Grey Flashes Racing in Brasil: Edgard Soares

davidd

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A while ago I promised to provide information on Grey Flashes racing at the Interlagos in Brasil. I wrote an article in MPH about Danilo Afornali who raced a twin at the Interlagos. I mentioned that Danilo bought his twin from Edgard Soares. Edgard was to motorcycle racing in Brazil what John Surtees was to motorcycle racing in the UK. A little history about Edgard:

Edgard was born on September 27, 1928 in Ipiranga, Brazil. His father was the Superintendent of Lighting, which involved running the dam that provides electricity to Sao Paulo. Edgard, Sr. was fond of mechanics and at age seven, young Edgard received a bicycle with a 100cc motor. Edgard tinkered with the motor and realized he could make the bicycle go much faster. While at the Carmel Gymnasium at age thirteen, Edgard would take one of the faculty members Sachs motorbike and go for a spin. He was caught and did the usual “I will not move the bike” a hundred times on the black board of Father Vincenzo.

At fourteen Edgard began working for his uncle, Felipe Carmona, by taking apart engines and cleaning the internals. Edgard’s father died in 1946, but his uncle and a local dentist, Angelo Gaeta, who was a motorcyclist became his mentors. A government owned motorcycle came into the shop. It was a rigid frame Matchless. On Friday it was stripped for racing and Edgard would pilot it on the weekend. Sunday night it would be returned to stock so that the Secretary of Education could use it during the work week. By doing this Edgard won the Paulista Championship in 1946 and 1947. Edgard used the number “46” which he preferred for the rest of his career.

A well-known dealer had Edgard ride a 350 Velocette KTT that they received use of. Edgard won all but two races with the bike. One of the losses was to a 500 Manx. That would become his ride in 1948. Edgard was unbeatable on the Norton.

Ernest Trivellato imported four Vincent Grey Flashes in 1950. Edgard rode these bikes in various races as seen in the video. In 1952 Ernest Trivellato imported a special Grey Flash. It was built from one or more of the TT Grey Flashes. This bike was painted black and had the large TT tank on it, plus all the latest in suspension. The speculation would be that this is the Black Flash that was numbered 4026. With no records or photos of the numbers this is speculation. But the photo of a Vincent 500 racer does exist with Edgard standing behind it. The bike no longer exists although there has been some speculation that some of the parts have shown up.

Edgard also rode a twin, I believe, that was provided by Siemens. He won races in Argentina with this bike and received his trophies from Juan Perone, himself.

In 1954 during the fourth centenary celebration in Sao Paulo there was a championship race at the Interlagos. Edgard was running second to Ray Amm of the Norton Factory team when he broke a shock on his Velocette. When Edgard returned to the track from the pits he was in 49th place. With no shot at winning he turned times so fast that his lap record would last for seventeen years until broken by a Yamaha 350 two stroke.

Thanks to Julio C. Carone who compiled this information, which I translated from Portuguese.

Some of the bikes mentioned above:

EdgardSoares01.PNG


EdgardSoares03.PNG


EdgardSoares02.PNG


David
 

davidd

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To see a few Grey Flashes racing, watch the following video from the 50's, not the 40's as mentioned. The first half of the video may be confusing because it was recorded from the film backwards, so the signs and the timing and primary sides are reversed. It stays this way until after the dinner celebration where it is corrected. All the Flash racing is in this last part.


There are two or maybe three Flashes shown. Number 46 is Edgard. There is also Number 14 Flash. I see a third shot, which is probably Edgard. I think he was the only one to finish. It is hard to see these quick shots so, here are some stills to help you pick them out:

EdgarSoares04.PNG


Entry14at7_03Interlagos.PNG


EdgardSoares9_32Interlagos.PNG


EdgarSoares8_09Interlagos.PNG


David
 

davidd

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PCV sent a memo on 7/8/52 with instructions to build the Black Flash. It would be delivered to Trivellato in Brasil for Edgard Soares. It was to have a large tank and it was requested to be painted Black. This was built from the TT machine 4026. The machine never resurfaced, so I would assume it was at some point it was dismantled. There is no contemporaneous information confirming this is 4026, so it is speculation that this is the bike. Here is a photo of Edgard with the machine:

EdgardSoares02.PNG


There is a tribute to Soares where I discovered the photo:


There is another race where I see a twin racing:


David
 

hannes

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Edgard told me years ago that he also was racing a Lightning. He wasn´t too happy with the bike so, his favourit was the Norton Manx. When I remember right Edgard said the Lightning came over to Brazil with carburation for alcohol and they changed it to petrol for racing some distance race at Interlagos. They didn´t finish, the bike after that was used only once in a while to go up and down the road and sold still in the fifties.
Johannes
 

davidd

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Johannes,

Thanks for the reply. There is so little information on these events. How did you come to know Edgard?

David
 
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