable him to acquire unusual vehicles in foreign countries. He exported Police Harley Duo Glides from Belgium, World War II BMWs from Poland, World War II Zundapps from Lybia, World War II BSAs from Egypt as well as Italian motorcycles from Ethiopia and South America.
Michael has delivered new and used aircraft across the Atlantic, around the Middle East, in Central and South America and has flown in every country in Africa (except for two!!!).
Michael speaks fluent French, excellent Spanish and good Italian. His hobbies include flying his twin engine Piper Aztec aircraft, riding classic and dirt bikes as well as messing around with boats.
His love of strange cars and motorcycles has enabled him to accumulate a diversified collection of interesting and hard to find vehicles that are indispensable to the Entertainment Industry in Los Angeles. He also maintains a small museum of approximately 50 rare European motorcycles, which enthusiasts are welcome to visit by appointment.
Michael’s expertise as a foreign vehicle consultant is available for ensuring authenticity in various scenes from around the world.
Thank you for visiting the website.
For further information and rates please contact Michael at:
TEL - (818) 705-8655 | FAX - (818) 996-3741 | E-MAIL - mharperxke@aol.com