The way we were: October 1987


Legendary tuner and entrant Ray Petty

Leaving these shores with his wife Stephanie, daughter Sidonie, parents and in-laws the breaking story informed, Barry was heading for Surfer’s Paradise, 50 miles from Brisbane, Queensland. Sheene, well known for his Brut advertisements and regular TV appearances including What’s My Line alongside Jilly Cooper, stated in interviews he would only return to the UK for business commitments.

The legendary Norton tuner and entrant Ray Petty (pictured) died on Thursday, October 8, of cancer aged 67. Ray, who enjoyed a remarkable partnership with Derek Minter, passed away at his home at Cove, Farnborough, Hampshire.

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A pre Second World War Brooklands racer who rode a supercharged DKW (badged as an EMC) into fourth place in the 1947 Lightweight Manx GP, he earned an international reputation for his skilled race preparation of Manx Nortons. He competed at the IoM TT races from 1948-54, gaining a fifth in the 1948 250cc Lightweight with his pre-war New Imperial.

Petty, who had rapidly earned a reputation for his meticulous racing Norton preparation, retired from racing to establish a business in Farnborough preparing Manx Nortons, supplying spares and manufacturing special parts for the ohc racing singles.                                 

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