I noted with interest the Victor Horsman photo sent to OBM (December) by Bruce Preston, but was rather surprised by the apparent lack of response to the statement that Victor was a “Brooklands exponent and tuner”, and maybe the accompanying photos and information will go some way to redress the balance.
I have pulled some of the following extracts from a 1968 book by Dr Joseph Bayley entitled The Vintage Years at Brooklands.
One of the great tuner-riders of his time, Victor was winning races and breaking records throughout the vintage years, first on Norton and then Triumph machines.
On September 9, 1920 a rider called Emerson had covered 70.46 miles in the hour on his 398cc ABC, but two days later, at the BMCRC meeting, Horsman, on his side-valve, single-gear, belt-drive Norton raised this to 71.68 miles in the 3½hp one-hour race, a nice start to a decade of racing. In fact Victor set up new figures for the 500cc hour record on eight occasions.
He had the right formula for racing and record-breaking – a long, low machine with alcohol fuel, and he always appeared to pull a higher top gear than those of his rivals – and this netted him wins and records with almost monotonous regularity.
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