The real Ray

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

In ‘Un­der the Che­quered Flag’, there is a photo of Lind­say Urquhart at Bathurst. The cap­tion claims that his pas­sen­ger is the late Ray Kelly. In the in­ter­est of ac­cu­racy, I would like to point out that this is in­cor­rect, the pas­sen­ger shown is def­i­nitely not Ray Kelly, but more likely Jim or Jack Craig. Here is a photo (above) of the real Ray Kelly pas­sen­ger­ing for Bernie Mack on the long stroke 600cc Manx Nor­ton at Fish­er­men’s Bend in 1956. Paul Reed, Stan­thorpe, Qld Cy­cle MC in Amer­ica’s Ge­or­gia in 1990 was drag rac­ing a Suzuki GSXR Pro Stock MC; well it had a GSXR fair­ing and a 1260cc 1984 EFE en­gine that was mak­ing 240HP at the counter shaft on 115 oc­tane petrol 7.56 sec­onds @ 175 MPH in the day. NHRA (Na­tional Hot Rod As­so­ci­a­tion) de­cided to do a full story on the MC. One of the in­ter­view­ers com­mented “it looks like it is do­ing 100 MPH stand­ing still”. With this com­ment some­one else said “We are do­ing some tests in a wind tun­nel next week, lets see how the drag bike stacks up.” The day ar­rived & they set the MC up in the wind tun­nel. To say there were a lot of stunned mul­lets af­ter the first test was an un­der­state­ment. Ge­orge Bryce was even more stunned. “The read out was .47. That is hor­ri­ble – the Pon­tiac 4 door sedan of the day was .35.” A Co-ef­fi­ciency of Drag of .47 was def­i­nitely the old say­ing “like the back of a bus “. They then cal­cu­lated the GSXR fair­ing was rob­bing a huge amount of horse­power just try­ing to push the MC through the air. Af­ter 150 mph (240km/h) the fair­ing was a dis­as­ter. Hence the old say­ing “Not ev­ery­thing is as good as it looks”. But there was some cold com­fort to come as they were putting the lat­est Lam­borgh­ini in the tun­nel to test its slick­ness on the same day. All the MC guys were laugh­ing and the Lam­borgh­ini guys were cry­ing; .58 was the read­ing! “This is not pos­si­ble,” the Lam­borgh­ini boss cried. “Your ma­chine is bro­ken.” Half an hour later with the huge rear wing re­moved from the Lambo its next test read­out was .30. The wing may keep the car on the road but we now know why it needed 500+ HP to go fast in a straight line. Barry Tay­lor Bris­bane, Qld In­ter­na­tional Truck dealer Price Curtis and Mom­sen, my fa­ther tried to get him to come and work for him just be­fore his ac­ci­dent. From what I was told at the time Bob hopped on his mates bike which I was led to be­lieve was a Vin­cent and he was try­ing it out on the road when he col­lided with a car and its door han­dle which re­sulted in the loss of his leg. He went on to start a small earth­mov­ing busi­ness which was suc­cess­ful. As far as I know all this hap­pened in the early 50’s or late 40’s. Mal­colm Bai­ley Cor­lette, NSW Alan Crit­ten­den, Bob Hib­bert’s for­mer side­car pas­sen­ger who later rode as pas­sen­ger for Jim Gil­bert, says Hib­bert’s en­counter with a car while rid­ing his brother-in-law’s Vin­cent hap­pened in Warn­ers Bay Road, Mount Hut­ton in 1957. The Tri­umph out­fit that they raced at Bathurst in 1962 and at Lake­side the same year (known as the Crit­tert – a com­bi­na­tion of both their names – had the en­gine and gear­box reversed to put the gear change on the left side. Hib­bert also con­verted his Holden car to hand con­trol for the ac­cel­er­a­tor and later built and raced TQ midgets. Bob and Alan won the Queens­land Grand Prix at Lake­side in 1962, tak­ing the lead when lo­cal favourite Sandy McCrae broke down. Hib­bert passed away in 1987. For your re­search ef­forts Mal­colm please ac­cept a Rari­tee Tee Shirt on us! – Ed

Bob Hib­bert iden­ti­fied!

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