Wednesday, November 16, 2016


Well this post has been a long time coming.....
Apologies to my followers for this....
But last month DQ joined up with Gert Boll from Germany, my Velocette research friend, in the UK for a 10 day tour of some archives resulting in some more interesting photos and information, particularly Velocette...
Unsure how to present this, I thought I'd select from the 1500 odd photos we collected, a range of interesting stuff...obviously I'll present more in time.
For those of you who follow Facebook group sites, I contribute to "Velocette Motorcycles", "Velocette" and my own site on motorcycle instrumentation..."motorcycles speedos, tachos and other instruments" as well as the "smiths chronometric" site....
Worth a look, perhaps even to follow....
Down to business...
In the VMCC library is a source of interesting photos, including a small collect from Rex McCandless, responsible for the Norton Featherbed frame.....
Rex testing an auto gyro with a VW engine..he made 6 in all with the early version fitted with 650cc Triumph engines.


 In 1939 Rex made a "Triton"...utilising a Norton inter frame with one of the newly introduced in 1938, 5T/speedtwin Triumph 500cc engines.
 Rex astride an NSU at Neckarsulm with Joe Craig and Ken Kavanagh.
 When I posted  this the other day...see the red text below... I read the back of the photo, above that I'd also photographed...however it is incorrect...the photo is when Norton tested the kneeler with Ray Amm riding...probably around 1953...The Vintagent comment some time back on his post... Amm and Eric Oliver took the Kneeler to Montlhery, where it broke the 1-hour speed record at 133.66mph.Thanks to John Nienhuis for alerting me to this error...
Testing the new Norton Featherbed frame at the circuit Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry near Paris in 1949...Joe Craig holds the indicator board out....124mph...
 A visit to Geoff Dodkin, renowned former Velocette agent.... Gert poses by Geoff's front gate....

Geoff now in comfortable retirement....


Perhaps as we remember Geoff more.... the last photo is off the internet at his East sheen shop and I am unable to acknowledge the source...

Its not all "work"....

Time off with Dai Gibberson to visit a  flight of canal locks near Devizes...the Caen Hill Locks,on the Kennett & Avon canal, around 29 in all in the area...
 Then a day with Ivan Rhodes...
 Engine parts for the 595cc replica of the Stuart Waycott prewar ISDT outfit Ivan and Bob Higgs are constructing...

Works bottom bevel gears...3% nickel steel.




Ivan is selling the ex Bob Foster TT winning DOHC 350 from 1949....
Speak to Ivan if you are genuinely interested....

Then we spent several days with James Robinson the editor of "The Classic MotorCycle" at Morton Motorcycle Media identifying photos for them..
The archive has many contact prints prewar in a form of albums with a penned code number...identity long lost, but often on the edge of the negative a comment....
Lets look at the 1938 ISDT which was in Wales....
 The 1938 British Trophy Team....
The 1938 British Vase B team...

 1938 ISDT,Wales, Crymmych HRMS check....

 During the 1938 ISDT in Wales...

 Some Velocette items....
 1920-22 Ladies Model two stroke...
 1928 Junior TT...#39 Harold Willis, #22 Alec Bennett #18 Freddie Hicks...Alec Bennett won, Willis second and Hicks 5th..
 1928 Junior TT...#39 Harold Willis, #22 Alec Bennett...


Brooklands....Lamacraft's supercharged 350 KTT Velocette



The Roarer being assembled before the 1939 IOM TT...looks like an OHC special of some sort under the bench.....

After assembly, ready to transport to the IOM....Percy Goodman in white coat...the lady is his sister Ethyl Denly (nee Goodman) and her husband, George Denly with glasses behind.
 In the mid 1950's the Roarer was got out to be readied for showing on the Velocette stand at various motorcycle shows as a form of advertising....note the corrosion on the casting of the rear bevel housing from standing since WW2. 
All internals were removed to make the bike lighter to move around.
 Tommy Mutton the prewar works race mechanic astride the Roarer after the mid 1950's assembly. 
The front wheel is from a mk.8 KTT racer as the original Roarer wheel was on loan to Geoff Duke for his KTT special at the time...
 Factory staff with a sectioned Velocette destined for an Earles Court or other Motorcycle Show Velocette stand....
 Bernal Osborne, the midlands editor of "The MotorCycle" tests a Velocette Valiant around 1957....
 And finally for this post...Bruce Main-Smith ( BMS) a favourite ex "MotorCycling" journalist of mine, tests a 1961 Velocette Venom Clubman Veeline near his home at Leatherhead in Surrey....

On ya Bruce...!!!




Thursday, June 23, 2016

Eric Hinton....the Velobanjogent remembers a friend and a great rider from the "Continental Circus" and Australian motorcycle racing.....

Last December was a sad day for motorcycle racing with the passing of Eric Hinton after a long illness.....The day of his funeral was a cool wet day in early summer in Sydney, but many of his  friends, acquaintances and people who respected him for the man and great motorcycle racer that he was joined his family to say their farewells......



This remembrance from me is long overdue so lets follow Eric photographically through some of his motorcycle racing life.....
Many of the photos following are a result of the diligent work by motorcycle journalist Don Cox in the preparation of his "essential reading book"...
"Circus Life"  published in 2012 and reviewed by me the other year....
And I thank Don for his permission to use them

Eric was borne into what became the Hinton dynasty of motorcycle racers....his father Harry Hinton, elder brother Harry Hinton Jnr and younger brother Robert Hinton.....
He and Harry Jnr rapidly made a name for themselves in the world of European motorcycle racing in the period 1956 to 1965 over several period during this time. Sadly Harry Jnr died of pneumonia in hospital following a crash at Imola, Italy in April 1958 when the big end of his Norton broke and seized with the bike hitting a fence and cannoned back onto the track hitting Harry in the chest.....
 
L to R... Eric, Harry snr, Harry jnr.

Eric, #2, pushes off his 350 Norton in the 1956 IOM Junior TT
 Eric and fellow Aussie Dick Thomson's Ford V8 van, transport for 1956.
Following a conversation with Keith Campbell, Eric made the decision not to ride in GPs but to enter the lesser international race meetings where start money and prize money was better but the chance of being overlooked for a factory ride was the downside.
 Pierre Monnerett, factory 350 Gilera-4 harassed by Eric at Villefranche-de-Rouergue in 1956.

#80 Eric, 350 Norton....St Wendel, West Germany.

Eric with a new 350 Manx at St.Wendel, 1956. 

 Eric #4, full bin streamlined Norton follows #8 Hans Baltisberger likely 1956 in Czechoslovakia.


 In the Chemnitz Hotel, Chemnitz Germany August 1956...Eric centre, Keith Bryen by the gramophone, Bob Brown down to Eric's right, Alan Burt to the front of Bob.
 Team Hinton 1957, Eric and Harry jnr...


Eric at the IOM TT races, 1957. He finished 5th in the Junior TT.

Eric Hinton, the toast of St.Wendel after he won the 350 and 500 races on Nortons....
Eric wins the 500 class at St.Wendel 1957


 The Hinton brothers at St.Wendel 1957
 21-7-57 the German 350 GP at Noris-ring, Nuremberg. Keith Bryen 1st, Eric Hinton 2nd and Vally Lunberg 3rd.
Harry jnr, Keith Bryen, Eric , Vally Lundberg German GP 1957.

The Hinton "camp" at the 1958 IOM TT...Harry jnr had acquired the ex Geoff Duke Velocette with an ex works 350 DOHC engine. Later on the continent at the German GP when he entered it in the 350 class he was sniggered at...but the smiles soon vanished when he finished 5th on it....When Eric was in aged care several years ago I asked him why the Velocette and he said Harry jnr felt it was a better all round ride....

Eric with the 350 DOHC  Velocette at a friends house in the Birmingham area, 1958.
Eric with Ken Kavanagh at Brno, Czechoslovakia in 1958.
Eric on his 250 NSU Sportsmax at Schleiz, East Germany 1958.
On the road in 1966 during his final tour...Eric with Jack Ahearn.
 Eric in later years......