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Homepage. This page: A pair of side-car racers, Taylor & Glover, with their machine in 1954.

Sidecar racing in 1954 at Crystal Palace in London.

I picked up this small photograph in a pile of oddments at a motor museum a while back. It mainly caught my eye because of the brightly liveried transporter in the background (the restoration of my similar lorry can be seen here). The sponsor logos are for Lucas - Ignition & Electrical Equipment, Notwen Oils for Dependability, Ferodo Brake Linings and Avon Tyres. In the foreground is the rider and his co-rider, the latter who would hang precariously in the streamlined Watsonian side-car attached to his low-slung motorcycle during a race. A note on the back says "Peter & Len, Crystall [sic] Palace, 1954". After posting this photograph, information turned up from descendants of one of the riders shown, of which more below.

Watsonian was a prominent manufacturer of sidecars many years ago, although I hadn't realised that they did versions for competition as well as road use, unless this is a road-going model that has been converted? Mr Watson made his first sidecar in 1912, and amazingly his company, which merged with a similar outfit in the early 1980s, is still in existence - you can read about their current sidecars on this website.
Motorcycle and sidecar

Len Taylor and Peter Glover.

Some time after publishing this photograph, Colin Taylor and later his daughter Sarah got in touch, with the following information about this photograph:
"The driver of the sidecar is my late father L.W.(Len) Taylor and the passenger is Peter Glover. Both now no longer alive. The transporter in the background is a converted Austin removal's wagon. It went all over the continent of Europe in the 1950s, as father was part of the "continental circus" of racers. If you look in the Mick Walker "Story of the Manx Norton" book you will see another picture of the transporter, showing the right side. Father also raced a 500cc Cooper F3 car borrowed from Jack Moor, a car called "The Wasp".
"Father raced at Donington pre-WW2 and held the sidecar lap record there when the circuit was closed. His then passenger was Stan Nichols, who became ACU International timekeeper in the IoM. Peter Glover in the Crystal Palace picture, after packing-up passengering, went on to run a motorcycle and accessory import business, HARGLO in Solihull West Midlands and also wrote for "The Classic Motorcycle" magazine. After Peter packed-in being in the "chair", John Kimberley took his place in the sidecar. He was the passenger in the 1960 sidecar TT, Father's last race.
"The Manx engines were prepared by Bill Stuart in Aston Cantlow and later in Great Alne. It was through him that Father drove "The Wasp", a modified Cooper F3 car in the 100-mile race at Silverstone in 1957 and '58. All the other drivers were using Methanol fuel, while Father, on Bill Stuart's insistence, used petrol. While the other drivers had to stop and refuel during the race (because of the much higher consumption rate for Methanol powered cars) father drove non-stop and finished either 6th. or 7th.
I really appreciate you getting in touch, and providing the background to this snapshot.
Return to the Vintage transport photos - Page 5.
Photographs of road-going sidecars can be seen on the sidecar photos page.

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