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Black Lightning and Sidecar at Earls Court Nov 1949


Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
It appears that maybe there were two 'Lightnings' at the Nov 1949 Show.

Article in 'The Motor Cycle' 03 Nov 1949 by Dennis May (who had already road tested a C Shadow) reviews the whole Nov 1949 Earls Court Motorcycle Show.
Includes reference to a record-breaking Black Lightning with acid-drop sidecar.
Probably that was Gunga Din - see P.E.Irving autobiography page 394 for the September 1949 record attempts in Belgium, and a photo of bike and 'sidecar'.
I suppose Gunga Din was 'Lightning' in all but name?

In 1949 Dennis May could get away with the following 'uncouth' writing:
The acid-drop sidecar … brought furrows of bewilderment to the brow of a couth little blonde.
"But how on earth," she wanted to know, "does anybody get into the thing?"

For the whole article, which contains some interesting comments on the 'minor revolution' created by the post WW2 Stevenage Twins, see:


http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/neo/grou.../Black Lightning/Black Lightning and Sidecar/

david bowen

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
Non-VOC Member
Phil Irving Autobiography page 394, has a picture of Gunga Din after its returned from Belgium with RH sidecar, it was at the 1949 Earls Court show
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