from the archive: Classic camera – Earls Court: The boss and the Baron at Earls Court

Words: MICHAEL BARRACLOUGH

The Earls Court show that took place in November 1962 was a particularly exciting occasion for the Triumph contingent, as it was the first public exposure of their brand new Trophy model which, for the first time, would be available with a unit-construction engine and gearbox.

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Here we see John Moore-Brabazon, First Baron Brabazon of Tara, sitting on the new Trophy, with Triumph boss Edward Turner looking on.

Lord Brabazon of Tara, as he was known at the time, remains a vitally important part of Britain’s aeronautical heritage.

In the 1900s the Royal Aero Club issued him with the British F A I Pilot’s Certificate Number One, which marks him as the first British person to be licensed as an aeroplane pilot.

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In 1909 Lord Brabazon made what is thought by many to be the first live cargo flight in an aeroplane, when he reportedly attached a waste paper basket to the wing strut of his French Voisin aircraft into which he placed a small pig as part of an elaborate joke to prove that pigs could fly.

I doubt the pig was consulted about this impromptu venture into aviation!

The motorcycle that Lord Brabazon of Tara is on – the 650cc TR6 Trophy – was essentially a bigger version of the 500cc TR5 model. Its primary target demographic was American off-road riders, and it became very popular with them because of its sturdiness and ready supply of power.

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This new Trophy had a freshly designed frame with a single front downtube and a strengthened swinging arm pivot, which was lug bolted to the rear engine plates and rear subframe.

Lord Brabazon of Tara passed away two years after this photograph was taken, and was succeeded by his eldest son Derek, who held the title for a only decade before he too died. The title is currently held by Derek’s son, Ivon.

Read more News and Features at www.classicmotorcyle.co.uk and in the June 2020 issue of The Classic Motorcycle – on sale now!

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