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Indians Conquer The Manx Grand Prix


I don’t need to tell you that 100 years ago Indian swept the board at the Senior TT races using the mountain course for the first time.  This remarkable feat has rarely been repeated by a single manufacturer, next time was 1930 when Rudge also did a clean sweep.  Douglas had Junior success in 1912.  The link between these wins is superior technology.  The Indian twins had advanced all chain drive transmission, Rudge had advanced 4 valve cylinder heads.  In fact British manufacturers threatened to pull out of the 1912 races deeming Indians success unfair! Racing improves the breed.

This years Manx Grand Prix saw many Indians descend on the Isle Of Man to celebrate 100 years of the famous win.  Most Club members arrived on the Thursday of practice week and our base was centered around Kirk Michael, at a super camp site all arranged by Sybil and Anita some 2 years previously.  We had special privileges arranged and joined in with the Vintage Motorcycle Club for some of the events.

Visitors from all over the world were present. Chuck  Garrett and his son from the USA brought his replica 1911 Indian twin, after some minor repairs it was mobile for a lap or 2 at Jurby race circuit. After setting up camp at Kirk Michael,  on Friday, we managed a short run to “Jurby Junk”, a junk shop-what else!   No Corbin speedometers were found, despite rumours from Fred Woodgates!   We met up with old and new friends in the evening for a BBQ at the campsite.

Saturday  a trip to Laxey harbour to see the VMCC entrants, where else would you see  4 “Stovepipe Nimbus” 4 cylinder bikes?  A stunning array of machinery from veterans to modern custom bikes.  Most of us also went to visit Laxey wheel, famous Isle of Man landmark.  A great ride over the mountain and weather was so good.


Sunday was spent in Jurby where we had the chance to sample the racetrack there.

A quick 2 laps then we were sent off, due to the lack of leather riding gear for some of us.  Later in the afternoon a few Indian riders had a another chance.  Frank Grazzi took out the replica 1911 racer after some furious paddock repairs and tuning, brave man in my book!

There was plenty to see and the whole day took the form of a transport festival with many cars, bikes, and other vehicles on display.  We were the last to leave due to some idiot having trouble with his contact breaker points.  Fixed quickly, thanks Pete for all your help.

Monday destination, Port St Mary where the local officials invited us and even fed us.  While we were enjoying our hog roast a helicopter was hovering nearby.  Paramedic Pete got a ride in a helicopter, ask him why!  A little rain but a great day, a group stopped by to visit a local farmer who handed out the whiskey, he was so pleased to see all the bikes.  As it was also a race day, some took the option to watch.

Tuesday was an opportunity to team up with the VMCC and do a lap of the circuit on roads open to all traffic.  Most took the option to explore the beautiful scenery and places of interest on the Island.  Peel Castle and a local museum was our choice.  Then to Douglas to see motorcycles displayed on the promenade.

Wednesday was unfortunately our last day, so as it was roads closed from 09.30 due to the racing, we took a tour to Castletown and the “Calf of Man” a very small island of the southernmost point.  We managed to see 2 laps of the Classic Senior race with the evocative sounds of older machines bouncing of the walls at Ballacraine.  Blessed with sunny weather and a lovely route we returned in the afternoon for another BBQ.

So the week sped past with the rapidity that only a good holiday can.  An early start the next day for the ferry.

Must pass on our grateful thanks for every one who made it happen.  A special mention to Tony and Linda Jeffery who passed their ticket on to us as they were unable to go.

Tim Berry      

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Indian Motocycles - you can't wear them out                                  Indian Motocycles - built to last  
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