If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.

- George Washington

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

TT Memories 2

Second instalment of Microdave's IoM history lesson. For the first part, see here.

IOM TT 1979 (continued).

Further pictures from Signpost corner:

Percy Tait (no7) on a Trident & Phil Read (no1) on a MV 500/3?

Ralph Bryans (no5) on a Honda 125/5?

Stuart Graham (6) on a MV Augusta 1000

Unknown # 1

Unknown # 2

Unknown # 3

If anyone can identify the last three please do so - I am having to rely on what was written on the back of these photo's, and don't have any information on them.

More to follow later.


  1. Was that "Slippery Sam" that Percy's riding?

  2. Could well be - better wait for Microdave to enlighten us. Incidentally, was it called that because of the excellent aerodynamics or the habit of leaking oil? Can't remember ...

  3. I must confess to never having heard of "Slippery Sam" - but having just Googled it, the bike in my picture seems to have a noticeably different fairing shape over the front wheel, so I suspect it's a different machine.

    W/V "thrundle" - that could have been a suitable name for a Triumph!

  4. I think you're right. Slippery Sam (actually 3 bikes) was the one numbered 67 in all those Google images. Much lighter around the nose than the one in the IoM pic, which looks more like an endurance racer. Slippery Sam won 5 consecutive production TTs from 71 to 75, so perhaps the one in the pic was a descendant? I see from Wikipedia that Tait gave up racing after crashing in the 1976 race, so perhaps this was a comeback, or perhaps an error in the remarks on the back of the photo? Will we ever know?

  5. "I see from Wikipedia that Tait gave up racing after crashing in the 1976 race, so perhaps this was a comeback, or perhaps an error in the remarks on the back of the photo? "

    It's probably a comeback, or, nostalgia ride Richard.

    The rider in the photo is wearing Percy's colour & patterned helmet (Red with white triangle at front). [See my comment on yesterday's posting]

    Whilst biker's sometimes let others ride their bikes, its almost unheard of for them to lend their helmet out.

    [The only instance I know of is when Steve Parrish let Sheene 'qualify' for him in a low-key race. (Or, it might have been the other way round?)]

  6. Well spotted that man. If it's a nostalgia ride, he's going for it, though!

  7. I think #2 is Alex George (9) on a Honda 1000 in the Formula 1. More famous for beating Hailwood in the Senior that year by the smallest of margins.

    #3's presumably from the Parade - looks like an early Norton in front?

    Phil Read retired in '76, too, so the first photo is probably also a demo ride.

  8. Thanks for the info - I can't remember how we knew which was which. There must have been a programme of some sort, or possibly the details were being given out on Manx Radio.

    If that was Phil Read he certainly wasn't hanging about!!! In fact none of the riders were. We had been lead to believe that if was just going to be a sedate "parade" to show these old machines to the crowd. But it rapidly became a pretty serious scrap between the more able riders and bikes...

    Not having any fancy exposure or shutter controls on the basic camera, I had to try and follow the movement as best I could, press the button and hope.

  9. Great photos nevertheless. And if that's a demo ride, I'd love to see it when he is racing.

  10. I can assure you it is Percy on the Triumph.

  11. Hey thanks, Wife! Good to have that confirmed. Glad you could call by :)


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