Author: Ian Kerr Posted: 26 Feb 2014
It is 15 years since the inaugural Race Retro show surfaced at Stoneleigh Park, and despite it being traditionally aimed at four-wheel motorsport devotees, the February show has gradually built up a small two-wheeled section, which now attracts classic bike enthusiasts from across the country.
At this year’s show, there were enough classic competition bikes and former riders and celebrities from the two-wheeled world to engage with, despite the relatively high entrance fee. The centre piece of the bike section was astand celebrating 50 years of drag bike racing in the UK.Given the large size of most of these ‘straight-liners’, there were only a few bikes on display, albeit some did have a real racing and record pedigree.
Even the few cafe racers arranged around the burger waggon were the all-too-familiar ones that can be seen at the show every year, and the occasional full-race machine dotted around was far from historic or of real interest. However, there was one bike of particular interest…
Metisse had taken space to show the prototype of their new ‘Chase’ bike – the cafe racer version of their new machine based on a brand new homebuilt British engine. Needless to say the man behind it, Gerry Lisi, was happy with the end result and the interest in it was astounding, even from the car buffs.
Bizarrely, another machine of real interest to the motorcycle enthusiast, the Morgan three-wheeler owned and raced by Henry and Barbara Laird in the 1930s known as “Yellow”, was abandoned in the main car hall with just board giving scant details of its past. The ‘Moggie’ was later owned by Titch Allen, the founder of the Vintage Motorcycle Club (VMCC), but there was nobody with it and most people passed by without paying it much attention.
The impressive final attendance figures show 29,101 people made the trip to the Stoneleigh event this February, which is undoubtedly a healthy number of historic motorsport fans who are looking for classic vehicles from all branches of motorsport and restoration services.