Where BSAs Dare

July 2015


Norman Vanhouse | Maudes Trophy | ISDT


Okay, this is a new publication from Panther Publishing and will be launched at the Classic Mechanics Show at Stafford on 17th - 18th October 2015.


Written by the late Norman Vanhouse (with a foreword by Jeff Smith), it's the tale of three "randomly selected" 500cc production BSA A7 Star Twins that entered the 1952 ISDT, then took the coveted Maudes Trophy. The narrative follows the daring exploits of the oily and muddy snow-bitten riders (Vanhouse, Fred Rist and Brian Martin) through Austria, Germany, Denmark and finally to Oslo, Norway for the flying quarter mile tests (at over 80mph on average). The bikes then returned to the UK having covered 4,958 miles.


Accompanying the launch of the book will be the famous Maudes Trophy itself which you can go and gawp at or touch or steal if you're so disposed. You can find it at the Panther Publishing stand (149 - 150 in the main hall). The special show price for the book is 12, but we don't have any other details.




George Pettyt of Maudes Motor Mart (based at 100 Great Portland Street, London W1) started the Maudes thing way back in 1923. The idea was to put the various motorcycle marques through a gruelling series of endurance tests under supervision of the ACU. Pettyt provided a silver "challenge trophy", earned a lot of publicity for himself, and didn't do the motorcycle industry much harm either.


The event's popularity (and relevance) has waxed and waned over the decades. The motorcycle manufacturers were generally half-hearted about the whole thing. But a few factories rose (and rode) to the occasion and supplied teams.


Norton dominated the early years (1923 - 1925). In 1926, BSA took the trophy. Ariel reigned supreme between 1927 and 1931. In the 1930s, Triumph, Panther and BSA were the leaders of the pack. The Japs came along in 1962 when Honda fielded three 50cc Super Cubs that covered 15,800 miles (collectively) at Goodwood averaging 31mph over a continuous week of motoring. Honda held the trophy for eleven years. Currently, Yamaha are the "custodians". But the cup doesn't really mean that much now. The heyday has been and gone.


If, however, you want to explore the adventure of the 1952 Maudes Trophy, talk to Rollo Turner at Panther Publishing.



Del Monte



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Where BSAs Dare

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