Montlhéry World Records 1952-2012


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In May 1952 Vincents set 8 World FIM records ,people involved in these records were :

Ted Davis (Chief Vincent Tester)
Philip Vincent (Vincent Managing Director)
Cyril Julian (Hired Rider)
Ken Mainwaring (Vincent Sales Manager)
Phil Heath (Hired Rider)
Paul Richardson (Interpreter)
Denis Lashmar
Ken Bills (Team Mananger)
Gustave LeFevre (French Rider)
George Williams (Wakefeild Castrol)
John Surtees (Vincent Apprentice)
Tom Joy (Avon Tyres)
Vic Willoughby (Motor Cycle)
Clement Garreau (French Vincent Distributor)
Bill Petch (Hired Rider)
H Reynolds
Danny Thomas (Vincent Test Rider)
Jack Lazenby D.F.C Distinguished Flying Cross
Robin Sherry
3 F.I.M Timekeepers
Johnny Hodgkin
Hans (Johnny) Edwards (Photographer)
Dave Ratty (Transport Driver)
Brain McCarthy (Mechanic)
Bill Bruce (Mechanic)

May 14th this year will mark the 60th anniversary of these remarkable records . There has been so much crap written about these records over the years it is disrespectful to Phillip Vincent and the Vincent HRD Company. Lets get this into perspective , 8 EIGHT world records in todays standard is unbelievable .99.2 mph for 11 hours is a fantastic result . Thankfully the Montlhery circuit is still in exisistance and I would like to extend my warmest appeciation to the French members who made us feel welcome in 2002 for a great event .Also to Ernie and the late Tigger Alldus for also making us feel welcome. Hopefully all members will stop and think on May 14th of what the Vincent Company did on this date 60 years ago and feel priviledge to own one of their bikes.

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stumpy lord

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they might have , had not P.V insisted that they ran on castrol X L rather than caster oil as advised by his peaple at the time.

stumpy lord

roy the mechanic

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The egotistical s o b also insisted on the caged roller big ends be replaced with "his" crowded roller jobs according to Ted Davis.


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This old chesnut ,Roy maybe you should get yourself a copy of "Chasing Shadows " DVD and listen to what Ted actually says about the records. Also I think what you have said about Phil Vincent is disgraceful maybe you should turn in your membership of the club as I dont know how you can stomach being part of a club bearing his name.


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Offensive reference to P.Vincent

Perhaps Roy the mechanic should be a little more circumspect when writing his prose, I believe Mr Vincent's daughter is a patron of the club.

david bowen

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I am 79 have a good memory! so to check on it, I went to my MPH file and read the Montlhery Attempt by Ted Davis Teds words (Main cause of the problems first the weather 100 F, and the XXL oil that we had to use broke down completely and was without doubt directly responsible for the big end failures) Ted raced for many years with standard crowded roller big ends and said he did not have a problem, When the bikes returned to Stevenage it was found the Cams and followers were completely worn out also.
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As a fellow club member I feel I must take issue with you on the intemperate, if not offensive, language of your comments, in consideration of our Club Patron being Deirdre Vincent/Day, and the reference to the article in a previous copy of M.P.H. (assuming it is the article written by Ted Davies) is factually incorrect as to his stated cause of the lubrication and bearing problems. The article in it's entirety has defied my limited computer skills attempts to reproduce it here, but the following excerpt will perhaps suffice:

"I completed 15,000 road miles and had leader board finishes in 200 mile Irish races, the Clubman's T.T. numerous sprints and U.K. races on my 1947 Series B Rapide before selling it to Pat Wilson of Lawton & Wilson in 1948. He finished 3rd. in the 1949 clubman's T.T. still on the crowded row roller big end. That is way in excess of 10 hours racing; not, I hasten to add, with overheated clapped out oil as we had at Montlhery.
Now let's get to the main and contributory cause for our problems. First the weather, over 100 degrees F. in the huge concrete basin (I fried an egg on the track); Oil drained after only 90 minutes running was like very hot black water. Castrol, who were the main sponsors, insisted on "as you can buy mineral oil" for commercial reasons. Their famous vegetable R racing oil would have been much happier under such arduous conditions- and it smelt much nicer too! As it was, the XXL oil that we had to use broke down completely and was, without doubt, directly responsible for the big end failures.
Our other sponsor, Avon tyres, was responsible for our Lightning failures. Their tyres were just not capable of coping with 3 ton loading on the 90 foot high banking, ambient temps. exceeding 100 F. and 140 plus laps speeds. Only weeks after Montlhery the works Nortons were flinging treads on the faster European circuits.
While P.C.V.s reaction to Vic's possible over enthusiasm was , perhaps, understandable on the day, the real causes were too unpalatable for our sponsors.
As in so many ways, once more Vincents led the way, as the frame and engines were more than capable of coping with Montlhery. Together, we all learned something; perhaps when Vic, a rider and journalist of some merit, reads this, he will too."

P.V.C. may well have been obstinate, I do not know, but that would have been a virtue as the two Phils struggled to produce an outstanding range of machines with the severely limited finance and materials at a time when most of Europe lay in ruins, and that most of these same machines are still being used over half a century later and still in demand speaks volumes for their vision and quality of their product, as does the fact we have this excellent club, and a forum on which to air our views.

Perhaps now having re-read the article you will see the error of your ways and realise an apology is in order, I certainly think so.
Col Bunting.