Clive Bennett was one of Ariel’s unsung heroes. An unassuming but brilliant engineer, who rode at low-key level in scrambles, and road racing – plus Red Marley’s Hillclimb – Clive was an important member of the Selly Oak firm’s competition and experimental shops; he was ultimately appointed to a senior position in charge of development, and left his ‘fingerprints’ on a number of successful machines.
It may also be remembered that his younger brother Dave, a highly promising road racer, was tragically killed in 1952 while challenging for the lead astride a ‘works’ Norton in the Swiss Grand Prix at Bremgarten.
Clive’s greatest achievement, perhaps, was Ariel’s HT5 trials bike, in production from 1956 onwards but, as so often the case in the British motorcycle industry, his input to what became a much-in-demand model received little recognition in the contemporary press.
He was also responsible for the Mk II HS scrambler, upon which Ron Langston competed so successfully, qualifying for Britain’s 1958 Motocross des Nations Team and, from time to time, beating Jeff Smith.
Read more in the February 2019 issue of OBM – on sale now!