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Reflections of the past before Porsche involvement


20 May 2009
Warning - only a loose connection to Porsche's when Phil Hindley (TECH 9) and Baz (HARTECH) got together at the Classic Racing bike festival @ Donnington Park this Saturday - Phil riding his latest acquisition - the 1st Sparton 500 triple (fastest TT lap and NW 200 winner) and myself that designed and made the engine 45 years ago.

Strange day with hundreds of fabulous (largely British) racing motorcycles, lots of grey haired enthusiasts hobbling about (like me) and the smell of Castrol R - brilliant. The mighty Phoenix 4 750 square 4 (another of my engines – TT winner etc) was fired up and driven up and down the paddock for the first time in 40 years (video made).

Met up with a few from the past including ex works Armstrong rider Clive Horton whose 1st words were "your not dead then!" (well thanks for that Clive - not quite). Gave him a copy of my book and left for home wondering what will become of all those fabulous bikes in a few years time.

It seems out of the 28 Sparton's built - I am one of the few involved who hasn't got one so my next plan is to find one - restore it and then ride it against Phil at a future meeting (while I still can) – hopefully next year when we plan to gather all Spartons, Armstrongs, and the Silver Dream Racer for a proper get together (and will try and get David Essex to join us) - Happy Days.


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bazhart said:
.......... Met up with a few from the past including ex works Armstrong rider Clive Horton whose 1st words were "your not dead then!" (well thanks for that Clive - not quite) .......

Clive Horton


I bet he's changed a bit in the last 41 years too. :grin:
Another pic taken on the same day in May 1980 = The 'Silver Dream Racer' pilot :wink:


NB: I was an unpaid extra at Silverstone and Assen in that film.
Baz, thanks for awakening the memory banks with mention of the wonderful aroma of Castrol R.

I spent a little time at the impoverished end of the m/cycle racing scene, much as it was in Scotland in the seventies, I well remember waking up in the early morning in the back of a transit van the condensation dripping from the roof, the alarm clock being the ear drum splitting sound of a two stroke on expansion chambers, later to be followed by the music of an old Manx Norton and the gentle aroma of "R" suggesting it was time to get up and out there into the mist of an Aberdeenshire Sunday Morning. I was the "mechanic" and my mad pal was the rider. We were out gunned and under-skilled but cared not a jot, we were amongst folk like ourselves enjoying their machines.... what`s more to want...?

I have no idea of what the future will bring in terms of engineering advance and the many and varied ways it might be enjoyed by the young of today who in time will create their own memories. For old codgers like us who burnt the midnight oil in freezing cold and oft times damp garages, and occasionally throwing our m/cycles down the road a bit, yeah that gravel driven under the skin was no fun to remove.. ! Suffering now the aches and pains of the ageing process, no doubt exacerbated by m/cycle foolishness in years gone by, but all the memories created in the process... Ya just gotta think, boy did we live in the best of times, and some of us are still around to bore the young to tears with our rambling on and on and on.... Well at least for as long as we still have a functioning memory... :floor:

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