The way we were: March 1938

Published: 07:30AM Feb 11th, 2013
By: Richard Rosenthal
The following is a direct quote from On the Four Winds, compiled by Nitor...
The way we were: March 1938

“Regulations governing the visibility of number plates have just been made by the Ministry of Transport. While this means that the pile of Acts and Regulations becomes a fraction higher – goodness knows how many laws and regulations now affect the motorist – the new regulations are essentially sound. In the past the regulations rather loosely said number plates must be ‘easily distinguishable…’ In the case of motorcycles, the standard distances are (to be) 60ft in daylight and 50ft at night with the front plate viewed from the side.”

Brooklands regulars were give a jolt as the season’s racing started on Saturday, March 13. Breaking from the usual practice of running cars and motorcycles at separate events the BARC and BMCRC joined forces to stage a day’s racing. Those diehard motorcyclists who were disgruntled by having to watch car racing must have been appeased by the super high-speed demonstration staged by the authorities and Eric Fernihough.

Riding his record-breaking Brough Superior in its latest almost-fully enclosed guise, Eric (above, at the meeting, with Candian racing driver Kay Petre) thrilled the crowds. From a flying start he rode high on the members’ banking to drop down on to the ‘measured kilometre’ along the Railway Straight at immense speed… an average 143.39mph. Later Fernihough confirmed that to have achieved this average he must have crossed the timed kilometre’s finishing line at “something over 158mph”. It was the fastest recorded in the UK by a motorcycle at this date.

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