1929

AMID THE NEWS AND TECHNICAL REPORTS The Blue ‘Un had a taste for features that ranged from whimsical to downright silly. They often appeared around Christmas time but the two that follow were culled from January; they are, I suggest, space fillers written in advance to give the staff time to recover from the Christmas merriment (we did the same thing when I worked for Motor Cycle Weekly in the seventies and eighties). They’re easy reading and serve as a light hors d’oeuvres for a busy year on two and three wheels—and, in Ariel’s case, floats. The first, under the heading ‘In the Not-so-old days’, offers “Reminiscence of Road Adventures Experienced by a Rider of Today”, by Centaur…

“ALTHOUGH THE SUM TOTAL of my riding experience does not exceed eleven years. I have, thanks to the reliability of post-war machines, been en abled to cover many thousands of miles during that time, and in the course of my wanderings many adventures have befallen me. In consequence my memory holds a considerable store of reminiscences, some sad, some gay, but all dear to the heart of a true motor cyclist, and ever ready to conjure up visions of loved and long-departed mounts. Perhaps what was one of my most intriguing experiences occurred shortly after the War when I was re turning late one night from an East Coast town. I had reached a particularly bleak piece of open country when my machine, an old WD Douglas, started to show various signs of distress. I stopped, and discovered that a valve cotter had jammed between the valve stem and the spring collar. It was distinctly annoying, but I had little doubt that with the very complete tool kit in my possession I should soon be able to put things right. Judge my horror, then, when I found the tool bag gaping open and no sign of the contents! It was while I was composing a few sentences to describe the situation that a voice at my elbow caused me to jump with fright by enquiring ”Allo, wot’s up?’ I turned swiftly to find myself confronted by a burly specimen of the Bill Sykes type, with a large bag over his shoulder. Now. I don’t like people who roam the countryside late at night with bags on their shoulders, so I haltingly explained my trouble. ‘That all, mate?’ he said, when I had mentioned about the bike, ‘we’ll soon put that right!’ Off his shoulder came the bag, and as he spread it open in the light of the head lamp I saw that it contained tools. And what tools! Various sizes and shapes of pliers, several keyhole saws, a small crowbar—and a large bunch of keys! So much I saw before he snapped the bag to and went to my machine with a particularly neat pair of round-nose pliers in one hand and a flash lamp in the other. A few minutes’ tinkering round the engine and he straightened up. ‘Right as ninepence now, guv’nor,’ he said. A brief inspection showed me that everything was indeed OK—the cotter was once more in its rightful position. I thanked my strange helper profusely, and endeavoured to press a half-crown into his hand. ‘That’s all right, guv’nor,’ he said, ‘might want help meself someday.’ I did manage to get him to accept a cigarette. however, before he turned away with a ‘So long—mustn’t be late for work.’ ‘Work.’ I wonder…? A few months later, owing to financial reasons, I was forced to sell the Douglas, and to exist motorless. I stuck it for six months, but then the urge for wheels became almost unbearable, and when a friend announced that he knew where a perfectly good three-wheeler was going for £4 I jumped at his suggestion to go fifty-fifty in the

1929 NOT SO OLD 1
L-R: “I saw that it contained tools. And what tools!. The machine then lay on me.”

purchase of it. I am not going to say anything rude about that three-wheeler. It was a perfectly good specimen of the type usually fitted with a large body and driven by a small tradesboy. This one, however, had a remarkably comfortable two- seater body, access to which was gained by lifting a flap. Funds being limited, we were unable to tax the bus at first, so our usual procedure upon spotting a policeman who looked interested (believe me, policemen weren’t the only people interested in our turn-out!) was to open flat out and roar away at about 15mph. Failing the opportunity to do this, we would stop the engine, lift up the flap and clamber out, restart the engine by means of a huge handle, climb back into the seats, and close down the flap again. By the time this procedure was completed it was a safe bet that the Law was in convulsions—thus we got away with it! One day we injudiciously left the bus outside the house with the engine running. When we came out it was nowhere to he seen! Suddenly we espied it lovingly embracing the front railings of a house about 50 yards down the road. Visions of our cherished possession smashed beyond repair floated before us as we dashed in pursuit. We discovered, however, that the only damage was a burst front tyre—until we dragged the bus into the road! There, clinging to its underside, we saw what was once a ‘gent’s smart push-bike’, now a cross between a grid-iron and a birdcage. We were considering the proper procedure to adopt in an unfortunate contretemps of this kind when the owner of the aforementioned push-bike appeared. He was distinctly annoyed—and said so! The upshot was that we had to sell the three-wheeler to pay for the damage. And I was left motorless once more. Two years passed before I was able to afford another motor cycle. This time my choice fell upon a huge Yankee twin. I could have chosen something more suitable, for my small stature really necessitated a pair of steps in order to reach the saddle! Also, once aboard I could only just touch the ground with the tips of my toes; consequently traffic riding was far from pleasant. However. I managed without too many adventures until, owing to pleasure from a feminine quarter, I attached a sidecar. Then trouble started in earnest. In fact, it started while I was fixing the ‘chair’, and was probably due to just indignation on the part of the bike at the thought of being put into harness. Anyway, it pushed me into the sidecar and then lay on me. I was there a good five minutes before a pal found me and removed that 300lb of knobbly ironmongery from my chest. By that time the arm had entered my soul! I had some good times with the sidecar—after I had learnt to keep the wheel down—and there was always competition among my friends as to who should occupy the ‘chair’ in the absence of the usual fairy. One fellow in particular, a huge chap weighing about 13 stone or so, was terrifically keen, and not particularly scrupulous as to how he got the rides, either! One day I had just left the garage with an empty sidecar and was accelerating down the road at about 10mph when a sudden crash at my side nearly caused me to lose control. I looked down and found to my amazement that my fat pal was snugly ensconced amid the cushions. He was grinning all over his face, and plainly pleased at the success of his vaulting act. But suddenly a look of horror began to erase the smile, and searching for the cause of his dis comfort I was astounded to see that his body stopped short at his knees—the rest of his legs was missing! Of course, I guessed at once what had happened. The force of his fall had knocked the floor-boards clean out of the side-car and allowed his legs to drop through on to the road. Here was a chance for revenge, I

1929 NOT SO OLD 2
L-R: “Our usual procedure was to open flat out and roar away at about 15mph. The owner of the push bike…was distinctly annoyed…allowed his legs to drop through on to the road.”

thought. I could see that he would have the utmost difficulty in extricating himself, so I throttled down to about 4mph and made the fellow walk about a quarter of a mile inside the sidecar. Some young ladies who were on distinctly good terms with my friend assured me later at me that the sight was very amusing. Anyway, this particular lad suddenly lost his interest in sidecars, and never asked for another ride! Some months passed, during which I owned many weird and wonderful machines, mostly of the side-valve variety. But, as was inevitable, I eventually got bitten by the speed bug. Nothing less than an ohv Norton could satisfy my desires, so by dint of careful saving one of these machines came into my possession. It was fast when I first purchased it second-hand, but (spare my blushes) it went a bit faster after. I had played about found with the ‘works’. Thereafter, with true boyish enthusiasm, I would haunt the wide open stretches of an arterial road nearby, in search of trouble. Eventually it came—good and proper—in the guise of a mild-looking little man dressed in a mackintosh suit and trilby hat, and riding a most disreputable-looking side-valve single with real ‘touring’ handle-bars. He passed me at about 40mph without the slightest of side-long glances. That couldn’t be allowed, so I promptly turned up the wick and repassed at about 50mph, and kept the bus at that speed in the hope of losing him. I had gone perhaps a quarter of a mile when to my amazement s terrific clatter at my side told me that my adversary was not yet done with. As he came level I opened flat out, and as the speedometer climbed to the ’65’ mark, I was gratified to find that the clatter gradually dropped behind. Not for long, however, for this time he took a run at me and if he wasn’t doing a cool 70mph as he passed, well—I’ll eat my bowler hat, brim and all! At this point in the argument the arterial road degenerated into a fairly narrow country lane with numerous twists and bends. The way that fellow cornered was a revelation! Suffice it to say that after the second bend I never saw him again, and I went home in a very crestfallen state with a considerable amount of conceit knocked out of me. It was not until that evening, when discussing the denoument with my greatly amused friends that I found my late adversary was none other than ————, the famous TT rider. Apparently he was also riding his TT machine, suitably detuned, I suppose, for touring purposes!”

AND, SECUNDUS, A SMASHING space filler from The Motor Cycle’s Northern correspondent Wharfdale, which even sports a superior version of ‘the editor called me into his office’ cliche intro. The editor was, for no clear reason, known by his scribes as ‘Horace’; the features was headlined ‘Thanks, Horace!’ with the intro “Orders from ‘GHQ’ that Resulted in a Scramble in the Snow at England’s Winter Sports Centre.” Over to you, Wharfdale…

“IT WAS A VERY FAINT VOICE INDEED that drifted over the long-distance line. But it was a voice to which one gave heed. It was the voice of Horace speaking from the gloom and fog of London. And the voice said: ‘Look here, Wharfedale, you’re supposed to live in the frozen North; why haven’t we had an article about winter riding on snowbound roads? Must have one this week.’ Now, by all the conventions of writing, I should have replied to this opening gambit by one of two methods: one, the ambitious, young and enthusiastic journalist—the go-getter who will produce his ‘copy’ briskly at the right moment and win the fair daughter of the ‘chief’ (method ‘a’ for short); or the soured hack, bereft of hope, single blessedness and enthusiasms (method ‘b’). Method (a)—’Yes, sir, at once, sir, it shall be done.” Immediately followed by floppy sounds ‘off’ as of waders being flung on; then the ‘staccato bark of a well-tuned single’. (Ertcher!). Method (b)—’Oh, yes! Well, we’ve a fog on here, but I’ll step out and order some snow. Say, what are you doing in the office, anyway? Can’t you…?’ As a matter of fact I didn’t follow either of these methods for the simple reason that my secretary took the call. (By secretary I mean the charming young lady who gives the once-over to mad inventors before admitting them into the inner presence, and who discreetly fades away when the local clubmen drop in to query, ‘I say, have you heard this one?’) Yes. She dealt with Horace, and her reply, I believe, was something to this effect: ‘Mr Wharfedale isn’t in. No. He’s gone out to take some photographs. Yes. Snow pictures, I think.’ Observe the signs of quiet and unostentatious efficiency (ahem !). Horace rings up for a winter riding article, and his faithful lieutenant has already adventured forth into the snow-bound wastes to seek experiences and pictures! But there is a terrible confession here to be made. Let us whisper it. Very low…Wharfedale has gone out in a car! It was like this: There were two cameras and a big box of slides to be carried, and Christmas festivities, not to mention a few club dinners, had left rather a weak feeling. So that’s why I stole out secretly in a thing with a wheel at each corner, and travelled via Macclesfield and over the ‘Cat and Fiddle’ towards Buxton—headquarters of English

1929 WHARFSNOW
L-R: “Level unbroken snow and not too deep. Solo riding in snow is not particularly easy. Toboganning in Derbyshire.|”

winter sport. The snow lay thicker as the higher country was reached, and the powdering on the low-lying fields became a dense white blanket on the hills. The sheep were down off the moors and dotted the roadway. An AA sergeant, with his outfit, was fixing a ‘Chains advised’ notice to a telegraph pole. Five gaily-clothed ski-ers had just started out across the snow-buried heather as I pulled up at the summit, where their big saloon was sheltered behind the famous inn. Now for the camera work, I said, rather peeved at just missing the ski party. Anyway, they were heading for the Goyt valley, so, happy thought, I would cut them off. I drove down the old road in that direction. It looked good, too! Level, unbroken snow, and not too deep. But a hundred yards from the main road there was a swerve and a lurch, and the car came to rest. ‘Throwing in the reverse,’ as the lady novelists say, I tried to back out but nothing happened. Happy thought number two! Put the chains on Did so, and still nothing happened. Car resting bodily on drift, all wheels clear of terra firma. It didn’t need two cameras to photograph that car, which was my only picture, but it did need the mats, floorboards, the AA sergeant (who providentially came up) and a helpful young man with a shovel—who appeared out of thin air apparently—and my brow darker. This seemed bad work; so next day the faithful ‘model’ was brought Out. Soft snow of even depth is easy; hard, frozen snow, especially if much broken or rutted, may call for firm steering. The polished ruts made by much heavy traffic are perhaps most trying, but I find that an even, steady pace, a fairly hard front tyre, and feet at the ready will get you there with safety. I always like to pioneer a rut of my own in the unbroken snow at the roadside. Lorries don’t leave you the road crown, and big saloons, chain-shod, come hooting along without yielding an inch. Discretion is the better part of valour in such circumstances. Give them room, brother. Snow, part melted, is more searching than any other form of wetness. Remember thy chains, and keep them oily. and cover up thy magneto. My second day was much more successful than my first—after all, a solo’250′ can’t become the incubus that half a ton of car, floated on top of a drift. can be. One can drag, lift or push the two-wheeler through most places. on long as they are not too bad to walk through. True, I wasn’t able to carry two big cameras and a great box of slides. But I had a good day. and practised all kinds of skidding, both plain and figure, in the snow patches. And got home with a wonderful appetite, and so to bed, praising Horace for his thoughtfulness in sending the instruction that justified my leaving the workaday office for an outing on Peakland’s snow-covered hillsides.”

OTHER FEATURES IN THAT January issue of the Blue ‘Un included ‘Cameos from the Wooded Westland’ (a spread of West Country scenic pics “to stimulate the desire to visit this district when the longer days arrive”); ‘The Sound at Daybreak’ (a fishing yarn by H Mortimer Batten that opened with “There was the faintest brightening of the east as we packed up our tackle for the night—our baskets were heavy with trout running three to the pound…”; and ‘The Return to the Fold’, with the intro “After being Fleeced by Wolves and Wandering in Strange and Unaccustomed Paths, a Lost Sheep finds his way back to the Cote.” I can’t resist inflicting the opening paragraph on you: “I know not what precisely are the feelings of ecstasy and reclaimed vitality that follow a successful operation of rejuvenation, but I presume—if all that is claimed for it is authentic—that the grafting of monkey glands into an elderly person’s internal working assembly must produce a state of exhilaration and animation somewhat resembling my own at the present time. I hasten to add that I am far from the tottering stage, but I am again taking an active interest in the affairs of the motor cycle universe after twelve months’ divorce from participation in this sport of ours.”

YOU’VE SUFFERED ENOUGH. Take a dose of Ixion to clear your palette. In fact take five doses.

HAPPY DAYS! “Since December 28th I have been prostrated with a frightful attack of Exeterenza. My Squirrel has hibernated; my Ariel hack has cast a shoe and gone dead lame; my Panthette retired to the warmest and darkest recesses of its cage, and not even a sucking pig filched from the larder on Christmas Eve and dangled before the bars would induce it to come out. At last I cadged a scat with one of The Autocar plutocrats and went west in a ‘sunshine’ saloon with the roof stuck full open. Hence my New Year message of hope has had to wait till this issue. All the best to everybody! If you’ve got a bike, may it go well; and when it goes too well may a passing fly temporarily blind the bobby who sees you. It you haven’t got a bike, may the relation whom you value least decease as painlessly as possible and bequeath you the wherewithal. May your pillion fairy balance nicely, never cling too tight. and insist on paying for all her tarred stockings. If you’re in the trade, may you enjoy record sales, encounter no service grouses, and make no bad debts. If you’re on the Press. may you soon have a new editor. Above all, may we have lots of sunny week-ends and decent weather for the TT.”

“A STRANGER IN A (VERY) STRANGE LAND. My Christmas letters from the exiles are beginning to flow in. One of them is the only Briton in a big German factory. For one thing he is a Tory, and his men are all flaming scarlet in politics, which annoys him. For another, he has ‘never defaced his bus by a carrier housing a pair of gawky legs’, and the local lads all take pillion riders and corner slowly on top gear with both inside boots on the ground. For another, he considers the local Helles beer a miserable substitute for Worthington, and when a single bottle of Black and White appeared on the shelf of the local ‘Pig and Whistle’ (‘Der Vaterland’), they charged him 1.75 marks for one finger of it. For another, he has to tighten up nuts on the job with a spanner that doesn’t fit. He has only once seen a motor cycle exceeding 30mph and when the rider’s hat fell off no attempt was made to recover it, from which he opines that the lad was fleeing from justice in a completely scared condition. He showed the Blue ‘Un pictures of the Scott Trial round the works, and the local riders seemed considerably shocked, and remarked that it was ‘very bad for the bikes. and ought to be verboten’. A very bad attack of homesickness, gentlemen!”

“CONTROLLING A REAR-WHEEL SKID. Your reaction period, as the RAF call it (ie, the interval between putting the lighted end of a cigarette in your mouth and ejecting your pet oath) may be so long that you will hit mother earth before you take any steps in the matter of the back wheel, but unless you are a dreadful dud or frightfully old you will instinctively do something. You may do it late, or do it wrong, but you are pretty sure to do something. And if you are youngish, and have any notion of balance, and your nerves have not been shattered by riotous living, you will very soon learn to correct a rear skid with accuracy and success. If the rear wheel skid occurs on the diabolical surfaces which trials secretaries love, the wrench of correcting skid No1 may induce skid No2. Skid No2 will catch you in the wrong mood for cool and scientific action. Your mouth will be wide open, and regrettable words will be hosing out of it. Your heart will have deserted its proper location under the left armhole of your vest, and will be fluttering under your collar-stud. Your feet may be doing splits at the level of the filler cap. Your elbows will probably be akimbo, and your tongue sticking out far enough to lose its tip when your teeth close. But one rear skid occurring by itself is child’s play on ordinary surfaces and with an average bike.”

1929 FERRYBELL
“Ferry ahoy! the ferryman at Greenway on the Dart is called by the ringing of a bell at D(ittisham on the opposite bank of the river.” (They filled half a page with this study of a flapper ringing a bell, but it is a charming pic.)

“THE SIDESLIP BOGY. I notice that all my letters from utility riders of over thirty years of age mention the dread of side-slip, and it is a fact that no factory has ever yet organised any intense research into this bogy. Until a man is fifty years of age or so he does not seriously mind those tumbles which we all take on occasions. But the trouble to-day is that there is so seldom any free space on the road whereon we may fall. If we lose control of the bus in a skid, the odds are that we shall find ourselves under a lorry or a motor ‘bus. So a man who tries riding to work in any city or industrial area decides after one or two lucky falls that the next fall will very probably lead to his being ironed out into a pink mash by a five-tonner, sells his bus, and buys a tram season ticket. One or two machines have proved unusually easy to hold up. The original open-frame Scott was one; the duplex-steering OEC is another. The question is whether a year’s research on the part of a No 8 hat might not evolve a machine which almost anybody could hold up at normal speeds on all normal surfaces. After all, a very moderately expert push cyclist never fails off in a skid (apart from trapping a tyre in a tramline); and his centre of gravity is very much higher than that of a motor cyclist, while his tyres afford far less grip of the road. The solution of this problem is one of the main keys to establishing utility twelve-months-a-year motor cycling on a firmer basis.”

“‘ADDLESTONE’, A CORRESPONDENT of mine, is thoroughly thrilled with the proposed Everyman Trial in 1930. His local cycle shop boasts a stock ranging from the 19lb stripped road racer with dropped bars to an all-black, heavy tourer with sit-up-and-beg bars ; he says if all cycle shops stocked nothing but 19lb. road racers most of the cycle shops would have to close down within six months. Whereas, by contrast, in motor cycle showrooms the road-burner type of bus always has the place of honour, just as it has in the Press and in trials and club life; and a utility bus, manageable by a weak or elderly or female rider, can seldom be found in the stock of a small agency, though it could, of course, be obtained to special order. Suggestions that Addlestone makes for an Everyman bus run as follows: (1) Short wheelbase (ie less leverage created by a skid). (2) Tyres not less than 3in (irrespective of machine’s size). (3) Four standardised nuts, with two double-ended spanners. (4) Legshields (quickly detachable). (5) Magneto high up behind engine. (6) High clearance (utility riders frequent tough lanes). (7) Woolly side-valve engine, with tolerable acceleration. (8) Safety on grease to bc intensified by research. (9) Genuinely adjustable riding position. (10) Experimental designs to be vetted by duffers rather than by experts. (11) Large silencer, easily cleanable.

1929 SIDESLIP
“Marshland and dykes, sand, shingle and groynes were all traversed by members of the Clacton MCC in a recent event.”
1929 ALBERTS
“The hero! N Alberts (Royal Enfield) who won the recent Clacton MCC scramble along the coast from St Osyth to Clacton. He overed the four-mile course in 19¼ minutes.”

WE’LL HEAR MORE FROM Ixion anon but that reference to the Everyman Trial bears some explanation, for which we can turn to the Editor’s comment…

“A LONG CAMPAIGN ATTRACTING New Adherents. On all sides remarkable support is forthcoming for the ‘Everyman’ motor cycle trial, for which this journal has offered £500 in cash prizes. This support is extremely gratifying, because until last year The Motor Cycle ploughed a lone furrow in its demand for silent, easy-to-start, docile machines. Never did we allow lack of support to deter us from our set purpose, since it was becoming abundantly clear that the lines of motor cycle development ever since the War were such that in time the movement would inevitably become narrowed down to a purely sporting pastime. In short, the quest for speed involved ever-increasing weight and noise, and deterred many from joining the ranks. At that time-our insistent demand for silent and more refined machines was even distasteful to a number of motor cyclists and to manufacturers. But happily a change of feeling has come about. It is now apparent that our views are ‘widely held by riders, manufacturers, and by both the lay and technical Press. ‘We welcome this support, since it should do much to ensure the development, and ultimately the wide popularity, of ‘Everyman’ motor cycles.” Now firmly in ‘smug’ mode, the editor included extracts from past issues in 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927 and 1928 to prove his point, including a reminder that “it was The Motor Cycle which, urged a 250cc TT Race in order to foster the lightweight machine, and though the ACU would not at first organise a separate race for this type, our trophy was accepted and awarded in 1920 and I921…Later, in 1925, when phenomenal speeds were being attained with special fuels, this journal put up a strong stand against the use of non-commercial fuels, with a view to checking the development of purely racing engines in so-called touring machines…More recently, a 250 silencer competition was organised by The Motor Cycle in 1927 in a steady campaign against noise and with the object of making motor cycles more generally popular. Our main deduction was that multi-cylinder machines offered the greatest scope in the matter of silence, smooth running, and flexibility.”

1929 EVERYMAN OPINIONS AW

“As an old motor cyclist dating book to Ixion’s earliest adventures, I read in The Motor Cycle with much pleasure of the enterprise shown by you to taking up the cudgels on behalf of our much neglected friend ‘Mr Everyman’. All sporting motor cyclists will commend you for this, because they will rejoice to know that, although ‘Mr Everyman’ may not appreciate the thrill of speed, he will enjoy in some measure motor cycling pleasures, on his daily run to and from his work, on his little utility bus. The yearly output of the ‘Everyman’ machine will, in time, far outnumber that of the sporting type, and mean employment for thousands of present unemployed, and add thousands of hours to the working man’s life, which may be spent according to the choice of his hobbies. Factories will be kept going right through the year at a steady rate instead of the violent fluctuations experienced by motor cycle manufacturers engaged in producing machines which are entirely unsuitable for winter riding.
AW CHATTELL

“Your continual advocation of machines for the tourist and ‘general’ motor cyclist, and your emphasis of the danger of stagnation of design resulting from the ‘speed at any price’ policy, must have hearted considerably many men who, like myself, regard a motor cycle as a means of pleasurable and economical transport rather than as a sports outfit. There are two items in the very desirable ‘Renaissance;=’ of motor cycles, however, which I take the liberty of adding to those with which you have so exhaustively dealt: (1) The rendering of a motor cycle a compact unit instead of a collection of apparatus. (2) The adequate provision for the carriage of luggage, etc. Those who traverse bush roads in summer need no reminder of the enormous amount of work involved in keeping the machine tolerably clean, and when removing caked red dust from innumerable ‘dirt traps’ we sigh for a clean crankcase-gearbox-magneto-oil pump which could be wiped bright with the minimum of inconvenience…Now providing provisions for the carriage of personal luggage…My ideal equipment…would be…The carrier to be built well forward so that the front cross member may be used as a hand-rail by the pillion passenger, and also that the maximum weight may be over the centre of the wheel. Brackets to be welded to the side stays for the optional attachment of large metal pannier bags.
TRUSTY T, New South Wales.”

“I note with great pleasure that you are offering a substantial prize through the medium of the ACU for the development of a utility or ‘Everyman’ motor cycle. As a designer I am naturally much interested in this, and wish the project every success.
TH JONES, OK-Supreme Motors Ltd.”

“May I be permitted to compliment you upon your initiative in the matter of the proposed ‘Everyman’ motor cycle? I believe that the step you have taken is of vital importance to the manufacturer, and, above all, to the would-be driver of a motor cycle…I believe that an entirely new public would adopt motor cycling for business and pleasure if a trial were conducted to develop and to measure all these items of conduct. Comfort is a part of efficiency, and may be defined as the absence of the unintentional. It would be very amusing were you to offer a prize for the reader who succeeds in placing, in the most popular order, such features as springing, silence starting, weight, speed, cleanliness, hill-climbing, and reliability.
AM LOW MIAE, etc.”

ARIEL BOSS JACK SANGSTER wasn’t short of talented designers: Val Page led a dream team including Edward Turner and Bert Hopwood. Having won the Maudes Trophy for two years running Ariel stayed in the limelight when Harry Perrey and FE Thacker crossed the Channel in three-and-a-half hours aboard a 497cc Ariel ‘amphibian’. They must have enjoyed themselves as they immediately rode back again.

1929 ARIEL CHANNEL
Perry and Thacker leaving Dover and arriving at Calais aboard the Ariel amphibian.

THE ITALIAN OPRA (Officine di Precisione Romane Automobilistiche) boasting the motor cycling world’s first dohc transverse-four lump, was raced at the Belfiore circuit in Mantua by Italian champion Piero Taruffi. He led the field until the penultimate lap when the engine blew up, as it had in its 1927 debut.

DANGEROUS DRIVERS IN BUCHAREST risked being handcuffed and paraded through the streets with signs round their necks reading “BAD DRIVER” (or, this being Romania, “ȘOFER RĂU”.

THE AA REPORTED THAT traffic outside major population centres had risen by 12% in the previous year—and by 500% in six years.

THE WALL OF DEATH followed speedway into the UK; the first venue was the Kursaal Amusement Park, Southend-on-Sea. And the first star of the new attraction was Tornado Smith from Boxford, Suffolk, starting a Wall of Death career that would last until the late sixties by which time he had ridden thousands of miles horizontally, often carrying a lioness in his sidecar. Mrs Smith rode the wall too, under the stage name Marjorie Dare. Rather than Spandex, bespectabled Tornado rode in brown riding boots, grey trousers, white shirt and tie, plus a black beret with a skull and crossbones badge. Reflecting the stunt’s American roots, for many years Indian Scouts were the bikes of choice.

1929 TORNADO SMITH
Wall-of-death riders Tornado and Mrs Smith (who rode the wall aboard her own Indian Scout) take a break with their lioness Briton and, inevitably, a lamb.

“A DROP IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN. The number of motor cycles registered in New Zealand at the end of last October was 38,710. The number of machines in Indo-China is about 15,00.”

“A DIFFERENT ROAD RACE RECORD: The equivalent of 217 miles of all-concrete road were laid in the British Isles during 1928, and this constitutes a record in this country for any one year.”

“NOW LONDON WANTS TO PLAY! Automatic traffic control is to be tried again at two points in London. Red and green discs will be used, and there will probably be semaphore arms raised and lowered like railway signals.”

1929 SKI-ERS
“Skilful riding demanded—ski-ers riding behind motor cycles, one of the most thrilling of the winter sports in the Algauer Alps.”

“WHY NOT BRITISH RIDERS?’ British machines will be used by three Swedish motor cyclists who will shortly start an expedition from Stockholm to Capetown.”

“WEST (VERY EXPENSIVE) RIDING. Motor cyclists will be sorry to hear that the cost of providing traffic police in the West Riding of Yorkshire amounts to £20,000 a year.”

“OCH, OIRELAND! ‘It was very wet in the Midlands on the night of 27th-28th December, and this may have accounted for the large number of failures in the London-Exeter Run.’—An Irish paper.”

“SWAN SON (PIANISSIMO). Every evening, it is said, there is a noise trap in operation between Fair Green and ‘The Swan’, Mitcham. It is therefore inadvisable to employ the loud pedal in this vicinity.”

“OF COURSE (TWICE). During 1928 over 10,000 cases were dealt with by the RAC ‘Get you home’ service, and this, of course, easily constitutes a record. The majority of the breakdowns occurred to motor cars.”

‘HE’S AN AIRMAN. Another TT winner has joined the ranks of ‘plane owners. WL Handley, true to his tradition, has purchased a ‘hot’ single-seater—an SE5A. This machine previously belonged to Mr Will Hay, the comedian.”

1929 WAL'S SE5A
Hot indeed—Wal Handley’s SE5a, powered by a 220hp Hispano-Suiza engine, could do 115mph; it was arguably the best British single-seat fighter of World War One.

“THE BRAKE. In Spain now motorists are imprisoned for not less than six years if they knock a man down, and for not less than twelve years if they kill him. This is an inexorable rule. There have been no motor accidents in Madrid since the law came into force on New Yard’s Day [three weeks before].”

“THE CHOICE: BLIND OR UNABLE TO SEE? A correspondent in a daily paper says that the best way to guard against blinding headlights is to wear sun glasses while driving at night.”

“BACK INTO HARNESS. There are one or two glimpses of motor cycles in the British war film ‘Victory’, and it is to the credit of the producer that he went to the trouble of obtaining WD Triumphs for the purpose. In one scene, however, he slips up, for a ‘P’ model—first made in 1925—is discernible.”

1929 TRIUMPH HP
Fancy pretending a model P is a model H! (But still better than the 1961 Triumph TR6 masquerading as a Wermacht BMW R75 in The Great Escape.)

“‘AUSSIES’ DON’T CARE! The distance between Bendigo and Melbourne in the State of Victoria is 100 miles, and some time ago a solo Rudge-Whitworth carrying four men accomplished the journey and back again in slightly under eight hours. Subsequently the Bendigo Dunelt agent decided to make an attack on this ‘record’, with the result that a 249cc Dunelt has travelled, four up, from Bendigo to Melbourne and back in 5hr 59½min. The men who made the trip must have been rather heavier than the Rudge riders, for the Dunelt equipage weighed 63 stone, compared with the 41 stone of the Rudge outfit.”

1929 4UP+FINLAY
L-R: “The Dunelt with its four riders, which travelled 200 miles in less than six hours. In spite of seven punctures, Alex Finlay rode from Melbourne to Sydney and back (1,130 miles) in 42 hours 51 minutes on a 493cc BSA sidecar outfit sealed in top gear. The outward journey was accomplished in 16 hours 38 minutes. Finlay won the Australian ‘TT’ last year.”

SEVEN 350S WERE SELECTED from AJS, BSA, Douglas, Francis Barnet, Matchless, New Hudson and OEC for evaluation by the Army. Before the tests were completed the War Office stepped in to set up a comparison between Douglas and Triumph, both of which had supplied successful DR bikes in the Great War. The Duggie L29 was selected over Triumph’s NL3 but orders were subsequently placed for BSA ohv V-twins and Matchless Silver Arrows.

NSU SENSIBLY STOPPED MAKING sports cars to concentrate on bikes, and for the first time it appointed an agent in Japan, as did Guzzi and BMW. They were competing with a new range of 350 and 500cc sv singles and a 500cc V-twin from the newly formed Japan Automobile Co (JAC).

WITH ONE EYE ON THE EXPORT market, Depression-hit Harley Davidson launched a 497cc sv single. The Japanese—biggest importer of Harleys after Australia)—persuaded Harley to sell them the rights, blueprints, machine tools to the obsolete 1,200cc twin’ with the loan of personell to show them how to set up a modern motor cycle production line. The Japanese learned about workshop cleanliness, precision manufacture of spare parts, assembly line operations; in short, everything they needed to mass produce motor cycles. The Harleys the Japanese company built were dubbed Rikuo (Continent King) and became the standard mounts for the Japanese army. The Japanese began adapting the machines for military use straight away, developing a combo with sidecar drive and plenty of ground clearance. Delegations from other Japanese factories visited the new plant.

1929 HARLEY 29C 500
Harley’s 29C 500cc one-lunger was designed as an entry-level model.

A JAPANESE CORK MANUFACTURER names Toyo Kogyo Co Ltd developed a 250cc two-stroke motor cycle and made six machines in its first year. Before long Kogyo changed its name to Mazda.

BERT LE VACK WENT TO Arpajon to raise the flying-kilometre world record to 129mph on his Brough Superior–his fourth world record. But after seven years in British hands the record was snatched by Germany when Ernst Henne in a streamlined suit and lid, did 134.68mph on a supercharged 735cc BMW —the first of his 76 land-speed world records.

1929 LE VACK HENNE
Bert did 129; Ernst upped the ante to 134.

HERE’S A TT REPORT from the guru—Geoff Davison, editor of the TT Special and author of the definitive Story of the TT: “The most memorable race in 1929 was the Senior, in which Charlie Dodson repeated his success of the previous year. On this occasion, however, the weather was good and Charlie’s average speed was 72.05mph—the first time that a race had been won at over the seventy mark. Also—an interesting point—Charlie’s time was 32min better than his winning time in 1928. The race was notable, too, for the fact that Rudges were really in the picture for the first time since 1914. Tyrell Smith was the Rudge favourite and he led for the first two laps. Then he crashed at Glen Helen, to allow another coming star, Tim Hunt, to take the lead. Tim was delayed in the fourth lap, however, and Charlie Dodson came to the front to win from Alec Bennett, on another Sunbeam, by nearly five minutes, with Tyrell Smith less than a minute behind. It was clear that one had to reckon with the Rudges. ‘Why was your fourth lap so slow?’ I asked Tyrell. ‘ Slow!’ he exclaimed. ‘It was nearly a case of stop altogether! I had a lead of about three minutes, I think, when I came to Glen Helen on the fourth lap. It was a pretty tricky bead in those days and I took it a shade too fast. The exhaust-pipe touched the road and spun me round. I crashed into the bank, was winded and tore my leather, badly. They carried me into the hotel and pinned my clothes together. After a bit I got my breath back, but had a nasty pain in my chest. However, I came

1929 TT SMITH SUNBEAM 3
Tyrell Smith caught in the process of breaking three ribs and gashing his leg open at Glen Helen; he still finished 3rd in the Senior. (Right) Motor Cycling captioned this pic: “Messrs A Simcock, CJP Dodson and Alec Bennett—the winning Sunbeam Senior Team.” Sunbeam took home the Manufacturers Team Prize for the third year running.

out of the hotel to see what was doing and found that someone—Bob McGregor, I think it was, but I was never quite sure for I was still rather dazed—was holding my machine up with the engine running and the clutch out, strictly contrary to regulations, all ready to move off! They sat me on it and, still very muzzy, I let in the clutch and carried on. I believe that the officials had more than half a mind to stop me and they would certainly have been quite justified in doing so, for it was discovered later on that I had cracked three ribs. I was very glad that they didn’t, however, for I was just able to carry on and I was very glad to finish third.’ [just 17sec/0.26mph behind Alec Bennett.] The Junior race resulted in another win for Velocettes—their third in four years—this time by Freddy Hicks, of Brooklands fame. Wal Handley brought his AJS into second place and Alec Bennett, also on a Velocette, was third [Hicks and Handley, of course, were both former TT winners]. Less than two-and-a-half minutes divided the first three men, as against over eighteen minutes in the Junior of the previous year. In the Lightweight race Excelsiors scored their first win, after a duel with the Italian Guzzi. Pietro Ghersi led until the end of the fifth lap, with Sid Crabtree 2in 40sec behind him. It looked like a safe win for Italy, but in his sixth lap Pietro broke down and Sid took the lead, to win by over five minutes from Ken Twemlow (Dot).” RESULTS: Senior: 1, Charlie Dodson (Sunbeam),3hr 39min 59.0sec, 72.05mph; 2, Alec Bennett

1929 TT HICKS CRABTREE
Freddy Hicks rides his cammy Velo through Parliament Square en route to victory in the Junior. (Right) Excelsior won its first TT, courtesy of Sid Crabtree (and if I were Sid I’d have had that cigarette card in my wallet).

(Sunbeam); 3, HG Tyrell Smith (Rudge); 4, Percy [Tim] Hunt (Norton); 5, G Ernie Nott (Rudge); 6, Freddie G Hicks (Velocette); 7, AE Simcock (Sunbeam); 8, CW [Paddy] Johnston (Cotton); 9, Edwin Twemlow (DOT); 10, SP Jackson (Montgomery). Junior: 1, Freddie G Hicks (Velocette) 3hr 47min 23.0sec, 69.71mph; 2, Wal L Handley (AJS); 3, Alec Bennett (Velocette); 4, Charlie JP Dodson (Sunbeam); 5, Tom Simister (Velocette); 6, 0D Hall (Velocette); 7, Syd A Crabtree (Velocette); 8, 0K Burrows (DOT ); 9, Kenneth Twemlow (DOT); 10, JW Shaw (Velocette). Lightweight: 1, Syd Crabtree (Excelsior), 4hr 8min 10.0sec, 63.87mph; 2, Kenneth Twemlow (DOT); 3, Frank A Longman (OK-Supreme); 4, 0 J Sarkis (OK-Supreme ); 5, CW [Paddy] Johnston (Cotton); 6, SP Jackson (Montgomery); 7, Edwin Twemlow (DOT); 8, JW Whalley (Cotton); 9, JW Shaw (OK-Supreme); 10, H Lester (SOS). The mountain circuit was hard on men and machines alike—compare the number of starters and finishers, bearing in mind that the retirees listed here, and many not listed, were formidable TT competitors riding world-class motor cycles. Senior starters, 47; finishers, 16. Retirees included Pietro Ghersi (Cotton), Wal Handley (AJS), Ted Mellors (Norton), Jack Porter (New Gerrard), Jack Porter (New Gerrard), Jimmy Simpson (Norton), Graham Walker (Rudge) and Stanley Woods (Norton). Junior starters, 44; finishers, 16. Retirees included Pietro Ghersi (Cotton), Jimmy Guthrie (Norton), Tim Hunt (Norton), Paddy Johnston (Cotton), Ted Mellor (New Imperial), Jack Porter (New Gerrard), Jimmy Simpson (Norton), Ed Twemlow (DOT), Harold Willis (Velocette) and Stanley Woods (Norton). Lightweight starters: 33; finishers, 13. Retirees included Pietro Ghersi (Cotton), Wal Handley (OK-Supreme), Ted Mellors (New Imperial) and Jack A Porter (New Gerrard).

1929 TT HANDLEY
Wal Handley (AJS) couldn’t have been too disappointed with 2nd place in the Senior—and more success awaited him over the Channel.

THE THREE TT WINNERS all crossed the Channel to win their classes at the French GP; Dodson also rode his Sunbeam to victory in the 500cc Belgian GP, where Wal Handley led the 350s on an alcohol-burning Motosacoche. Jock Porter and his New Gerrard once again took 250cc honours.

BERT PERRIGO WON THE inaugural British Experts Trial for BSA, which also launched a three-wheeler car powered by a modified (transverse) version of its 1,021cc V-twin bike engine. It featured reverse gear, electric start and front-wheel drive. More than 5,000 would be built.

REMINDING US THAT THE French could still build bikes with panache, Automoto came up with a sporty cammy single in 348 and 499cc and a twin-port 175cc twostroke featuring a separate oiltank and metered lubrication, as well as more conservative 250 and 350cc twostrokes.

THERE WERE 48 BRITISH MARQUES at the Olympia show, the same as the previous year. The Blue ‘Un noted that they “constitute the recognised standard by which motor cycles are judged in almost all parts of the world”. But it warned against any complacency, “especially in view of the progress which other European countries are making in motor cycle design”. Germany, Belgium, France and the USA had bikes on show. Matchless drew crowds with a 400cc narrow-angle (26º) monobloc V-twin, the Silver Arrow. It wasn’t fast, but it was smooth and comfortable, with a remarkably modern looking cantilever sprung frame.

AFTER FOUR YEARS IN England the ISDT moved over to the Continent. From Munich the route passed through Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Switzerland to a final speed test in Geneva. The editor of The Motor Cycle concluded: “Men in the competition movement are apt to describe each succeeding Six Days International Trial as the worst ever held. Be that as it may, the Six Days International Trial, which concluded at Geneva last Saturday, must be characterised as one of the most gruelling events ever organised. To Britishers unfamiliar with terrible road surfaces, often inches deep in dust, and with successive mountain passes ten to fifteen miles in length, with scores of difficult hairpin bends, the long daily distances proved a real trial; consequently, it is good to be able to acclaim victory once again for the British Isles not only in the all-importance contest for the International Trophy, but also in that for the International Vase. Generally speaking the trial will prove valuable propaganda for the motor cycle movement in the five countries embraced, for at every important centre along the route the event evoked enormous interest…almost to the end the issue was to be in doubt; the British teams were closely pressed throughout…In the contest for the International Vase the British victory was a sweeping one, for while our No 1 team lost no marks at all, the runners-up, the French team, lost no fewer than 24. Only four of the 16 Vase teams finished. The second British team, the ladies team, having the misfortune to lose one member through a collision, and was not among the four…the conditions under which the competitors rode had to be seen to be believeD; mile after mile of towering mountains; sweltering heat and choking dust; precipices; tunnels; these were but a few of the difficulties…The arduous daily rides are graphically described in the following messages despatched by The Motor Cycle’s representatives who accompanied the trial: “PARTENKIRCHEN, MONDAY. Five-thirty AM is an unearthly hour for a start, but a fine, sunny morning made some amends, and the mass effect of 168 motor cycles roaring along behind a German police car was enormous…Six kilometres out the multi-voiced monster swerved through a gate, the leader flung a hand heavenwards, the monster halted, and everything was ready for filing out through a second gate, three per minute by numbers…The morning run of 95 miles to Oberau…crossed the central

1929 ISDT START PROGRAMME
“Lining up for the 5.30am massed start from Munich.”

plateau of Bavaria…the minimum speed of 25mph leaves no time to consume a helles bier or photograph an Alp when the going is colonial…If, in addition, you don’t get your check card back until 17 minutes after you’ve been timed into a control, punctuality begins to assume the dimensions of a miracle…Tyrell-Smith remarked at lunch that it was rather like a road race; and he ought to know…a few yards from the checker began the ascent…up the Ettalberg…Here the scenes soon beggared description…this narrow, bouldersome, gulleyed, eternal 1 in 4…was easily the finest competition hill The Motor Cycle man had ever seen…the sidecars were mixed up with the solos. It is not a sidecar hill…At one time there were 28 machines stuck simultaneously…within a space of 20 yards. The air was so thick with burnt oil fumes that it was literally impossible for a competitor to see the man next to him. The stench of burnt oil, dope, tyres, and clutches was nauseating. Some of the foreign riders, clad in heavy leathers, were so exhausted that they simply sat over their stopped engines and panted…On the average our men showed far more machine-control snd presence of mind than those of other nations. Mrs McLean (348cc Douglas) got the loudest cheer, but Miss Betty Lermitte (346cc Royal Enfield) was splendid under greater difficulties, rounding one awful jam by climbing up a grass bank and down again…Poor Van Kooten (743cc Harley-Davidson), of the Dutch A-team, burnt his clutch out on the hill and retired…there are 13 foreigners riding British machines, exclusive of those who are astride colourable imitations of our designs. FELDKIRCH, AUSTRIA, TUESDAY. Seven AM is a far more rational starting hour than 5.30am…The scenery up to lunch at Reutte was simply magnificent. The roads were so easy that a very old lady could have driven a baby car over them without the least agitation. The Austrian gendarmes wore their best swords in honour of the occasion…a Jager band welcomed the competitors at Reutte with much clashing of cymbals though they ceased to salute each individual rider when they discovered that there were nearly 200 of them…the morning run was, as one lad put it, a ‘beer and camera’ section…But the 78 miles after lunch taught many that a main road in the Alps is not the Portsmouth Road…some of the sidecar passengers were literally terrified. For some five miles the line gyrated along a blind, twisty rock shelf hewn out of the living cliff, with often a sheer drop into a gorge 1,000 feet below…At Lechleiten the trial entered Voralberg, a district of

1929 ISDT BUTCHER TAYLOUR
GR Butcher (488cc Royal Enfield sc) rode with the team that retained the International Trophy for Great Britain. (Right) Speedway star Fay Taylour competed on a P&M Panther.

Austria so independent that it reverses the Austrian rule of the road, and keeps to the right, German fashion…when you meet another fellow on a rock edging a precipice, and he takes the same side as you do, matters may become awkward…then began the indescribable descent of the Arlberg Col—20 miles…along a gash scored at a failing angle against a colossal rock with a sheer drop of 2,000 feet, passing at intervals through cloistered tunnels…After the final check…the local petrol merchant had stacked about enough juice for 20 machines, and when supplied failed he would send a lad with a hand-truck to fetch eight more times from a distant garage…Some of the men have had time to buy green Tyrolean hats with shaving-brush decorations, and long pipes of the German model, which keep the stomach warm in winter…Our girl riders are all in and have vastly enjoyed their first taste of the Alps. PALLANZ, ITALY, WEDNESDAY. The check sheets are in such a mess that no official information was available except the retirements…157 men started out to cover the 110 miles before lunch at Hospenthal, near the foot of the St Gothard Pass…Corners were incessant. The village streets were often indescribably narrow. Dust soon rendered everybody completely unrecognisable…uncertainty as to whether the next check would occur at the scheduled distance…caused the trial to degenerate into one prolonged and mighty blind…We passed through four douanes to-day as easily as one enters the Arsenal footer ground…between Faido and Bellinzona a covey of Englishmen had to wait at seven separate level crossings for one and the same goods train…the afternoon section will be remembered for life by everybody. The narrowish road winding under the low cliffs which fringe Lake Maggiore. There is not a teaspoonful of tar on the entire length and the visibility was about 30 yards…At every village and corner the populace were gathered to cheer the ‘race’…Our boys tumbled to the fact that they could go as fast as they liked, and most of them did. With men like Tyrell-Smith in the lead, the pace was simply terrific…The trial passed through Locarno…Hundreds of bathers scrambled out of the Lake to see the lads go by and returned to the water immediately to wash off the granulated soil of Italy which the tyres had deposited on their bronzed and naked bodies. MOUTIERS, FRANCE, THURSDAY. At home 210 miles is hardly reckoned a really good day’s run but this distance to-day has punished the lads pretty severely…Bumps, dust and blistering sun were the conditions, with every corner for Fay Taylour to slide them if she had been so minded. Every mile or two an Italian village, with its narrow, sweltering, pave street, full of children…a Colonial section culminated in. a 15-mile climb up to the 400-yard tunnel piercing the mountains above the famous Sanctuary of Oropa. When it is said that the tyrants who govern this fearsome run only asked the men to average 12½mph up this 15-mile climb, it can be guessed that it was a genuine machine-smasher…An eight-foot shelf, cut out of a sheer face, zig-zags incredibly, clinging precariously to the mighty slopes. The surface is uniformly atrocious. One famous road racing man—a member of his national team_barely managed to cover this section on time, although it included a three-mile descent of good

1929 ISDT WATERLOO
“Competitors on the Ettalerberg, where the complete entry met its Waterloo.

surface, and he went clean over his handle-bars in the attempt…not a share of the solo entry can show a tidy pair of foot spindles and quite a number are limping. FW Clark (346cc New Imperial) hit a wall so hard that he had to see a doctor. FR Forbes-Taylor (499cc P&M) had four spills…When the surface is loose all day, sooner or later attention is relaxed for a moment, and over the model goes…France, mercifully is a land of tar and the entire entry revelled in smooth, dustless going to Moutiers for the night. Nothing can exceed the hospitality and sportsmanship of our Italian friends, but we simply cannot love their waterbound, mud-faced roads. At Moutiers the organisation was immense. A banner across the road, ‘Soyez le Bieuvenue!’ A gentleman with a megaphone who bellowed each man’s number to the timekeeper as soon as he rounded a distant corner, so that he was probably checked in early. A lovely lady waiting to present each feminine rider with a bouquet. A free bar for competitors, staffed by the belles of the town, who gave them dry wine or sweet as they preferred. A service if motor buses to convey the lads to billets in three neighbouring towns…[But] no official results results were obtainable this morning and most probably none will be published tonight…Wallis, on the Dunelt sidecar, was delayed on Thursday with chain trouble, due to a spring link coming adrift, and was rammed by a car in the dark…but is carrying on. GP Wills (499cc Rudge-Whitworth) and Forbes-Taylor (499cc P&M) got off the course this morning, picked up the afternoon’s arrows…and are naturally disqualified for having cut out the worst 100 miles of the day’s route. Many others await the results of protests due to foreign checkers, who could not understand their statements snd wishes. Messrs Loughborough and Ebblewhite [the ACO officials at the trial] are probably wising in giving imitations of the elusive pimpernel…CHAMONIX, FRANCE, FRIDAY. This has been a day of national and other tragedies in the history of this most searching of all six days trials. Most people started to-day’s run all weary and battered after their terrible hammering of Thursday over the harsh Italian roads. The luggage lorry wandered about futilely last night, arriving very late in one of the three towns where competitors were billeted, two of them miles away from the motor cycle park. No real organisation existed for transporting competitors from billet to park. Bed were scarce. One lady competitor staggered round Brides-les-Bains till 9.30pm, got abed at last, lay down in her clothes, was bitten by noxious insects, went out and got to bed in a cleaner house at 1.30am, to arise at 5am…The Husqvarna sidecar driven by Malmberg retired at lunch with its back wheel damaged beyond repair, and so put the Swedish team,

1929 ISDT SARTORIUS
“H Von Sartorius (497cc Ariel) finds a foot useful on Ettalerberg; many competitors pushed their machines up the difficult hill and nearly collapsed owing to the heat.”

weakened by Göthe’s puncture yesterday, quite out of the running. Profound sympathy was felt with them all three, as their gallant riding of fine machines had made them the universal favourites. On the top of this, Trapp’s Victoria sidecar, Germany’s passenger representation in the Trophy, struck tyre trouble after lunch today. This makes the Trophy a gift for the British team, assuming that they all finish; and at the moment Austria and France stand equal for the vase, both being 10m points down on maximum. Nor does the tale of pathos end there. Poor Miss Sturt (495cc Matchless) had her clean sheet spoiled by an awkward puncture which made her late this evening, and she finished almost in tears; it was a cruel disappointment after surmounting tribulations which have overcome so many of the alleged stronger sex. There have, as a matter of fact, been no fewer than 24 retirements to-day, of whom seven are British, namely, GP Wills (499cc Rudge-Whitworth); FW Plastow (488cc Royal Enfield); WF Bicknell (488cc Royal Enfield); AA Hamilton, (499cc Rudge-Whitworth); CF Wise (348cc AJS); FR Forbes-Taylor (499cc P&M), and FW Clark (346cc New Imperial). Of these, Wills and Forbes-Taylor, as reported, merely lost their way; but Bicknell’s fate has befallen other unfortunates, for example, LA Welch (488cc Royal Enfield). Bicknell’s timing gear began to admit strange noises near Oropa on Thursday. He drove gently, hoping to get his machine on to French soil for easy Customs clearance home. But it gave out entirely, and thenMiss Betty Lermitte towed him 80 miles, though she herself was half crippled through being charged over by another competitor, who had fallen asleep in the saddle from sheer fatigue! At last she could tow him no longer, and to-night Bicknell wires that he is stranded inside the Italian frontier, his passport and Customs papers being in France aboard an official car. Furthermore, most of the official and Press cars have broken down. There were great doings at the Franco-Italian frontier on the summit of the Little St Bernard Pass last night. Mr Loughborough taxied there from Pallenza, 170 miles away, and wired for another taxi to meet him there, and Mr Ebblewhite made a somewhat similar journey, his German driver having collapsed from the strain. Officials and benighted competitors were descending the pass in the dark, to an obbligato of hail and lightning, and arriving at Brides-le-Bains at all hours of the night, only to find every hotel crammed full to its very bathrooms. It is thus that the most fantastic week in the history of motor cycling draws top a close. Some competitors have spent absurd sums in the effort to retrieve damaged machines from the wilds. Johnny Douglas, knowing his mount was an experimental 1930 model, spent £6 transporting it to a railway station. Miss Foley, after a crash which knocked out two teeth and probably fractured a rib, struggled gamely into Chamonix to-night, rather than leave her bus by the roadside in a strange land. Plastow parted form his model as it went over a cliff, and bribed umpteen peasants to drag it up again. Miss M Newton (348cc Douglas) cut inside an official car on a hair pin to clear the dust-clouds, met an unexpected boulder, and carried on minus footrests, with both legs waving in the ear. Rowley (348cc AJS) saved his clean sheet by riding innumerable hairpins on a flat tyre. H Langman (298cc Scott) had no bottom gear, but still contrived to climb all today’s cols. Thumskin Airdie’s sidecar rolled over on a

1929 SCOTT LWT SQUIRREL
Scott’s new Lightweight Squirrel was powered by a 298cc air-cooled single. It carried H Langman to a silver award.

bad corner, and he came in streaming with blood…there were 194 corners on a single pass…there was a lot of really foul going, and the whole constituted a veritable ordeal for sleepless riders and battered mounts. Tarmac was scarce, loose metal almost incessant, and cornering never ceased. Chamonix, the tripper centre of French ‘Switzerland’ gave us a truly royal welcome, with tiny girls presenting bouquets to all the lady riders…Incidentally, the arrowing to-day was far from good. Nothing is more upsetting to a trials rider within sight of his gold medal than to reach an unmarked road junction, but the French clubmen do not realise that to a Briton anything up which a goat would clamber is a potential trials route…Nobody will ever forget this trial, and the people who come through with clean sheets and no falls deserve statues in Trafalgar Square. GENEVA, SATURDAY. A rather depleted band of survivors enjoyed an unforgettable experience at 7am. The rocky gorge leading up from Chamonix to the frontier was still in deep shadow, but the climbing (yet still invisible) sun was just beginning to catch the mightiest peaks of the giant ranges on either hand, and the loftiest snowfields of Mont Blanc were suffused with rose. The sheer heavenly softness and beauty of a scene of this kind has to be seen to be believed…Everybody admires the sangfroid of grey-haired Mrs Edge, who sits quite unmoved in her son’s sidecar round the most appalling places; Colin Edge himself is still limping badly after his crash on the dirt at Liverpool, but he contrives to handle3 his outfit well [you have to wonder if, when Colin asked his mum if she fancied a run out on his combo, he told her the run was the ISDT]…Lunch was taken early at Ouchy, on the shores of Lake Geneva, and some 40 miles of tarmac—real, smooth, dustless tarmac—brought the lads to the final speed test on a road

1929 ISDT SIDECAR MELEE
“A sidecar mélèe on the Ettalerberg: R Neisse’s Rudge-Whitworth is in the foreground, with FR Forbes-Taylor’s P&M behind.”

encircling Cointrin Aerodrome. Here arose certain amount of international friction, probably due exclusively to mutual ignorance of languages and to the German reverence for a given order. Everybody had to do an hour’s speed, ranging up to 49mph for 500cc solo machines. No touring plug will stand this. No sane rider will use a racing plug on the road, because it will inevitably oil up. The Englishmen assumed that they would be allowed to insert racing plugs at Cointrin; they had been told so. The Germans had been told more fully, in their own language, that they must change plugs, adjust oil pumps, etc, outside the Cointrin control. So all the early starting foreigners entered the aerodrome control ready for business. The first Britons to arrive were the Irish, whose numbers were in the twenties. They slid into the control and began changing plugs. Instantly a horde of excited German and Swiss marshals dived on them, shouting, gesticulating, and even pawing them. The Irish began to square up, and a free fight was imminent. No British officials were present—this is nothing new—but an English journalist intervened, and temporary peace was restored. Finally Major Watling arrived, but the foreign officials were adamant, and some of the Continental riders obviously gloated at the spectacle of men like Tyrell-Smith attempting to lap at 60 odd on a roadster plug. Meanwhile a picket was posted down the road to put the other Englishmen wise, and as their earliest rider was No 105, there was just time to warn them. It is unfortunately true that much jealousy existed over our standing first at this stage for both the Trophy and the Vase. The track was the course for the Sunday’s extremely crazy Swiss Grand Prix—twelve hours’ lapping of a four-mile circuit without change of riders—a feat calculated to render any intelligent man perfectly insane. Fortunately the six-day men had only to do one hour. In shape the circuit is a mildly distorted square with practically rectangular bends at each of its four corners, all banked the wrong way, rather loose, and slimy with fresh tar oozing in the sun. Two hundred yards from the start is a nasty S-bend, studded with dangerous telegraph posts and trees right on the edge of the road. The entry was divided into three batches, which made massed starts at 2.30pm, 3.45pm and 5pm. The first batch were all foreigners, except for the Irishmen, of whom the pardonably enraged Tyrell-Smith decided to risk disqualification by changing his plug in defiance of his tormentors. The start was a horrid sight. Massed on a turn, in a close jumble of all sorts and sizes of solos and sidecars, with a dangerous S-bend close at hand, all engines racing and the air pungent with blue oil fumes, the men got off somehow without collisions, but the corners all round were an appalling spectacle. A couple of sidecars and four slow baby two-strokes arrived at one bend en masse with fast Rudges and BMWs chafing on their tails and another bellowing, snorting covey of mixed machines close behind. Somebody fell on nearly every

1929 ISDT IRISH
Three stalwarts from the Irish contingent who were ready and willing to go nose to nose with the Continentals.

corner for the first lap, and one Dane removed the entire seat of his leather breeches, his woollen undies, and his skin as well. This first hour soon developed into a furious duel between Tyrell-Smith on a Rudge and Soenius on a BMW. Tyrell was better on the corners, but the bigger German engine was faster on the straight, and, though Tyrell rode as only a very angry Irishman ran ride, he was fractionally outpaced. As usual, no official information whatsoever was vouchsafed, but the tale is that only five of some forty riders contrived to average the speeds specified for their gold medals. One reason was that the small foreign two-strokes, being very slow, were most abominably in the way. But this was not, of course, enough to spoil really fierce machines like the flying Rudge and BMW; it just proved fatal to men whose buses would have qualified with a clearer field. Batch No 2 included Miss Marjorie Cottle, Fraülein Köhler, and Mrs McLean. None of them had ever done any road racing in their lives. The Englishwomen had to average 47mph for 60 minutes on a dangerous and crowded circuit, and Fraülein Köhler, on her larger BMW, was set to do 51mph. Plus the ordeal of a particularly stupid form of mass start, this was enough to put the wind up a strong man, and the girls were plainly rather scared. However, they faced it nobly, started steadily, and accelerated when they had settled down a little. There was a nasty crash in the first few minutes. Drew Macqueen’s 493cc Sunbeam tried to round a jam of men on the S-bend, cleared a telegraph pole by millimetres, but caught its iron stay with his bar. His ‘Beam reared up, shot vertically into the air, and seemed to hurl Drew fifteen feet up. He fell on his head, and was carried into the Aerodrome hospital a few yards away. He soon recovered consciousness and is not badly hurt. This second batch was very slow, and few riders can have done the speed necessary for gold medals. Baylon, a very fine rider on a big BMW, lapped the bulk of the field twice or three times, and nobody could hold him. When the third batch started at 5pm everybody was bored to tears with waiting in the terrific heat. Nearly all the English riders were in the crowd. Another terrifying massed start, a

1929 ISDT MIX-UP
“A mix-up on the Ettalerberg—a trio of Germans struggle up: the machine parked at the side is A Reinhardt’s Rudge-Whitworth.”

generally high average speed in the comparative absence of slow Continental machines, and a hectic duel between Williams on a Rudge and Pattison on an Ariel, who rode neck and neck for most of the hour. Many of this batch undoubtedly qualified as there were fewer tortoises to cramp the cornering. Miss Lermitte (346cc Royal Enfield), Miss Herbert (497cc Ariel), and Miss Sturt (495cc Matchless) figured in these final acrobatics, but poor Miss Sturt’s plucky Odyssey was terminated by a bad tank leakage. So the great trial ended. ISDT RESULTS: The International Trophy. (1) Great Britain: GR Butcher (499cc Rudge-Whitworth sc), no marks lost; GE Rowley (348cc AJS), no marks lost; FW Neill (498cc Matchless), 1 mark lost ; total marks lost, 1. No other team competing for the Trophy finished complete. The International Silver Vase. (1) Great Britain No 1 Team: LA Welch (488cc Royal Enfield), no marks lost; AR Edwards (346cc Levis), no marks lost; HS Poetry (497cc Ariel), no marks lost; total marks lost, nil. (2) France: C de Lavalette (348cc Peugeot), no marks lost; G Bonnard (499cc Gnome et Rhône), no marks lost; H Naas (499cc Gnome et Rhône), 24 marks lost; total marks lost, 24. (3) Holland No 2 Team: H Vintges (498cc FN), no marks lost; Hans Dolk (498cc FN), 34 marks lost; M Flinterman (498cc FN), 4 marks lost. Total marks lost, 38. (4) Austria No 1 Team: Hobel (248cc Puch), 28 marks lost; Oswald (248cc Puch), 27 marks lost. Total marks lost, 57. Manufacturers’ Team Prizes. 250cc Class.—(1) Puch Team—Hobel, Cymral, Oswald; lost 57 marks. (2) BMW Team—H Winkler, A Geiss, L Steinweg; lost 81 marks. 350cc Class.—(1) AJS Team—GE Rowley, LH Davenport, CE Wise; lost no marks. (2) Raleigh Team—Miss M Cottle, GW Hole, R MacGregor; lost 15 marks. 500cc Class.—(1) Rudge-Whitworth No 2 Team—J Williams, CF Povey, Pyecroft; lost no marks. (2) BSA Team—L Berringer, J Humphries, AE Perrigo; lost 1 mark. 600cc Sidecar Class.—(1) Rudge-Whitorth Team—lost 2 marks. (2) BMW Team—E Henna, H Soenias, FH Kohler; lost 16 marks. One hero completed the ISDT on a 175 and earned a silver award. Statistics. There were 11 250s, whose riders won two golds, one silver, two bronzes and four certificates; two retired. The 50 350s won 10 golds, 16 silvers, two bronzes and five certificates; four finished with no award—the remaining 13 retired. Forteen of the 69 500s won gold, with 21 silvers, 11 bronzes, four certificates, one no-award and 13 retired. There were 19 750s—five golds, five silvers, a bronze, a certificate, two no-awards and five retirees. Another hero tried his luck with a 1,000cc solo but didn’t get it to the finish. Four out of 11 600cc outfits won gold with two silvers, a bronze, a certificate and three didn’t finish. Half of the six outfits up-to-1,000cc failed to complete the course; one won gold, one silver and one finished but no cigar. So of the 168 starters 36 won gold, 47 silver, 17 bronze, 15 certificates, eight no-award and 45 took an early bath.

1929 ISDT CAFE
“Drowning their troubles—weary competitors taking tea in typical Continental fashions at the finish at Chamonix.”

“LAST SUNDAY THE SWISS Grand Prix was held on the Meytin circuit of 6km 550m, and this year it took the form of a 12-hour race rejoicing in the lengthy name of geschwinditkeitsprufung (speed test). At the early hour of 6am the 42 competitors were despatched, and even at that early hour many spectators lined the course. All the riders were foreigners since HS Perrey, who was entered on an Ariel, failed to put in an appearance as he slumbered so soundly following the strenuous ‘International’ that he could be awakened in time. A short-distance grand prix would have attracted many British entries, while the six-day men in Geneva would also have seized the opportunity of witnessing a first-class Continental race. As it was, tired out from their struggles, the Englishmen were absent. The race itself proved most monotonous; it was just a continuous stream of riders passing on machines of all sizes and types of machines, their lap scores being recorded each hour on a huge board…the heat was stifling and in the stands there was no protection from the sun’s rays; consequently the seats presented an empty appearance. At half-distance, when 32 riders were still in the running, a commanding lead had been attained by Emile Frey on a 500cc Radco. At six hours he had covered 83 laps, the second being Marius Cudet on a 348cc Norton with 80 laps, and third Francois Gaussorges on a 350cc MAG-engined Money Goyon with a lap less. The fastest rider was Alfter on a 750cc twin Indian, but trouble overtook him in the early stages, and at half-distance he had 70 laps to his credit, and was second in his class to Starkle (Scott); then he began to streak round the track in hot pursuit of the leaders. After seven hours 28 riders remained, and Frey still led with 96 laps—a distance of 639km—but Gaussorgues, with the Monet-Goyon, had overtaken Cudet (Norton) and shared second place with 92 laps. At eight hours Frey’s Radco still ran with remarkable consistency and led with 110 laps, and Gaussorgues maintained his speed, registering 106 laps; Cudet covered 101 laps and retired awhile. D’Eternod (Sunbeam) retired after 100 laps when in fourth position. At 3 o’clock the Radco was still four laps ahead of the Monet-Goyon, and now Kappeler (Sunbeam) came into the picture, lying third with 112 laps, Cudet being physically unable to continue after a trial of two more laps. Twenty-one competitors now remained. After ten hours’ running, Frey, consistent as ever, led with 136 laps, Gaussorgues (Monet-Goyon) being second with 131 laps, and Kappeler third with 122 laps; Divorne (Condor) was but a little way behind. The Flying Indian was in frequent trouble and registered but 107 laps at this hour. Generally the speeds were disappointing considering the achievement of the full-touring-trim ‘International’ machines on the same course the previous day….Interest increased as the closing stages arrived, the crowds flocked to the stands, and then there was a thrill, for with but 25 minutes to go Frey toured in on his Radco with the back tyre flat After a consultation at the pits he was advised to continue; he did so amid cheers, but his path was a wobbly one. Very soon it was seen that his tyre and tube had disintegrated and he was riding on the bare rim, and the crowd gave him loud and sympathetic cheers. Meanwhile Gaussorgues continued his speedy laps, gradually overhauling the leader. Twelve minutes to go! And the 12 minutes sufficed for him to make up the loss; when he was flagged off as the winner he had covered 156 laps. Poor Frey’s rim collapsed after two tyre-less laps.”

1929 SWISS GP REGARD ZEHNDER
“F Regard (Radior) leading a couple of others and, incidentally, looking very grim about it. (Right) O Zehnder (Zehnder) and E D’eternod (Sunbeam) pass through the start; four other competitors are at their pits.”

“AFTER THE THRILLING FORECAST of ‘A Schoolboys’ TT’ in the lunch edition of a London evening paper, matters seemed very calm down Carshalton way last Saturday. The Carshalton Club had undertaken to organise a trial suitable for those under 18 years of age, with result that 46 entries were received…The schoolboy atmosphere was entirely missing, in its place was a professional air of last minute bustling…very few wore school caps and only one pr two deigned to wear their school blazers. The course under the sweltering afternoon sun was bone dry, making extremely hard riding on the loose, sandy surface…Old Chalky proved the undoing of many. This scarred and rutted old veteran of Surrey is almost impossible when wet. The first man up was E Wheelwright (196cc James) quite three-quarters of an hour too early; it seemed that the newspaper was not so far wrong after all!…RT Newberry (247cc Excelsior) with a ‘Meet William’ expression of glee on his face kept well to the left, dodging under the bushes, to be followed by EA Dussek (490cc Norton); the latter literally romped up, exploring every gulley en route, and made easily the quickest ascent of the day. A moment of peace, until a familiar buzzing was heard, and, incredible as it might seem, Mr Wheelwright, amid roars of laughter from the spectators, appeared once more, this time on the third lap of his TTI Newman made an excellent climb on an old belt-drive Triumph of uncertain age; he was followed by EL Angus (493cc BSA sc), the only passenger man to arrive at the hill; at least two others had started. After a few anxious moments at the beginning of the rutted section he chose his path carefully and made the best of it. Soon after No 13, in the shape of EC Large (349cc BSA) appeared a la Denley, making a fast climb with feet on pillion footrests, the normal type being inconspicuous by their absence…the riders chased the dye to the Greyhound, Carshalton—the finish of an excellent organised trial which demonstrated the high standard of riding attainable by the modern schoolboy, at the same time giving a very excellent reason for allowing the licence age-limit to remain at 14 years.”

1929 BOY STEELE
“HA Stelle (Matchless) on Old Chalky.”

‘UBIQUE’ OF THE MOTOR Cycle made some informed predictions. “”Perhaps the first thing to strike the eye will be the prevalence of chromium plating on sports and de luxe models. To the eyes of some of us the blue-white sheen of this admirable finish is still more striking than natural; but who can deny the advantages of a tarnish-proof handle-bar, exhaust pipes and, in some cases, even tanks? Early experiments…were not altogether successful…but first-class chromium plating is now to be obtained at moderate cost…There will be a certain number of those unusual designs which the public are apt to term ‘freaks’, though it is likely enough that they are just good designs born before their time…For the benefit of the many riders who are interested in the future of the quiet, flexible, multi-cylinder engine, it is safe to say that the prospects…are more rosy than they have ever been in the history of British motor cycles; and it should be noticed that the manufacturers who have given their minds to…this type of machine are concentrating not upon highly priced luxury motor cycles but upon reasonably priced utility machines which will cost no more than some 350cc super-sports models…towards the end of 1930 there will be quite a little crop of British four-cylinders, all bearing famous names…it is quite possible that we shall see a half-way step towards the four-cylinder in the form of a novel twin four-stroke placed with the crankshaft in line with the frame. There will be a distinct tendency towards the employment of inclined single-cylinder engines…not only is it easier to house a big single in a normal frame in an inclined position, but the possibilities in regard to cylinder head cooling and weight distribution are improved. Another very interesting development is likely to be the return of coil ignition. Those who remember the coils and accumulators of 20 years ago need not shudder needlessly. Much experimental work has recently been going on, and coil ignition in its present form is thoroughly reliable and satisfactory. the main advantages…are easy starting, a big range of advance and a single rotating armature for both lighting and ignition. The only catch appears to be that the current must be switched off when the engine is stationary, and it remains to be seen whether we are to have buzzers or red lights to warn us of our sins of omission…There are so many possible constructions of the ‘Everyman’ type that it is doubtful we shall see a very definite move in any one direction, but the whole tendency of the trade is towards the development of a lighter, and more tractable type, and this is a trend in the right direction…It is more than likely that one or two firms who at present specialise in lightweights may give us their versions of the ‘Everyman’ machine, and the form which they are most likely to adopt is based on existing models plus very special mudguarding, simplified controls, and minor refinements to render riding and handling more easy than at present…the standardised control, scheme appears to have borne fruit at last, at least as regards handle-bar fittings, though it may take time before everyone falls into line with brakes and gear levers. Overhead valves have ruled the roost for some years past, but there is a possibility that a new side-valve engine, incorporating all the latest improvements of the type, will make its appearance under a name which has made a world-wide reputation for speed, reliability and first-class workmanship…In regard to frame design…there may be an entirely new spring frame propelled by an unorthodox engine unit and emanating from a works which has been famous since the early days of motor cycles.”

1929 GREAT WASH SPEEDWAY
“Lincolnshire is destined to become the Mecca of high-speed motorists if a scheme which has based before the Board of Trade receives official sanction.” The Automobile racing Association planned a 15-mile track between Boston and Gibraltar Point with seating for 150,000 spectators in a four-mile grandstand, as well as a 12-mile TT circuit, a motor industry test track, a 1½-mile waterway for motor boat racing, and an aerodrome.

FRENCH DESIGNER GEORGES ROY had a thing about pressed-steel frames. The New Motorcycle he patented in 1926 was not a great success (though some examples did well in long-distance trials) so he went back to the drawing board and came up with the aptly named Majestic. And this time in addition to a pressed-steel frame he fitted hub-centre steering, in line with his dream of a two-wheeled car (many years later Roy revealed that he was inspired by the Ner-a-Car). Shaft drive was an optional extra. As with the New Motorcycle, power came courtesy of Chaise and JAP, with a choice of 350 and 500cc singles, but the Majestic could also be ordered with a JAP twin. Roy sold the rights to Delachanal, the firm behind the Dollar range, and went back to work in the knitting industry. But Dollar went under in 1933 and that was the end of the line for the Majestic. Only about 100 were ever made, mais c’est magnifque!

1929 MAJESTIC SOLO:SCAR
The outfit sports a 500cc ohv Chaise engine and a Bernadet sidecar which is a perfect match.

“WHEN A FIRM OF CONSIDERABLE experience markets two distinct lines comprising small two-strokes and larger four-stroke machines its programme is bound to be interesting. The ‘K’ Royal De Luxe is already very well known to the motor cycling public, and has earned itself an enviable reputation for reliability and comfort…Apparently owing to the proposed increase in weight for taxation purposes the manufacturers have been able to fit 3in tyres and to carry the exhaust through two entirely separate pipes and silencers. The lines of the new tank have effected a further improvement in appearance and rubber knee grips are now fitted at no extra charge…All Dunelt models can be supplied with chromium plated tanks with a black top panel and with chromium-plated exhaust system and silencers…The 496cc twin-port four-stroke…has been designed to meet the demands for a fast and powerful roadster of even greater power than the well-known 350…In memory of the amazing achievement of covering 25,000 miles in 23 days on the Montlhéry track the latest 348cc twin port Dunelt has been christened the Montlhéry model…the most outstanding feature is the adoption of dry-sump lubrication.”

1929 DUNELTS + AW
L-R: “The ‘K’ Royal De Luxe model in its latest form. (Right) A smart thoroughbred—the 496cc model ‘S’ four-stroke. The air silencer on the two-stroke models is now tucked away beneath the tank. The new and more graceful tank. The oil tank and battery box on the Montléhry model are carried on platforms attached to a lug on the seat tube.”

“DURING 1928 THERE WERE 31,778,203 motor vehicles registered throughout the world, of which America licensed 24,493,124 and Great Britain 1,318,169.”

FUEL AND FOXTROTS. A service station at Askers, Dorset, clears its floors for dancing from 8.30 to midnight every Thursday.”

“ALL MOTOR FUEL used in Hungary must consist of 80% petrol and 20% alcohol.”

“JW ROSSITER TOOK 61hr 22min to cover the 866 miles from Land’s End to John o’ Groats on a Raleigh pedal cycle. And on the last MCC run competitors were scheduled to take 63½ hours!”

“A PRIVATELY OWNED 196cc Villiers-engined James has been ridden with sealed tank from Chester to London; the fuel consumed was 7½ pints—which is equivalent to nearly 200mpg.”

“DENLEY AND HIS SPEEDY AJS have not been allowed to remain in peaceful possession of the famous 500cc hour record for very long…Lacey on his 498cc Grindlay-Peerless-JAP has regained it. He raised Denley’s figure from 104.51mph to 105.25mph.”

AJW BOSS (ALBERT) JOHN Wheaton called in Brooklands veteran George Tucker to ride the racing version of his Super Four. The ‘two wheeled car’ that had attracted so much attention at the 1928 Oympia show had been stripped of its road going equipment; its 986c Fraser Nash engine was fitted with a Cozette supercharger and, following ‘difficulties’ with handling during a Brooklands test session, a Swallow racing sidecar was fitted for the All-comers Passenger Handicap Race. Wheaton sat in the side-car and they went for a test run. As they got on to the Byfleet Banking the outfit took one leap and nearly had them both over the top. Back at the paddock Tucker said that he was not going in that again; Wheaton replied, “Neither am I.” And that was the end of the Super Four racer.

1929 AJW 4 KNEELER
“George and the giant. GH Tucker demonstrates the curious kneeling position which he adopts in riding the new supercharged four-cylinder AJW. The small wheel just below the rider’s knee is the drum of the transmission brake.”

MORE THAN 20 Italian marques were turning out advanced, high revving 175s.

FRANTISEK JANECEK’S PRAGUE arms factory was short of work so he started to build motorcycles under licence from Wanderer of Germany. Combining Janecek and Wanderer gave the marque its name, Jawa. Jawa soon came up with its own designs, helped by George William Patchett, who joined from McEvoy by way of FN.

Eric Gill circumnavigated the globe on an HRD outfit, which helped revive HRD’s fortunes. An Aussie engineer named Phil Irving hitched a lift on Gill’s pillion and found work with Velocette.

A pundit advised: “Sight is the only sense by which good drivers can proceed with safety… deafness therefore should in no way affect the granting of a licence.”

From France came a Rene-Gillet 996cc sidevalve V-twin used by the police and the army.

Trials veteran Harry Baughan had been making motorcycles in Stroud, Glos since the early twenties, with engines by Blackburne, Sturmey-Archer and JAP. Now he built a trials outfit with a 500cc Blackburne TT engine and patented sidecar-wheel drive which was so good that many clubs banned it from their events (shades of the ‘barred’ 1908 Zenith Gradua).

US veteran Cleveland bowed out, only months after revamping its 746cc in-line four with a 996cc lump.

The expanding German industry produced 195,686 motorcycles – the Brits managed 164,000. By year’s end there were 731,298 motorcycles on British roads. Numbers would decline after the recesion and wouldn’t be as high again until 1950.

Velocette offered its positive-stop footchange as an option on all models, even its new GTP twostroke. It also offered the KTT to all-comers – the first pukka racing bike offered to the public sincer the pioneer days when there was, in any case, little difference between roadsters and racers.