It's John & Sammy:

Posted: Wed 26 Nov 2003


John Surtees, the only person to win World Championships on two wheels and four, is bringing two of his most famous bikes to ride at the Classic Motorcycle Festival, at Pukekohe Park Raceway on February 7th & 8th 2004.

Surtees won seven Motorcycle World Championships between 1956 and 1960, totally dominating the sport. In 1958 and 1959 he won every 350cc and 500cc World Championship Grand Prix, and held every lap record.

He made his car-racing debut in 1960, and in only his second F1 Grand Prix gained second place behind World Champion Jack Brabham.
In 1963 he won the NZ International Grand Prix at Pukekohe, in his own car, a Lola T4 Climax.
By 1964 he was Formula One driving for Ferrari.

Surtees turns 70 a few days after the Festival, but still rides with the same skill and precision that made him a World Champion. He has said these may be his last high speed demonstrations.
The two bikes Surtees is bringing to New Zealand are his own four cylinder 500cc MV Augusta, of the type he helped develop, and rode to so many victories. This type was later used by Mike Hailwood to win the World Championship from 1962 to 1965.

The other is the unique Norton prototype \"F\" Model made in 1955, the last year Norton competed in the World Championship with a full works team. The bike, with its single cyliner, horizontal (flat) engine, was never raced before the company closed the race shop. In recent times John Surtees has used his many engineering talents to rebuild the bike to racing conditions.
Neither of these bikes has been seen outside of Europe before.

Motorcycle Trials ace Sammy Miller is also bringing his own four cylinder 500cc Gilera from his museum in the UK. This bike was the main rival of the MV, and will make a perfect accompaniment to the MV \'music\'.

The 25th Anniversary Classic Motorcycle Festival will be the biggest Classic event in the Southern Hemisphere, with more than 20 overseas riders from UK, Austria, Germany, USA and Australia competing against 220 local riders. The two-day programme of racing and demonstrations will feature over 300 bikes.

The event stemmed from an idea by former World Champion, Hugh Anderson and some friends in 1979 to provide a place for people to use old racing bikes that were \'sitting in sheds\'. His dream has been hugely successful in bringing out of retirement many of New Zealand\'s most famous bikes and riders.

In the 1970\'s the Japanese domination of motorcycle racing had been so complete, that the New Zealand Classic Motorcycle Racing Register Inc was creased to cater only for \"Pre 1963 British, European and American Racing Motorcycles\". This was later amended to pre-1976, and today brings together one of the finest collections of classic motorcycles anywhere in the world.

For more information contact;
Norm or Lynda Maddock Ph (09) 422 2638 or
Ken McIntosh Ph (09) 570 1119