Raphael Lawson: No not at all, I mainly build to see what a bike looks like in the flesh. Have it for a few months then part it out and start again. It’s a vicious cycle.
Were you too late 'shopping for oldskool BMX parts' at British Bicycle shops?
Raphael Lawson: I grew up in rural Australia and the nearest bike shop was miles away. I had one BMX magazine I read over and over again. One of the rich farmers kids had a Supergoose, I had never seen something that beautiful before. Think it was the prism decals that caught my eye and that double headtube gusset.
Do you feel that in general, the BMX Collector scene is a group of friends?
Raphael Lawson: 100%, I have weirdly made some great friends all over the world that I haven’t met in person. It's defo improved my social scene. There are some amazing people in the scene and certainly some on the other end of the spectrum.
When you need certain parts, do you keep searching for it online or do you go to people you know who might have that part available?
Raphael Lawson: I go to my friends first, as they are more likely to have the part or know somebody that does. Weirdly most of my purchases was done this way. Ebay is crazy at the moment, and Facebook groups see the ebay prices and try the same there. Having close contacts will ensure you can stay in the scene in a affordable way.
Do you prefer trading over buying?
Raphael Lawson: I do, but I find it rare that somebody wants what I have to trade. So I revert to cash.
Do your neighbours know about your BMX hobby?
Raphael Lawson: It’s a dirty secret, if they only knew the value of these things I would have to upgrade my security. Manchester is a weird place, can be very post and very rough at the same time. The locals call it Gun-chester.
What's your take on companies reproducing bikes in the oldskool style?
Raphael Lawson: I am totally in favour of that, it’s a great idea and makes it affordable for everybody. As long as those parts or bikes are clearly stamped as reproductions, winner winner.
What's one of your oldest BMX products in your collection?
Raphael Lawson: 1975 Mongoose (one of the oldest), I have only just sold it though about four weeks ago. Oldest right now is probably my 1981 Moosegoose.
When you started riding what bike was the dream bike for you?
Raphael Lawson: It was a Supergoose 1, with blue anno parts. However, I have given an Australian Cyclops, which was a rather crude copy of a Mongoose. I still have that see pics.
Do you have that bike in your collection today?
Raphael Lawson: I do indeed. I have a number of them.
Do you have a special love for American made BMX products/bikes?
Raphael Lawson: It's always been BMX Products Mongoose for me, I find sticking to one brand helps me know the ins and outs of this type of BMX. All respect to those collectors that have multiple brands in their collections. I seriously do not have the mental capacity to know the level of detail I know about Mongoose on other brands. The focused knowledge is invaluable when buying and selling parts.
Name three BMX collectors that you respect?
1) Brad Nash - UK
2) Simon Worboys - Uk
3) Paul Turner - UK
These are the guys I have the most dealings with, there are so many others I respect and admire as well.
Do you collect helmets, gear, stickers, banners to make that collection look better?
Raphael Lawson: Yes, I have patches, banners, stickers, playing cars, matchbox cars. Anything I can get my hands on Mongoose stamped on them. My fav thing at the moment is collecting BMX racing trophies (I couldn’t win any) so I am buying my fame.
Do you display your bikes from time to time?
Raphael Lawson: I have not displayed them to the public etc, although I am seriously considering attending a bike show. I have a display at home and other BMX’ers come around for a beer from time to time, I love that.
What's a bike (part) you have been looking for but haven't been able to locate?
Raphael Lawson: I am currently searching for a Mongoose Wall Mirror, very cool item from the early 80’s.
Where can people reach you when they have that part available?
Raphael Lawson: I am on most of the Facebook groups or you can find me on the BMX museum site under the name Spinnings74
Previous Episodes on FATBMX:
Episode 1: Christophe Detandt (BEL)
Episode 2: James White (GBR)
Episode 3: JT Freestyle (USA)
Episode 4: Ben Murphy (IRL)
Episode 5: Rainer Schadowski (GER)
Episode 6: GAry Sansom (USA)
Episode 7: Michael Gamstetter (USA)
Episode 8: Grant Stone (GBR)
Episode 9: Steve Blackey (USA)
Episode 10: Shannon Gillette (USA)
Episode 11: Woody Itson (USA)
Episode 12: Oliver Kienzle (GER)
Episode 13: Kelly Swanson (USA)
Episode 14: Pat A Lar (GBR)
Episode 15: Billy Mills (GBR)
Episode 16: Steve Brothers (USA)
Episode 17: Aykut Hilmi (GBR)
Episode 18: Alex Leech (GBR)
Episode 19: Mike Janssen (NED)
Episode 20: Brian Gutierrez (USA)
Episode 21: Chad Powers (USA)
Episode 22: Alessandro Barbero (ITA)
Episode 23: Chris Daly (GBR)
Episode 24: Ian MacArthur (GBR)
Episode 25: Steve Strong (GBR)
Episode 26: Stephen Joseph (GBR)
Episode 27: Paul de Jong (NED)
Episode 28: Jon Western (GBR)
Episode 29: William "LaRock" LaRoque (USA)
Episode 30: Johan Janssens (BEL)
Episode 31: Darren Chan (USA)
Episode 32: Frank Lukas (GER)
Episode 33: Jason Teraoka (USA)
Episode 34: Shad Johnson (USA)
Episode 35: PJ McKenna (USA)
Episode 36: Henry Sarria (USA)
Episode 37: Jonathan Sherwood (SAF)
Episode 38: Trevor Henry (GBR)
Episode 39: Daniel Purcell (GBR)
Episode 40: Mark McCorkle (USA)
Episode 41: Tom Sustarich (USA)
Episode 42: Adam Cox (USA)
Episode 43: Perry Wills (USA)
Episode 44: John Buultjens (SCO)
Episode 45: Jay Eley (GBR)
Episode 46: Alvin Mullins (USA)
Episode 47: Scott Barrette (USA)
Episode 48: Ashley Little (GBR)
Episode 49: Bill Batchelor (USA)
Episode 50: Steve Firestein (USA)
Episode 51: Jon Hoffman (USA)
Episode 52: Peter Ashby (AUS)
Episode 53: Patrick Freitas (USA)
Episode 54: Mel Stoutsenberger (USA)
Episode 55: Martin Primentel (AUS)
Episode 56: Chino (USA)
Episode 57: Ely D. Thomas (USA)
Episode 58: Mickael Clerté (FRA)
Episode 59: Toby Henderson (USA)
Episode 60: Eddy King (USA)
Episode 61: Byron Friday (USA)
Episode 62: Lionel Eden (USA)
Episode 63: Donnie Platt (USA)
Episode 64: Brad Nash (USA)
Episode 65: Mohamad Al Amin (MAL)
Episode 66: Christopher Wesley (USA)
Episode 67: Sean Stiddard (GBR)
Episode 68: Tyler Collins (USA)
Episode 69: Rod Miles (USA)
Episode 70: Brian Britt (USA)
Episode 71: Sean Ewing (USA)
Episode 72: Jim Fisher (USA)
Episode 73: Òscar Pallarès (ESP)
Episode 74: Jeff Utterback (USA)
Episode 75: Timmy Williams (USA)
Episode 76: Tommy Yaley (USA)
Episode 77: Jason van Buskirk (USA)
Episode 78: Stu Thomsen (USA)
Episode 79: Scott Towne (USA)
Episode 80: Raphael Lawson (AUS)