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Minter v Mike at Brands


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#1 pykey

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 12:24

Did anyone attend the race it was supposed to be the clash of the Giants so what happened? Mint on the Gilera and Mike on the MV?

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#2 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 13:06

Yes, but it was over forty years ago and I can't remember the outcome.

However referring to his autobiography 'Racing all my life', the clash never took place as Mike crashed in the 350cc race on his AJS and chipped a bone in his left hand so opted not to ride in the 500 and Unlimited events. Minter won both races and broke the 90mph lap record at 90.34mph.

#3 Russell Burrows

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 13:17

Originally posted by pykey
Did anyone attend the race it was supposed to be the clash of the Giants so what happened? Mint on the Gilera and Mike on the MV?


I think you are referring to the MV / Gilera contest due to happen at Brands in April 1963. If my memory serves me correctly, Minter on the Gilera had beaten Hailwood's MV at Imola just a few weeks before, therefore the clash at Brands was much hyped and obviously eagerly awaited. However, both also rode in the earlier 350 race, Mike aboard his trusty 7R and the Mint on his Norton. The race was a cracker, with Hailwood leading for much of the time but Minter, Phil Read and Mike Duff were right up his megaphone for almost the entire race distance. As they shot into view at Clearways on the last lap, Hailwood still led but the others were climbing all over him. In an effort to be first across the finishing line, Hailwood gunned it a little too hard when cranked right over on the exit of Clearways and crashed in spectacular fashion when the foot rest dug in. Minter and Read somehow avoided coming down in the general melee and finished in that order with Duff third. Hailwood then was too bashed around to make the start of the 500 race race, which was won by Minter on the Gilera. I think I'm right in remembering that during this race Derek upped the bike lap record to over 90 for the first time.

Sorry Paul, didn't read your post before completing mine - thought I was Mick Woollet there for a minute.

#4 Russell Burrows

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 13:41

Originally posted by Russell Burrows


I think you are referring to the MV / Gilera contest due to happen at Brands in April 1963. If my memory serves me correctly, Minter on the Gilera had beaten Hailwood's MV at Imola just a few weeks before, therefore the clash at Brands was much hyped and obviously eagerly awaited. However, both also rode in the earlier 350 race, Mike aboard his trusty 7R and the Mint on his Norton. The race was a cracker, with Hailwood leading for much of the time but Minter, Phil Read and Mike Duff were right up his megaphones for almost the entire race distance. As they shot into view at Clearways on the last lap, Hailwood still led but the others were climbing all over him. In an effort to be first across the finishing line, Hailwood gunned it a little a hard when cranked right over on the exit of Clearways and crashed in spectacular fashion when the foot rest dug in. Minter and Read somehow avoided coming down in the general mele and finished in that order with Duff third. Hailwood then was to bashed around to make the start of the 500 race race, won by Minter on the Gilera. I think I'm right in remembering that during this race Derek uped the bike lap record to over 90 for the first time.


Posted Image

One of the best races ever seen at Brands. Bottom right is Minter just avoiding Hailwood's flailing body and airborne 7R before crossing the line to win!

#5 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 14:58

Them AJS/Matchless vs. Norton days were good ,eh ? There was a MC mag with good coverage and near complete results (on WC events) , but rather poor paper then , Motor Cycle Ill. ?
And there was many non WC events , with many top names and often surprising results (often in Italy) ! :smoking:

#6 Bernard

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 15:41

I can remember Motor Cycle which was a bound magazine, Motorcycling and MCN as newspapers and Motorcycle Sport which started as a newspaper. There was a monthly with reports by Jim Greening and pictures by Nick Nicholls but I cannot remember its name. I was 20 then 63 now!

#7 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 16:19

Wasn't there a Motorcycling Illustrated with lots of coloured pics, Bernard? I think for a while, I took every damn one of them which took a lot of paper round money.

#8 Russell Burrows

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 16:41

Posted Image

The grid for the famous 350 race at Brands - how many can you identify?

#9 ex Rhodie racer

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 18:32

Originally posted by Paul Rochdale
Wasn't there a Motorcycling Illustrated with lots of coloured pics, Bernard? I think for a while, I took every damn one of them which took a lot of paper round money.


Indeed Paul. I still have a fair amount of those early issues. I´ll see if I can work out how to put pics up again, and scan a few covers for you and the others on here. Just give me a few days to work it all out. :lol:

#10 pykey

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 21:00

Hey what a response in fact i was at Brands we travelled on Thurs evening from the Wirral me on my brand new aermachi and guess what i dropped it in Newport Shrops but i got up and continued the long journey only to see Mike drop it at Clearways, those days were magic.

#11 Russell Burrows

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 21:02

Posted Image

Same race, seconds later, as Hailwood receives help at trackside. These three have all appeared on this site recently ??????

#12 Russell Burrows

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 21:06

Originally posted by pykey
Hey what a response in fact i was at Brands we travelled on Thurs evening from the Wirral me on my brand new aermachi and guess what i dropped it in Newport Shrops but i got up and continued the long journey only to see Mike drop it at Clearways, those days were magic.


Wasn' t it a fantastic race! Those really were the days.

#13 pykey

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 21:26

Yes great days we were lucky to have witnesed it :lol:

#14 sterling49

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 22:47

When did Derek Minter retire from riding? I knew he was a big name, but I never went to a bike race until 1967 (when Hailwood rode the 250-6 and annihilated the opposition) and so Minters always appeared to me as a refuge on a bitterley cold, wet, winters afternoon, to get a cup of nuclear coffee. No matter that it did not taste good, you needed asbestos gloves to hold the cup and that was a bonus!!!

#15 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 22 January 2008 - 23:49

1967.

http://www.iomtt.com...d=1811&filter=M

#16 Bjorn Kjer

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:13

:wave: Yes , those were the days ! Take a look again at the picture in post 8 : They are not looking at the starter or a red light (yet) , still they are smiling and looking at each other , some appears to chat !

#17 GD66

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 07:34

And in Russell's post #11, those were the pre-local yellow flag days, apparently ! Those three are going hard at it for the line, good stuff. And nice use of pics, Russell.;)

#18 Russell Burrows

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:37

Originally posted by GD66
And in Russell's post #11, those were the pre-local yellow flag days, apparently ! Those three are going hard at it for the line, good stuff. And nice use of pics, Russell.;)


Thanks GD. Yes, Ian Goddard, Peter Preston and Ron Chandler - one eye on the rev counter, going for the line. Hailwood was lucky to walk away from the crash: in the small inset picture above you can see his 7R was airborne.

#19 Russell Burrows

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:42

Originally posted by Bjørn Kjer
:wave: Yes , those were the days ! Take a look again at the picture in post 8 : They are not looking at the starter or a red light (yet) , still they are smiling and looking at each other , some appears to chat !


Number 54, Tony Godfery, appears to be in conversation with most of the others, but not Derek Minter no 11. Bit of attempted psyching out going on?

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#20 ex Rhodie racer

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 09:44

I know "the good old days" is an overworked cliché, but looking at that start line pic, and given the choice, I would much rather be there than at any modern race meeting you care to mention. We really were fortunate guys. :up:

#21 Russell Burrows

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 16:19

Originally posted by Russell Burrows
Posted Image

The grid for the famous 350 race at Brands - how many can you identify?


Or is Hailwood reminding the rest that he has the only bike with a big Italian Oldani front brake. The grid: Hailwood, Duff, Read, Hartle, Minter, Godfrey, Dunphy and Driver. Actually, Hailwood's 7R - probably the same bike to break a gudgeon pin when leading the 61 Junior - did not have a magneto, presumably in an effort to save weight. Other visible mods were a non standard petrol tank and the Oldani. The odds against it not having a five or six speed gearbox, were I would have thought, quite low.

#22 David Birchall

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 16:52

If the bike didn't have a magneto how was the ignition fired-I realise it is a a single cylinder but if it had no magneto it would need a battery and that would weigh more wouldn't it?

In the mists of time I remember the build up to the big race and the disappointment that Hailwood was unable to compete-I had a subscription to Motor Cycle magazine (The editor was a bloke named Curry wasn't it?) and followed front line racing religiously.

#23 Russell Burrows

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 17:11

Yes, it had a battery which, as you say, raises questions around weight saving. Maybe it saved a small amount of weight and this was the approach adopted throughout when making mods to the bike, as for example in the changing of the big 'ol standard 7R petrol tank? The magneto was a fair chunk of weight, not sure how much though. I suppose a nicely put together engine, a six speed gearbox, big brakes and even a modest reduction in weight all helped make it a competitive motorcyle, at least against other singles.

Yes, I can never remember which was which. Both 'The Motorcyle' and 'Motorcyling' covered racing and of course so did MCN. On reflection, wasn't Bob Currie the Midlands editor for one or the other; obviously a post established when we had a motorcyle industry based in the Midlands about which someone could report. From memory the writing style in both of the earlier mags appeared more than a bit archaic and stuffy when compared to the newspaper, MCN - the latter of course survived.

Edited by Russell Burrows, 29 November 2011 - 20:16.


#24 David Birchall

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Posted 23 January 2008 - 18:54

I suppose a magneto, even for a single cylinder, uses engine power-a valuable commodity on a small single cylinder engine-so perhaps the battery fired ignition system meant another bhp or so available to drive the bike....

#25 GD66

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 06:56

How about that tasty fairing on the 7R, tucked right in with a moulded bulge for the exhaust pipe, with Duff, Read, Godfrey and Dunphy using stock Peel Mountain Mile jobs. Pretty good lineup, and a bumper crowd in. You try to resist saying "those were the days", but .....jeez.... :cool:

#26 Paul Rochdale

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Posted 24 January 2008 - 22:39

Back to Brands. The crowd, according to Minter's book, numbered 60,000 that day. The next event at Oulton Park on Easter Monday attracted 50,000.

I wonder what the size of the crowds are these days?

#27 Russell Burrows

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 10:12

Originally posted by Paul Rochdale
Back to Brands. The crowd, according to Minter's book, numbered 60,000 that day. The next event at Oulton Park on Easter Monday attracted 50,000.

I wonder what the size of the crowds are these days?


Don't know, don't go anymore, but introducing two chicanes into a dinky little circuit like Mallory park appears to be designed to kill the spectacle. I'm told that the move to emasculate other circuits around the country continues apace.

#28 pykey

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Posted 25 January 2008 - 13:07

I only go to real road racing Kells in Co Meath is my favourite, as for modern racing i find it a wee bit boring.

#29 Bauble

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Posted 27 November 2011 - 12:43

While browsing through some posts long before my time I stumbled on this thread, and it jogged a memory from the late fifties, probably.

My girl friend (now my wife) owned a motor bike (I rode a bike) and we went to Brands Hatch for a meeting that featured Hailwood on something esoteric (MV?) and Derek Minter on his usual Nortons. Much to her chagrin Minter won both 350cc and 500cc races fairly easily.

I expect some learned soul will put me right, but that is certainly my recollection.

bauble.

#30 rotrax

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 19:38

Did anyone attend the race it was supposed to be the clash of the Giants so what happened? Mint on the Gilera and Mike on the MV?

Hi, I was there that day. As has already been said Mike H. did not start the 500 race. I remember the lovely sound of the Gilera's and the puff of blue smoke from the four meggas on the gearchanges. A great day.

#31 fil2.8

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Posted 29 November 2011 - 20:14

Didn't Mike slide off one of Uncle Tom's 350 AJ's on the exit of Clearways , while in the lead on the last lap , injuring his hand , which prevented him from riding in the 500 race , or , am I dreaming again :blush: :yawnface: ??

#32 terryshep

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 17:02

Yes, it had a battery which, as you say, raises questions around weight saving. Maybe it saved a small amount of weight and this was the approach adopted throughout when making mods to the bike, as for example in the changing of the big 'ol standard 7R petrol tank?

Real point of fitting coil ignition instead of the mag, Russ, was that it supposedly gave a fatter spark for pushstarting. I didn't go that way myself, because I didn't want the extra bits of wire and possibly faulty connections, not to mention worrying about how much charge was left after practise. There was enough to worry about without that.

#33 Russell Burrows

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Posted 03 December 2011 - 19:02

Real point of fitting coil ignition instead of the mag, Russ, was that it supposedly gave a fatter spark for pushstarting. I didn't go that way myself, because I didn't want the extra bits of wire and possibly faulty connections, not to mention worrying about how much charge was left after practise. There was enough to worry about without that.


Thanks for clearing that up, Terry. Pity they don't make 'em push nowadays.  ;)

#34 GD66

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 00:42

My girl friend (now my wife) owned a motor bike (I rode a bike) and we went to Brands Hatch for a meeting that featured Hailwood on something esoteric (MV?) and Derek Minter on his usual Nortons. Much to her chagrin Minter won both 350cc and 500cc races fairly easily.

I expect some learned soul will put me right, but that is certainly my recollection.

bauble.




I have had a trawl through both Mick Woollett's Hailwood book, and Mick Walker's Minter book for this Bauble, but it doesn't seem to come up in either. Minter beat Hailwood several times when they were both mounted on bangers, though, and I recall from those times that Hailwood usually listed Minter as one of his most fearsome adversaries. And rightly so... also, who knows how much better The Mint's career stats would have read if he was any danger of actually getting a good start from time to time...? :)


#35 kz71

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 08:57

Thanks for clearing that up, Terry. Pity they don't make 'em push nowadays. ;)


Never could see the sense in push starts, even though I loved them, easy way to get a big advantage if you got your bike starting well.
I always thought that a motor race without a motor is not a motor race, it's a running race, you go to the local athletics ground for these races :)

#36 Russell Burrows

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 10:52

Never could see the sense in push starts, even though I loved them, easy way to get a big advantage if you got your bike starting well.
I always thought that a motor race without a motor is not a motor race, it's a running race, you go to the local athletics ground for these races :)


Some traditions are worth preserving, kayzee. Surely it added to the spectacle and stirred things up a bit ? And think of those poor clutches.

#37 terryshep

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 15:23

Some traditions are worth preserving, kayzee. Surely it added to the spectacle and stirred things up a bit ? And think of those poor clutches.

I'm with you on this, Russ, but then I'm a big fellow with long legs. I'm not sure Dani Pedrosa or Casey S. would agree with us.

#38 Russell Burrows

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Posted 04 December 2011 - 16:55

I'm with you on this, Russ, but then I'm a big fellow with long legs. I'm not sure Dani Pedrosa or Casey S. would agree with us.


Yes, Terry. A hush settles over the grid, hearts are pumping like mad...... Didn't always go well though, aye.
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#39 GD66

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 08:43

Dagnab it ! At least you made the paper, Russell. Looks like Amaroo.

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#40 Russell Burrows

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Posted 05 December 2011 - 10:18

Dagnab it ! At least you made the paper, Russell. Looks like Amaroo.


Yes, Glenn, Amaroo, and I think I recall some ribbing at work over this. I was brought down in a later race that day after someone chucked it away coming into the lefthander. I wonder if Turnbull ever drops in here?

Edited by Russell Burrows, 05 December 2011 - 10:18.


#41 GD66

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Posted 02 December 2012 - 23:49

Minter beat Hailwood several times when they were both mounted on bangers, though, and I recall from those times that Hailwood usually listed Minter as one of his most fearsome adversaries. And rightly so... also, who knows how much better The Mint's career stats would have read if he was any danger of actually getting a good start from time to time...? :)




Lads, my mate Harry Reynolds has heard on the grapevine that Derek Minter is very unwell, can anyone over there shed any light on The Mint's health ?
Fingers crossed : it seems like only a few weeks back we were celebrating his 80th.