Changing times

The undoubted star of the show was Norton’s new Commando. Green roundels and orange seat made it stand out even more!

Billed as ‘the most glittering international show ever,’ the 1967 Motocyclorama organised by the British Cycle and Motor Cycle Industries’ Association may have sparkled, but it was a much leaner affair than in recent years. Despite occupying much less floor space than a year earlier, the press endeavoured to hype up the event, with The Motor Cycle headlining ‘September Supermarket’ and Motor Cycle News ‘You’ve not seen all this before.’

Traditionally held in November, the organisers switched dates and the Earls Court venue opened at 10am on Saturday, September 16, 1967. Not only the first ‘late summer’ London Show held at Earls Court, but also the same day as 75,000 fans flocked to the Wembley speedway final – mistiming in the extreme. Either of these factors, or perhaps the parlous state of the British motorcycle industry, accounted for a 33% drop in footfall on the show’s first day, from 21,000 to 14,000. Organisers put on a brave face claiming numbers would pick up during the week as speedway fans took a day off work to visit Earls Court. They didn’t.

Read more in the February issue of TCM – on sale now!

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