Jump to content


Photo

Cal Rayborn


  • Please log in to reply
29 replies to this topic

#1 philippe7

philippe7
  • Member

  • 2,777 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 22 May 2009 - 23:29

Cal Rayborn is a name often quoted on this forum when folks are asked about their all-time favourite/best/most talented riders, or when people reminisce about the golden days of the Daytona 200 or the Transatlantic Trophy

Below are two links to the two most well-written articles I have found on the web about Cal Rayborn. I feel it is more advisable from a copyright ethics point of view to post the links than to copy the articles in full, I only hope that they will stay on-line and not disappear someday in a dark hole of the web universe......

http://www.motorcycl...opage.asp?id=76

http://www.superbike...Dec/031229b.htm

I would like to add a little personal touch to start this thread . It is widely admitted ( as expressed in the articles linked above ) that Cal Rayborn had made up his mind to leave Harley-Davidson at the end of 1973, when he embarked on his fateful no-return trip to New-Zealand. His projects for 1974 would have been to continue road-racing on a japanese two-stroke machine, and/or to start racing on four wheels . Hence, his trip to New-Zealand which included a race aboard an ex-Geoff Perry TR500 Suzuki, and possibly a car race at an un-named meeting. It is also widely accepted that Cal Rayborn was considering ( or even had signed ) a contract with the Suzuki factory , to compete in the 1974 AMA road race season.

I would therefore like to submit to the wisdom of you MRN forum members the following elements, which all originate from the late Pat Evans personal scrapbooks, kindly forwarded to me by his brother Sean, and seem to ascertain ( in so much as one can trust the press....) that Rayborn may have envisaged at some stage another possibility....

This article from the 1973/74 mid-season break first :
Posted Image
Posted Image
Posted Image

Then this undated photo, which as far as I can tell does seem to show Cal Rayborn on the left, together with Pat Evans and Don Vesco

Posted Image

And finally, this clipping from february '74, annoucing the recruitment of Dick Mann by Don Vesco, since the original project had sadly become impossible :cry:

Posted Image

Of course, as I said earlier this might have been pure journalist guessing, but still, unlike what the "official" history tells us, it may have been that Cal Rayborn, besides the Suzuki USA route, may also have been considering a Vesco TZ 700 Yamaha ride for 1974.....


Over to you for your memories and photos of Cal Rayborn :wave:

Edited by philippe7, 22 May 2009 - 23:33.


Advertisement

#2 fil2.8

fil2.8
  • Member

  • 19,142 posts
  • Joined: October 07

Posted 23 May 2009 - 08:52

Yes , I only witnessed his talent I think , at just the Match Races , but he had to me , the Jarno Saarinen effect --i.e Wow , this guys special ..
A very interesting topic ,Philippe

#3 Patrick Fletcher

Patrick Fletcher
  • Member

  • 672 posts
  • Joined: February 04

Posted 23 May 2009 - 11:22

Cal Rayborn had a Lola T190 in New Zealand for the 1974 Tasman Series.
He was killed at Pukekohe one week before the first Tasman race at Levin.
It seems very strange to bring such an old car as by then everyone had T330/2 etc.

Edited by Patrick Fletcher, 28 May 2009 - 11:51.


#4 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 6,528 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 24 May 2009 - 11:32

Cal Rayborn had a Lola T190 in New Zealand for the 1974 Tasman Series.
He was killed at Pukekohe one week before the first race at Levin.
It seems very strange to bring such an old car as by then everyone had T330/2 etc.


I never knew! I have fond memories of Cal from "On any Sunday" but missed his tragic loss at Puke....so very sad :| (then again, in 74 I was in a world of hurt myself)

Edited by 275 GTB-4, 24 May 2009 - 11:33.


#5 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 6,528 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 24 May 2009 - 11:34

Cal Rayborn had a Lola T190 in New Zealand for the 1974 Tasman Series.
He was killed at Pukekohe one week before the first race at Levin.
It seems very strange to bring such an old car as by then everyone had T330/2 etc.


I never knew! I have fond memories of Cal from "On any Sunday" but missed his tragic loss at Puke....so very sad :|

#6 Classicpics

Classicpics
  • Member

  • 427 posts
  • Joined: December 06

Posted 29 May 2009 - 17:41

http://img2.imagesha...2calrayborn.jpg

During the match races he would drift his big Harley into the esses at Mallory, wheels out of line, engine turning over at low revs, compared to the Flexi flyers, Nortons, Yamahas.

He learned tracks quickly and as the results show he was a top rider.

#7 picblanc

picblanc
  • Member

  • 12,505 posts
  • Joined: October 06

Posted 29 May 2009 - 18:00

http://img2.imagesha...2calrayborn.jpg

During the match races he would drift his big Harley into the esses at Mallory, wheels out of line, engine turning over at low revs, compared to the Flexi flyers, Nortons, Yamahas.

He learned tracks quickly and as the results show he was a top rider.


Superb pic as usual!! Cal in 1972, just how I remember him!!. :up:

#8 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,163 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 30 May 2009 - 13:01

I saw that crash right in front of me, but every time I try a long-winded explanation of it, the poxridden dialup system I am operating on trips out. The short version is, it needn't have happened.... :mad:

#9 275 GTB-4

275 GTB-4
  • Member

  • 6,528 posts
  • Joined: February 03

Posted 31 May 2009 - 06:46

I saw that crash right in front of me, but every time I try a long-winded explanation of it, the poxridden dialup system I am operating on trips out. The short version is, it needn't have happened.... :mad:


GD...type it up off-line then quickly cut and paste into your post :up:


#10 stuavant

stuavant
  • Member

  • 704 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 31 May 2009 - 08:25

I saw that crash right in front of me, but every time I try a long-winded explanation of it, the poxridden dialup system I am operating on trips out. The short version is, it needn't have happened.... :mad:


The vision of him, motionless, on the circuit was burned into my very young brain. I guess I was 16 or so but I can still see it as I write. I just recall a guy that did'nt want to miss the opportunity to put his leg over a bike whenever the opportunity arose.

Just trying to remember who rode the works Harley downunder the following year. Can picture it punching outta the hairpin at Ruapuna.


#11 peterd

peterd
  • Member

  • 194 posts
  • Joined: August 08

Posted 31 May 2009 - 11:53

The vision of him, motionless, on the circuit was burned into my very young brain. I guess I was 16 or so but I can still see it as I write. I just recall a guy that did'nt want to miss the opportunity to put his leg over a bike whenever the opportunity arose.

Just trying to remember who rode the works Harley downunder the following year. Can picture it punching outta the hairpin at Ruapuna.



Wasn't it Scott Brelsford?

#12 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,163 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 31 May 2009 - 23:14

The vision of him, motionless, on the circuit was burned into my very young brain. I guess I was 16 or so but I can still see it as I write. I just recall a guy that did'nt want to miss the opportunity to put his leg over a bike whenever the opportunity arose.

Just trying to remember who rode the works Harley downunder the following year. Can picture it punching outta the hairpin at Ruapuna.


I think also Stu, there was an element of trying to get any chance he could to get on a Suzuki and get cracking. I felt that his supposed signing for Suzuki indicated that he intended to specialise in roadracing rather than pursuing the Grand National AMA series, so there was no longer any need to be hamstrung on a roadrace Harley, which were great handlers but woefully slow compared to the Japanese two-stroke 750s. I think his amazing showing in the Transatlantic Series confirmed his self-belief, and that he'd pulled the right rein, so couldn't miss the opportunity to open the year with not only some racing, but a chance to get his head around racing a two-stroke again...remember, he'd had plenty of success before on the Don Vesco 250 Yamaha .
The problems began when the bike,( which I don't really think was ex-Geoff Perry, rather just one of a number of TR500 variants from Colemans, which had been ridden by Joe Lett among others) proved after practice to be a bit of a slug. Whatever the set of circumstances was, they decided to convert it to run on methanol ON THE DAY, surely an improbable task. The bike was worked on by Joe Lett, Cal himself and another older chap who I believe was Cal's stepfather. Cal did look tired and strained at this time, and was certainly up against it.
He came round at the end of the first lap in around seventh spot, and as he shut off for the long, sweeping Champion Curve, the bike seized and stepped out sideways, straightened briefly, and then stepped out again, firing Cal off. Without going into the specifics of the crash, those who saw it instantly feared the worst, and repeated calls over the PA for the assistance of a doctor to assist the ambulance staff only heightened the dread.
So, for many reasons, this is one crash which need never have happened. But like Stu, I think Cal just couldn't miss a chance of getting out and going racing. The question of what he hoped to achieve with a Lola T190 in the Tasman series for F5000 cars is entirely another matter, but I rather suspect it was a combination holiday and toe-in-the-water excercise for a possible alternative career after racing bikes. All very sad, even all these ears later.

And yes Peter, the Harley was ridden by Scott Brelsford. As I recall, its' arrival was much-delayed, and it didn't turn up until the last round of the Series. Scott, however had been out for weeks, spectating and partying. In those days, the off-track times between meetings were very social.... :cool:

Edited by GD66, 31 May 2009 - 23:16.


#13 stuavant

stuavant
  • Member

  • 704 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 01 June 2009 - 11:04

Wasn't it Scott Brelsford?

Thanks Pete, correct

#14 philippe7

philippe7
  • Member

  • 2,777 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 11 November 2009 - 03:53

While looking for something else courtesy of Google, I stumbled upon those posts in the Motorcycle News forum, by a user calling himself "aquarius" . His memories of the circumstances around Cal's accident being quite in line with those of others, including GD66 , I thought I may copy them here - hope this is OK . I'm not enjoying stirring up those sad stories, mind you, but I feel it's useful for the sake of historical truth .

All that follows was posted by "aquarius" on the MCN forum on July 16th, 2009

Nostro, there is a lot of incorrect info on the web and circulating in people's memories. I was there, before, during and after - giving evidence at the Coroner's inquest too. Here is the real story 4U and others interested in how this great talent bought the farm. That he was to ride Geoff Perry's old bike is rubbish. Rayborn came to NZ to drive a Lola Formula A car ( rear-mounted 5 L V8 and gearbox ) in the new version of the old Tasman Series. But his car was still out stuck on a ship someplace. Just after Xmas 1973, I was talking to Alan Franklin and Len Perry ( Geoff''s Dad & legend, 48 Natl Titles, IOM etc ) at his bike shop in Greenlane when in walks Cal Rayborn. He rocks up and starts talking to me. Gobsmacked ! - as I was when accidentally bumping into Mike Hailwood and beautiful wife, Pauline just B4 he left NZ for the comeback at IOM. Spoke for some 15 mins - fabulous guy, warm, open & gracious - just as Rayborn was. Both absolute Champions. Rayborn was looking to " learn " Pukekohe and when he found there was a major Meet at 'Puke on Dec 29th he was hot to trot and started looking for a bike to ride in it.. Len got Colemans involved and Cal ended up with a good, proven reliable and FAST Suzuki TR500 that belonged to Coleman Whanganui's workshop manager, Joe Lett. Then the trouble started as there was only a couple of days to go. Cals Father-In-Law was some sort of ace tuner, or so he and Cal claimed. He set about pulling off the barrels and pistons and boring and jetting so all looked like sewer pipes! They were converting it to Methanol. All the Kiwi mechanics considered what they were doing radical and unsafe and walked away and left them to it. Come Race Day and Cal practised fitfully, the bike not running properly as they struggled to get the jetting right. When it did go, he looked ultra-smooth and FAST. First big race of the Meet. Rayborn very slow off the grid and half way down the back straight in about 10th but visibly gaining. Down round the hairpin, through the esses and up and over Rothmans and onto the Pit straight to complete Lap 1, he is up the lead group like a rat up a drainpipe, into 5th and gaining fast. Sits up and changes down for Champion Curve - it seizes. Honest to God, he stood up on the pegs and actually "motocrossed " it, wrestling to get it back for about 30m before veering left and smashing into the solid wooden guard rail and low concrete wall in front of where the main grandstand is now @ approx 200 kph. The impact saw the bike destruct at the side of the track, and threw Cal back almost onto the racing line where he lay on the seal not moving, bikes braking and swerving all round him. Then followed one of NZ road racings lowest points. None of the flag marshalls saw this happen or could see him where he lay. The race continued for almost 5 LAPS !!! After 3 an ambulance nosed out of the pits and crossed onto the track, almost causing a massive multi-bike pile-up. No red flags no white flags,( service vehicle on the circuit ) nothing! I was standing just some 50m past the pits on the inside and waving and screaming my tits off and set to vault the barrier and get out on the track and wave my shirt or ANYTHING. They red-flagged it and by this time some people had jumped the barrier where Cal lay and were bending over him. You know the rest. This piss-poor race management rates with Neville Landrebe's fatality when he hit 44 gallon drums filled with water and rocks at Stables some 80m past Rayborn's crash site but some years before. In fact, expatriate Brit racer, Ron Grant walked Rayborn around the track and pointed this out to Cal as he had met Landrebe in the US. There was no ambulance or qualified medical aid at Puke that day ( unbelievable isn't it ? ) and some poor bastard was tasked with taking Landrebe's corpse around to Dr Howes house in Puke township in the back of a Holden ute ! The Doc pointed out there was nothing he could do and they really needed an undertaker. This appalling, deadly amateur hour stuff was NEVER repeated after the Rayborn incident caused it to really hit the fan bigtime (....)I had to tell poor, young Scott Brelsford who was wandering around Puke in a daze, wondering what the hell was happening after they carted poor Cal off to Middlemore Hospital (.....). December 29th 1973 was a major bummer. As was July 1973 when we lost Geoff Perry. He had just secured a works Suzuki contract to race AMA in the US. Geoff was an apprentice aircraft engineer with Air NZ and ALWAYS flew with Air NZ. His machanic, Mike Sinclair, I think - couldn't get a seat on the same aircraft so booked with PanAm ( later called PrangAm - they lost so many aircraft around the Pacific ) to arrive the same day. As fate would have it, Geoff decided to swap flights and experience another airline for a change. His PanAm 707 plunged into 35,000 feet of water coming out of Tahiti. Again, reports and the history are wrong. They said there were no survivors. There was one - a Canadian bloke found totally unharmed and floating around still strapped in his seat! No bodies were ever recovered and poor Len went up there and hired a big launch and looked for Geoff for bloody weeks B4 giving it away. Sad, sad, sad. Some people are miraculously lucky - others are fated to be the opposite. In one of those strange twists - the following year Randy Mamola turned up to compete and was so young ( 14 or 15 ) and small his bike was modified so he could sit and reach the pegs. His mentor/sponsor was a guy called Jim Doyle. His occupation? Pan Am jumbo pilot. Hope this was all of interest and set the record straigh


#15 vc1954

vc1954
  • Member

  • 43 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 11 November 2009 - 07:46

As was July 1973 when we lost Geoff Perry. He had just secured a works Suzuki contract to race AMA in the US. Geoff was an apprentice aircraft engineer with Air NZ and ALWAYS flew with Air NZ. His machanic, Mike Sinclair, I think - couldn't get a seat on the same aircraft so booked with PanAm ( later called PrangAm - they lost so many aircraft around the Pacific ) to arrive the same day. As fate would have it, Geoff decided to swap flights and experience another airline for a change. His PanAm 707 plunged into 35,000 feet of water coming out of Tahiti. Again, reports and the history are wrong. They said there were no survivors. Randy Mamola turned up to compete and was so young ( 14 or 15 ) and small his bike was modified so he could sit and reach the pegs. His mentor/sponsor was a guy called Jim Doyle. His occupation? Pan Am jumbo pilot. Hope this was all of interest and set the record straigh[/i]


The PanAm 707 broke a windscreen which was the catalyst for the accident. Randy Mamola was 14 I think when he first went to NZ and rode a 125cc Yamaha..........and Jim Doyle shafted Randy :down:


#16 peterd

peterd
  • Member

  • 194 posts
  • Joined: August 08

Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:06

Just a point, Perry's mechanic was Jon Allnatt, not Mike Sinclair.

#17 vc1954

vc1954
  • Member

  • 43 posts
  • Joined: October 09

Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:18

Just a point, Perry's mechanic was Jon Allnatt, not Mike Sinclair.



Yes and John Allnat passed away many years ago.........Spanish dancer I think.
:confused:

#18 philippe7

philippe7
  • Member

  • 2,777 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 11 November 2009 - 08:58

And ( a very young) Mike Sinclair originally came to Europe together with ( a very young ) Stu Avant in 1976 , didn't he ?

Edited by philippe7, 11 November 2009 - 08:59.


#19 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,163 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 11 November 2009 - 09:10

Correct, Philippe. I don't know the identity of Aquarius, but I'd concur with his story. Actually, that traumatic crash of Neville Landrebe's I saw as well, in just my first or second trip to Pukekohe as a young bloke. I think that was probably towards the end of 1969. Bad times..... :cry:
And Jon Allnatt, Geoff's mechanic was an absolutely super bloke, my brother was in business with him for awhile and he was a proper gent with a wicked sense of humour a mile wide. Poor bugger went down quickly in spite of a game battle. Sadly missed, but not forgotten

Advertisement

#20 peterd

peterd
  • Member

  • 194 posts
  • Joined: August 08

Posted 11 November 2009 - 09:31

Neville was killed in 1970. His younger brother Jim carried on the family name, travelling to the UK for a season, I think, and then racing into the mid-70s in the Marlboro Series, finishing off riding the Jim Cashman-built C3 Suzuki triple. Jim turned out to be a pretty handy off-road rider, too. He lives in Dunedin and still rides on the road.

#21 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,163 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 11 November 2009 - 09:41

My mistake, Peter. 1970 is correct, and brother Jim had that oh-so tasty Yamsel 350 that I used to drool over, phwoooarrgh... and of course, he gave Dennis Ireland a leg-up on the TZ350 at an important stage of his budding career.
A mate in Brisbane has bought Neville's TR2, and went to Dunedin and met Jim and by sheer chance, Dr Jim Cashman as well, so the bike is with someone with respect. Good to see.

#22 stuavant

stuavant
  • Member

  • 704 posts
  • Joined: January 08

Posted 11 November 2009 - 09:50

Correct, Philippe. I don't know the identity of Aquarius, but I'd concur with his story. Actually, that traumatic crash of Neville Landrebe's I saw as well, in just my first or second trip to Pukekohe as a young bloke. I think that was probably towards the end of 1969. Bad times..... :cry:
And Jon Allnatt, Geoff's mechanic was an absolutely super bloke, my brother was in business with him for awhile and he was a proper gent with a wicked sense of humour a mile wide. Poor bugger went down quickly in spite of a game battle. Sadly missed, but not forgotten

Jon mentored me for a while, great bloke with a great wife. His cancer was really peculiar and not something to discuss but he missed the flight with Geoff ( the original flight was with Air NZ but they cancelled the flight and they both worked for Air NZ) and Pan Am was the only alternative. There was only one seat available...

In his last days we had a day out on Auckland Harbour with the Malboro racers, Luchenelli, Mortimer, Hansford and so on. He was weak but enjoyed the respect given to him by a bunch of racers. RIP


#23 philippe7

philippe7
  • Member

  • 2,777 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 07 June 2010 - 00:55

While looking for something else, I found those old posts which I'm copying here in order to have it all "under the same roof" . Nothing sensationally new of course, but two well informed posts by Nigel and Glenn - I should have looked when I first opened this thread ....

This was published in the December 14, 1973 edition of Motoraction.

Motorcycle Record Holder to Contest Stuyvesant Series

Motor cycle Land Speed record holder and U.S. Motor Cycle Champion, Cal Rayborn, has announced that he will be contesting the coming Peter Stuyvesant $100,000 Motor Race Series.

Rayborn, who has over the past years established himself as probably the world's most versatile and successful motor cycle road race rider, is now going motor racing in a big way.

His recent motor cycling history includes two wins at Daytona (1968-69). He travelled to Britain in 1972 to contest the Trans-Atlantic races winning three and finishing second in the remaining three.

For his exploits on road circuits, one mile dirt tracks and his 265 mile an hour land speed record for motor cycles, Cal Rayborn was voted the coveted "Rider of the Year" for 1973 by the U.S. publication "Cycle Magazine".

In 1968 Rayborn turned his hand to car racing, driving a Chevrolet Transam Camaro. With this car he took a number of top placings in U.S. regional and international events.

For the coming Stuyvesant series, Rayborn will be driving a Lola 5000 car which has been modified at considerable cost by Dan Gurney.

Over the past few months the car and engine have been completely rebuilt. A second engine has just been completed and tested as a spare, ready for the first race at Levin.

For several years a works rider for the Harley Davidson Company, Rayborn is expected to compete in a couple of selected motor cycle meetings, providing they do not conflict with his car racing efforts.


Yeah the Suzuki T500, apparently his father-in-law who was mechanicing for him at the time, decided after practice that he wasn't going fast enough. The bike was derived from a road going engine, and part of the mods was to put a polyester filler in some of the ports, so his father-in-law took it upon himself to run the bike on alcohol, which had never been tested.
In the race, just starting the second lap, the filler had deteriated and come loose, causing too much air and leaning the mix off too much and seizing the engine. This resulted in Cal tragically having a high speed colision with the barriers at the first turn. (Dec 29th 1973 RIP)



Yes, I can confirm that this happened in the first race heat, at the end of lap 1. Cal had been set to race a Lola T190 in the Tasman Series for F5000 cars, and the Suzuki ride in the Marlboro Series, on a Colemans TR500 twin, came about as he'd been signed to race for Suzuki in the AMA series the following year, having been working his butt off on the Harleys for years against the rising tide of Japanese two-stroke opposition. It's my impression that he'd also made a conscious decision to specialise in roadracing rather than pursue the Grand National tour, as his results on the Harley against Ray Pickrell and the lads in the Transatlantic had confirmed his belief in his tarmac skills. Anyway, through a convoluted set of somewhat tenuous circumstances, he was a starter at Pukekohe on the Colemans TR500, and for sure the bike was converted to alcohol on the day. His father-in-law was chief mechanic, in company with Colemans rep Joe Lett, and Len Perry. At the end of lap 1, when he crossed the start-finish line and sat up to dip into Champion Curve, the bike seized, and the back stepped out wildly, straightened briefly, then stepped out again, spat him off the left side and chased him into the armco barriers, which he hit sitting down and sliding backwards, and then ricocheted back onto the track. The race was stopped immediately, but having seen all this directly in front of me and already fearing the worst for one of my heroes, my fears were ramped up by the repeated calls for anyone on the course who may be a doctor to please assist at the ambulance station.
Looking back now, I doubt whether poor Cal could have been saved even if a doctor had been on hand, but as seconds drew into minutes and time went agonisingly by, the pall of dread spread pervasively through the crowd, and somehow we all knew that this was a bad one. Without question, it raised the inadequacies of the medical facilities in those times, but it was a cruel blow that was felt worldwide in the roadrace community, and it all seemed so needless....



#24 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,163 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 07 June 2010 - 02:51

Cheers Philippe. We now know that the extra mechanic working on the TR500 was Lou Kaiser, who was neither Cal's stepfather, nor his father-in-law. He was a family friend who'd taken Cal in as a youngster and raised him, as Cal had been in an unhealthy environment since childhood with a mother and stepfather, both of whom drank heavily.
These details came to light in Norm DeWitt's very good Rayborn article in Classic Racer #142. The other thing that grinds my gears about the coverage of this most unfortunate event is that Dean Adams and other writers continue to allege that it occurred at a meaningless, insignificant club event in New Zealand, whereas in reality it was probably the most significant day in NZ's roadracing history, judging by the outcome of the Marlboro Series in terms of the subsequent exposure to the northern hemisphere of the likes of Hansford, Crosby, the Sayle brothers, Graeme McGregor, Kenny Blake and a mob of others... :rolleyes:

#25 philippe7

philippe7
  • Member

  • 2,777 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 07 June 2010 - 03:42

That's precisely the next question I was going to ask you, Glenn: For whatever reason, I always assumed that the Pukekohe meeting wher Cal had his accident was not the inaugural Marlboro series race, but a (less important ) later meeting . Although it did seem strange to me, as per what I wrote a few weeks back on the Marlboro Series thread :

As to wether Cal raced in a Marlboro Series : I don't think so , the meeting he was killed at was on december 29th if I'm right, and the opening race of the series that you took your pics at must have been a week or two earlier ? Strange, when you think about it, that there were two major races at Pukekohe in such a short time, moreover the december 29th date probably collided with a Marlboro Series race at another track ? Anybody has got the calendar of the 73/74 series ?


So, if I understand what you're saying Glenn, the race at which Cal was killed was the inaugural round of the Marlboro Series ? The meeting where Shane Kelly aka RedNeb took this large set of B&W pics that he sent me to post on the Marlboro Series thread....

Then, don't tell me that the rider on the left end of the front row, with what does look like an R on his fairing, could be......

Posted Image
photo © Shane Kelly 1973









#26 GD66

GD66
  • Member

  • 2,163 posts
  • Joined: December 07

Posted 07 June 2010 - 05:22

Couldn't say with any degree of certainty Philippe, and it would be inappropriate to guess. It was all a very last-minute arrangement, and my couple of pics of him in the pits only show that his leathers had dark legs with a narrow twin stripe. My first guess on seeing that machine was that it was the Colemans Suzuki 350-3 that Warren Willing rode under letter K, but it's a guess....

#27 philippe7

philippe7
  • Member

  • 2,777 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 07 June 2010 - 06:44

it would be inappropriate to guess.

Agreed, I'm totally with you on that point. Let's leave it there then - what is important, from the history point of view (and to correct an apparently common misconception) is that it was indeed on the occasion of the first ever Marlboro Series race .


#28 philippe7

philippe7
  • Member

  • 2,777 posts
  • Joined: August 03

Posted 19 October 2012 - 14:22

From the "Marlboro Series" thread

Posted Image

Posted Image

A couple of poignant pics I've recently tumbled across. In the first, Lou Kaiser, Joe Lett and Cal Rayborn discuss the task ahead of them at Pukekohe.

In the second pic, the engine is apart, seemingly receiving fresh pistons. It's clear from the tyre assortment the whole affair was very much a time-poor, hit-and-miss exercise.

Pics by Murray Hill.



#29 woodster

woodster
  • New Member

  • 4 posts
  • Joined: January 12

Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:24

Neville Landrebe. His wife is still in Dunedin, Diane Foote was a very good racer herself. Jamie or Jim was also a good rider. Diane was a delivery driver for Dunedin Electroplaters. I used to deal with her about 3 or 4 times a week.

#30 fastfitter

fastfitter
  • Member

  • 123 posts
  • Joined: March 11

Posted 21 October 2012 - 19:35

I was lucky to see Cal when he came over here for the Match Races - a superb rider. Unfortunately I was staggering home from my 21st when I bumped into a mate who told me of the accident in NZ that day.