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Shannonville

Oldhaven

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
I am moving this out of the technical forum, since I want to wander in history a bit. Here is the post in response to Len Matthew's memories of Shannonville I sent earlier:

Len:

"Talking of racing Richard, I still owe you for a Clutch Cable that you loaned me during the Shannonville road races in 1977. This event was part of the Shadow Lake Rally in that year and the only time I actually won a sidecar race (with certain Herr Schupp as ballast). To be fair, there were only two more outfits on the grid, one of which was a Kawasaki that had some form of pivoting sidecar mounted on the right side and carried no passenger. This meant, although the Kawasaki could outgun the Vincent it was severely handicapped on right turns so Schupp and me could easily sweep past. It was a fascinating day all round; after the event I had the privilege of transporting Paul Richardson back to Shadow Lake in my sidecar. He wrote of that experience in MPH and mentioned something about the piercing beam from my headlamp lighting up the road ahead. Little did he know that I was praying that my battery would hold out as the dynamo had expired some days before!"

I replied:

"Interesting what triggers old memories.
The Kawasaki belonged to my Navy friend David Coffield, who used to do Sunday rides with some of us from the Tidewater Virginia and DC area in the 70's. He had one of the first of the fast Z1 Kaw's and the interesting sidecar, and was always a bit miffed when the old relics got more attention than he did. We had several Vin's parked in my garage one day plus the Kawasaki, and my big bloodhound wandered in and raised his leg on the Japanese motorcycle's tire. I made sure he did not forget that for a while. He and his wife Marty accompanied us to the '77 rally. I remember meeting a fellow there on a white tanked Norvin that crashed rather badly during the race. We ended up going to the hospital with him. He had borrowed my wife's leather jacket for the race, and it ended up the worse for wear, but we were glad it helped him a bit anyway. I can't remember his name or if he is still riding Vincents."

I knew I had some pictures from back then, and found one of the sidecar race with the Kaw leaner trailing a Vin outfit, and another of (I think) Len's outfit and Herr Schupp. Also one of the Norvin I mentioned, just before his disaster, and another of a mid 70's Sunday ride from Virginia to the Outer Banks for lunch with my wife Barbara and our C Rapide, David and his wife Marty with Kawasaki less sidecar, Pat and Carol manning with their enclosed D, and Max Ruggiero and his wife with a B Rapide. Sorry for the poor quality of the shots, but they should blow up enough to see the outfits. Has anyone seen Max Ruggiero lately or know of what happened to the Norvin and rider?

Ron Franklin
 

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Albervin

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VOC Member
I have a movie of that rally. There is a bit of footage of the races, including an ambulance on the race track. Because it is a silent movie I have never known what the incident was and if the rider was badly hurt. It is an interesting historical piece not only because of the bikes and people but also the clothing and hair styles :)
 

Oldhaven

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VOC Member
He was pretty badly hurt, and we felt pretty terrible about the incident. We had to comfort his wife throughout the ER visit. I think I remember that another more standard Vincent went down and had quite a bit of damage. Barbara could just not get over the fact that some of these amateur guys on old and very expensive antiques were out there doing this stuff after she watched a couple of them cartwheel down the track. I believe people and the track officials are more careful nowadays.

Ron
 

Oldhaven

Well Known and Active Forum Website User
VOC Member
If you look at the rear shocks of the Norvin, doesn't it look like they can't possibly work right? I don't know much about the Norton setup, but it looks like they need to be in the more forward mounting position and are pretty meager for the job.
 

Bill Thomas

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VOC Member
The photo shows how Not to wear a helmet, From someone with a plate in his head to prove it !!, Cheers Bill.
 

Albervin

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VOC Member
Totally agree Bill. No eye protection either so how can you see where you are going? The shocks look like a Velo set-up so can be adjusted for light or heavy load. The forks and the rear shocks look a bit light on for the mass of the bike but this was the 1970s when safety was not a paramount item.
 

Bill Thomas

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VOC Member
Funny, A lot of my trouble was from the Metal Goggles, They slid round and dug into my head !! Still in pain after 44 years, Wish I could turn the clock back on that one !, Nobody told me Motor bikes were Dangerous ! Have Fun, bill.
 

Albervin

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VOC Member
Bill, when I am teaching learner riders, one of the first things I say is "Warning! Motorcycle riding is dangerous". I have not had one student leave at that stage. I used MkVIII and MkIV Stadium goggles for years until some low life stole my helmet, goggles and jacket at a party. Had to ride home with sunglasses on at 1 am. Lucky I was so drunk I didn't notice.
 
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