Noel Clark was probably never a household name, even among speedway fans, but ask anyone in grass track or among those whose favourite hobby has been restoring old bikes, and they will tell you he was very much in a class of his own.
Noel, who passed away in hospital earlier this year aged 69 after a short illness, was the man that world champions turned to when they wanted advice about making sure they were rebuilding an old machine with total precision.
He was, to put it succinctly, the world authority on bike restoration.
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Noel lived his whole life at the idyllic Bluntington Garage in Chaddesley Corbett, Worcestershire, where his family ran the village garage and filling station along with a car breaking yard and, for some time, they were agents for the ROP petrol company.
For many years Noel and his father made an annual pilgrimage to the Isle of Man TT and it was inevitable that he would soon try his hand at motorcycle racing of some description.
He chose grass track, riding a machine which he and his father built in the workshop at the back of the garage.
He became a proficient and fearless competitor and was soon picking up trophies throughout the 1960s and 70s and it was during this time that he built his own Clarkcraft frames.
Read more in the June 2019 issue of OBM – on sale now!