7 June 2013
It was interesting to read Malcolm Nash’s letter (Halcyon days, TCM March) about Frank Pearce Motorcycles.

When I first met him in the late 1960s he was working as a motorcycle breaker from a large barn-like building at the bottom of his garden in Brox Road, Ottershaw.

First to catch my eye, surrounded by the remains of dismantled machines, were two Grand Prix (or so I thought) New Imperial racers being prepared for Simon Grigson to ride in the newly formed post-vintage racing class. Pre-war, I understand, Frank Pearce had been quite a useful grasstrack rider and had also raced at Donington and Brooklands in the late 1930s. He was seriously injured in a road accident during the war, when he lost the sight in one eye; he rode again on a Grand Prix Triumph at an early postwar meeting at Blandford Camp. Frank’s New Imperials were actually, as Simon recently informed me, genuine ex-Les Archer works machines and not the so-called ‘Grand Prix’ production racers. While physically very similar, the difference was about 15mph, a decent gearbox and lubrication system and magnesium crankcases.

Frank was a large, stockily built man with a blunt, irascible nature, summed up by the sign on the workshop door: No credit. While certainly a character, he was no Francis Beart when it came to engine preparation and I remember cringing as he crudely clamped an engine in a huge leg vice. Simon Grigson, who provided the photographs and information, is pictured riding the earlier ex-works New Imp at the first 1967 Brooklands Reunion.

Jonathan Hill, Sherborne, Dorset

Submit your Letter

Want to tell everyone what you think? Then get in touch by...

Post: Classic MotorCycle, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, LN9 6LZ
Email: jrobinson@mortons.co.uk
Fax: 01507 529 495
On-line: Fill in the on-line contact form>>
*Ensure you include full contact details or we will be unable to publish your letter.

The Classic MotorCycle Issue 41-10 - October 2014

Where legends come to life

Got a Story?

Got a story for us?
Let us know by emailing us at editor@classicmotorcycle.co.uk

Subscriber benefits

Join the Classic Bikers Club
As a registered subscriber, you have instant access to many more articles and additional benefits, such as partner discounts and great giveaways.

If you haven't checked on the latest deals, click here now >>