Overdue debut

Words: James Robinson Photographs: Gary Chapman/Mortons Archive

This prototype machine was never actually fully finished, but dedication, hard work and enthusiasm has seen it take to the road for the first time… 55 years after the project began.

Impressive torque of the 350cc twin is evident on the move.
Impressive torque of the 350cc twin is evident on the move.

This is a tale of detective work, dedication and no little ingenuity. What has resulted, through the efforts of John Snow and Andy Hewett, is a pretty, well-finished example of what could have been made. As John explains: “As Peter had decided on a plan in 1961 to try and put the bike into limited production, I thought I would complete it so that it looked like a manufacturer’s prototype, as would have been shown at the 1961 Earls Court show.”

Peter was, and is, Peter Hogan, who, with his brother John, was at the forefront of British 125cc racing in the 1950s. Richard Rosenthal covered John Hogan’s career in a two-part story in our February and March 2004 issues, an article compiled with the assistance of Peter (born 1930), the younger brother.

John was born in 1924. Interestingly it was the junior sibling who piqued the interest of the elder with racing dreams and by the early 1950s they were regularly first and second on their brace of home-tuned BSA Bantams – until the arrival of the Italian exotica in the eighth-of-a-litre class.

John went to work and race for EMC and later competed on MVs, while Peter continued his efforts in the two-stroke field, culminating in him building a 250cc doubled-up Bantam, which had a direct influence on the machine featured here.

Read more in the December issue of TCM

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