Concrete mixers

Nearly 500 motorcycles and cars have a blast on the banking at the fifth biennial Vintage Revival Montlhéry.

Words and photographs: Phillip Tooth

1: “It is a lot bumpier than it looks,” says Stu Rogers as he pulls a pantomime face and gives his backside a rub.

He has been campaigning cammy Nortons in classic racing for over 50 years, so he knows what he’s talking about when he shows us a replica of the works Norton that Jimmy Guthrie rode here in 1935. “Jimmy broke 15 world records.

He needed a huge seven-gallon tank to carry enough alcohol fuel for the One Hour record, when he covered 114.09 miles.”

Guthrie’s saddle was unsprung but he wouldn’t have needed a massage when he got off the Manx because the track wasn’t as bumpy back then.

One contemporary report describes the surface as “smooth – almost polished.” Dream on, Stu.


2: Terrot and Magnat-Debon were the two motorcycle marques given star billing for the fifth Vintage Revival. Terrot, based in Dijon, was taken over by Magnat-Debon, based in Grenoble, in 1921.

By the 1930s, Terrot was France’s biggest manufacturer.

Of the 60 known survivors, there were 43 of the CP race versions on display.

Although they didn’t have the international success of Norton or Velocette, the CP (for ‘Customer Competition’) still claimed 13 national titles.

Read more and view more images in the August 2019 issue of TCM – on sale now!

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