NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

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NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Allred
I ran across this brief "coverage" of the Race of the South at Brands Hatch from 1968. It is footage I have never seen before.
If you click the small icon in the top right-hand corner you can get full screen.
https://www.britishpathe.com/video/VLVA5R5N3XWUHK1U7SRO6JJQ2J4LN-UK-MIKE-HAILWOOD-WINS-INTERNATIONAL-SOLO-RACE-OF-THE-SOUTH-AT/query/Mallory

The Race of the South was an "all comers" with a machine limit of 1,000cc, and so we see a mixture of machine sizes from 750cc twins, 500 singles, 500 multis like Agostini's MV and Yamaha's 250 V4 two stroke. Hailwood had the option of using the 500cc Honda 4, but he usually opted for the 297cc Honda 6 when he could as it handled so much better and yet still produced ample power for short circuit racing.  

#89 is Ray Pickrall, presumably on a 750cc Norton as he rode for Paul Dunstall, #1 is Giacomo Agostini on the 500cc MV, and of course #3 is the man himself, Mike (the bike) Hailwood on the 297cc Honda 6. (I think #12 is Dave Croxford) Phil Read is in there on the 250cc V4 Yamaha 2-stroke.

Quite amazing that despite "space helmets" being common on the road, over 90% of the riders are still wearing "pudding basin" helmets, and of course not a colored leather in sight.

Full-faced Bell helmets didn't arrive until the very early 70s, and some racers even ventured into the unheard of realm of having a colored stripe on the arms of their leathers. Believe it or not it was quite daring for the time!!!

The simple colored stripes on the arms of the leathers on the track soon expanded to full colored leathers, then fancy patterns, endorsements, etc. etc, and soon riders were clad in the complicated leathers we see today. The fashion quickly spread to the road and my close buddy at the time went completely overboard by having a full red leather motorcycle jacket tailor-made with 5 white stars sewn down each sleeve!!! It was outrageously flamboyant, and I was secretly envious!

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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Fatfatboy
There once was a biker named Double-Fat. Who rode all over like a cafeined gnat.
When he once tried some Frenchy booze, His skills improved the more he wooz'd-
And he was heard to mumble, "Dood- that's where it's AT!"Uncle Ernie-4-24-2011
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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Allred
Note that while Giacomo Agostini, factory MV rider, and eventual 14-times world champion, rode the 500cc MV in this race, Mike Hailwood won with a considerable lead on the 297 cc Honda, a machine of 40% smaller capacity!

There's no detracting from Agostini's exceptional talent and skill as a rider, and his dedication to the sport, but he was not in the same league as Hailwood (nor was anyone else).

Another rider of exceptional skill and dedication was Phil Read, 7 times world champion. Phil once muttered to a friend,.........."Just my luck to be riding at the same time as Mike"!


This is one of my favorite motorcycling photos of all time, it just shows the laid-back comradery of the riders from competing factories.
L-R Giacomo Agostini (Factory MV), Mike (Stanley Michael Bailey) Hailwood (Factory Honda), Phil Read (Factory Yamaha), Bill Ivy (Factory Yamaha).

Agostini still has a band-aid on his nose, protection against his goggles chafing his skin. Hailwood has a t-shirt with the message,"Pommy-Bastards", a derogatory Australian comment about the British! That's Hailwood's helmet near Agostini, and presumably Bill Ivy is sitting on his!

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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Fatfatboy
This post was updated on .
That is a nice photo.

Something I’m noticing in your racing history post is the lack of Spaniards.
There once was a biker named Double-Fat. Who rode all over like a cafeined gnat.
When he once tried some Frenchy booze, His skills improved the more he wooz'd-
And he was heard to mumble, "Dood- that's where it's AT!"Uncle Ernie-4-24-2011
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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

oldironnow
Thank you for drawing out the tee-shirt quote. I was wondering.

Thanks for the pics and breadth of knowledge.

Your value is inestimable and are held dear!
Supports splitting everywhere.
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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Allred
In reply to this post by Fatfatboy
Fatfatboy wrote
Something I’m noticing in your racing history post is the lack of Spaniards.
Yes, I can't think of a single Spanish rider from the time. The sport was dominated by the British, with a smattering of Italians, Finnish, Swiss, Germans, South Africans and New Zealanders.

The sport was huge in all of Europe, top riders were national heroes. Spectator attendance in the UK was between 40,000 and 90,000, and there were races most every weekend at the various circuits. (Brands Hatch, Snetterton, Cadwell Park, Mallory Park, Donington Park, Oulton Park, Silverstone, etc, etc.)  Spectator attendance at European circuits was even greater, partly due to access by a much larger audience, and 150,000 spectator attendance was not unusual.

It also should be remembered that riders often rode in more than one class at a day's racing. A lot of riders competed in the 125cc, 250cc, 350cc and 500cc race during one day's event. So as a spectator you would see a rider like Mike Hailwood, or Phil Read, or Giacomo Agostini race several times in one day, albeit on different size machines. Today if you go to a MotoGP race you will only see say Mark Marquez, or Quartararo, race once.

The BMW outfits often dominated the sidecar races, (Klaus Enders, Max Deubel, Helmut Fath Florien Camathiest & Fritz Scheidegger) the BMW outfits were very suited to sidecar racing, and the riders also got plenty of support from BMW, but the British had a large presence. (Norman Hanks, Chris Vincent, Charlie Freeman, Pip Harris, etc.)

The early '70s saw the arrival of American riders and the "Trans-Atlantic" races were very popular (Dick Mann, Don Castro, Cal Rayborn, Gary Nixon etc. )

A large portion of the IOM TT spectator attendance was/is made up of European (non-English speaking) people. Spectators from places like Germany, Austria, Italy would make the 2,000+ mile motorcycle ride to attend. I was puzzled why we would see so many riders carrying spare tires tied to their motorcycles, back then motorcycle tires had not kept up with motorcycle power outputs and rear tires would only last 1,500-2,000 miles if the machines were ridden hard, so those riders would literally carry new tires with them because they knew they would wear out the tires on their bikes on the way there or back!


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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Allred
In reply to this post by oldironnow
oldironnow wrote
Thank you for drawing out the tee-shirt quote. I was wondering.

Thanks for the pics and breadth of knowledge.

Your value is inestimable and are held dear!
Many thanks Oldiron, I'm glad my ramblings are enjoyed.

The only way I knew what was on Hailwood's t-shirt was I had seen another picture of him wearing the same shirt and in that photo you could actually read what it said!

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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

motogrady

Good clip.   'Specially it being in color.  The different sounds of each make caught me.

Hailwoods Honda, that thing just sounded radical.
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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Fatfatboy

Came across this while researching Paul Smart's carrier. He came in 2nd.




Allred, I'm not trying to hijack your thread. I wasn't for sure where to put it and I like this the historicalness of this thread and thought it fit here.
There once was a biker named Double-Fat. Who rode all over like a cafeined gnat.
When he once tried some Frenchy booze, His skills improved the more he wooz'd-
And he was heard to mumble, "Dood- that's where it's AT!"Uncle Ernie-4-24-2011
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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Allred
This post was updated on .
Fatfatboy wrote
Came across this while researching Paul Smart's carrier. He came in 2nd.

Allred, I'm not trying to hijack your thread. I wasn't for sure where to put it and I like this the historicalness of this thread and thought it fit here.
Perfect fit, great video, thanks for posting!

Rod Gould was an extremely good racer, he became a close friend of Mike Hailwood and they ended up being partners in a motorcycle dealership in Birmingham. Sadly Hailwood died less than 2 years later.

It goes without saying Malcolm Uphill was also an excellent and very successful rider.


Phil Read (61) Mike Hailwood (35) Rod Gould (33)

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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

oldironnow
In reply to this post by Allred
Allred wrote
Fatfatboy wrote
Something I’m noticing in your racing history post is the lack of Spaniards.
Yes, I can't think of a single Spanish rider from the time. The sport was dominated by the British, with a smattering of Italians, Finnish, Swiss, Germans, South Africans and New Zealanders.

....

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I wonder if that's a function of Franco running Spain. I understand the country was somewhat isolated economically. For instance, I've read that Bultaco had to sneak in 4130 steel to make race frames. Maybe the citizens weren't free to seek work outside the country?

But then, that must not be true, as how would we have received the cultural addition of Fawlty Towers' Manuel?




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Supports splitting everywhere.
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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Allred
LOL.....it could all have had something to do with Franco. I know when I went there post-1975 the Spaniards were all very vocal about how much better it was with Franco gone.

Manuel must also have been pleased as it enabled him to join the staff of Fawlty Towers in 1975, post-Franco rule.
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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Allred
BTW, back then riders did not have "their own numbers", rider numbers were issued for each individual event, the rider would be allocated a number when they registered to race at the event, and would peel off the number from their previous race event and paste on a new one for the race event they would be attending.

So, as back then all leathers were black, the only way to "recognize" a rider at a race event would be by their helmet design.......or looking in the event program to see what number they had been assigned. That is one reason back then riders had to display their number in three places, one on the nose of the fairing, and one on each side of the fairing, so that spectators could more easily know the rider.  Riders often competed in several different classes at a day's event, and obviously on different machines, making it even more important to be able to recognize the rider by his number of the day.

I guess it also encouraged the sales of race programs!

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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Mad4TheCrest
Man, Allred, you are a fount of knowledge! I sure hope MG is going to archive the posts here to capture some of that knowledge for future motorcycle enthusiasts. Too bad we can't recover the posts from the CW forum. Lots of good stuff there too!
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Re: NOSTALGIA FOR SOME

Allred
This post was updated on .
Mad4TheCrest wrote
Man, Allred, you are a fount of knowledge! I sure hope MG is going to archive the posts here to capture some of that knowledge for future motorcycle enthusiasts. Too bad we can't recover the posts from the CW forum. Lots of good stuff there too!
Well, I was born into a motorcycling family, worked as a motorcycle mechanic, I "inherited" vast knowledge from the guys I worked with who preceded me, I got to ride everything from British bikes of all types and sizes, Italian machines from Ducatis to Lambrettas and Vespas, German BMWs, the early Japanese machines from the first Honda Benlys, YDS Yamahas and T-series Suzukis, and all on a daily basis as I worked 6 days a week. I rode my motorcycle every evening, and every Sunday we were racing on the road or attending race meetings around the country. I was young and weather was no obstacle, we rode rain or shine, snow and sleet, and while I didn't realize it at the time, I was living in, and experiencing, a unique period of motorcycle history. I never thought of it as knowledge, it's just what I experienced. I'm quite fascinated, and appreciative, that people are interested in hearing about it.

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