Classics On Film

Mike Hailwood 1964

Type in 'Mike Hailwood' and among others you'll find this superb film, narrated by the great man himself, from 1964 at Spa. You'll see the 'fire engine' MV Agusta warming up as he prepares for the GP, then some fantastic on bike camera shots, looking up from the clocks and looking forward over his shoulders. It's interesting to see, on the drop of the flag, just how faster the MV was than anything else on the line. The film lasts just over four minutes, is in glorious monochrome, and enjoys the archetypal overdubbing of single cylinder 'sound archive' machines. Just brilliant.

Baker to star


The 2011 Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show, at Stafford, takes place over Easter weekend, 23-24 April. Making his first appearance in the UK since his racing retirement, Steve Baker - the first American to win a road racing world championship - will be guest of honour.

Baker began racing on the dirt ovals of the Pacific Northwest. After switching to road racing, he earned a ride with Yamaha in 1977 and rewarded them by winning the Daytona 200. He then travelled to Europe for the world championships, duly winning the GP 750cc world championship.

After switching to a private Suzuki in 1978, he was seriously injured in a crash which left him with a broken arm and left leg. He chose to retire from competitive racing, ending a short, but intense racing career.

Along with Baker's appearance, the 31st Carole Nash International Classic MotorCycle Show will host a celebration of Yamaha's 50 years in GP racing.

Ferry Brouwer's Yamaha classic racing team will be present all weekend with many of the team's rare racers, including Baker's championship winning 750, the recently restored Daytona 200 winning 250 and the four cylinder 250.

Ariel's Red Hunter

Words:byJim Reynolds

The Ariel factory in Birmingham's Selly Oak area was producing sporty single cylinder models in the late 1920s, when sales manager Bill Wheeler suggested the model name Hunter would suit the bikes and a famous name was born.

Designer Edward Turner rounded the model off with a chrome and red tank and sales took off. The horsey symbol first appeared in the 1928 catalogue and remained a feature of the company's advertising through to the 1950s. The hunter Wheeler referred to was a sporting man's horse and the four legged habit reflected in later years in the 200cc Colt, 500cc Field master and 650cc Huntmaster.

Ariel through the ages

Ariel began with three-wheelers in 1898 and in 1902 built their first two-wheelers. A bright thinking company, their publicity stunts included mounting a bike on floats and crossing the English Channel. In 1931 they rocked the bike world with an air-cooled 500cc Square Four that grew to 600 and finally 1000cc.

The company's Red Hunter singles were highly rated sports bikes with a strong competition record that ran on into the

1950s. Sold to the giant BSA company in the 1940s, their final fling came in 1960 with the 250cc two-stroke fully faired Leader and its more sporty Arrow and Golden Arrow brothers. Moved from its traditional Selly Oak home into BSA's Small Heath complex, the make withered and died. The final indignity came after real Ariels were no longer made, when BSA launched the disastrous 50cc Ariel 3 leaning three-wheeler. So the name began with three wheels and ended in shame with the same number.

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