The Grand Prix of Europe, 1928

Popular wins for home-made machines in two of the classes.

Photographs: MORTONS MEDIA ARCHIVE

The Motor Cycle was glowing in its praise of the Grand Prix d’Europe held in Geneva at the end of July 1928, saying the event: “…will go down in history as the best of its series to date, since it is probably the most truly international motorcycle event held in the history of the sport.

Of 109 machines entered, 49 were British, 17 Italian, 24 Swiss, eight French, five German, five Belgian, and one American.”

The riders were an equally eclectic mix of nationalities, with the cream of the British talent attracted to the event – though not all riding British machines, the most notable foreign mounted Brit being multiple TT winner Wal Handley, now in the employ of the Swiss Motosacoche firm, and campaigning their machines (with Motosacoche/MAG bevel-driven ohc engines designed by Dougal Marchant) in the 350 and 500cc events.

First sport of the weekend was Saturday’s only race, a near 250-mile event for 350cc machines, welcoming 19 starters.

Despite ‘multiple tumbles’ Handley was the victor come the chequered flag, with Jimmy Guthrie second on a works Norton.

There was another Motosacoche, ridden by Martinelli, in third, with among the list of retirements Stanley Woods, Joe Craig and Jimmy Simpson (works Nortons), Charlie Dodson and Francesco Franconi (Sunbeams), Frank Longman (Velocette) and Leo Davenport (AJS).

Read more in the July 2019 issue of TCM – on sale now!

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