Sil­ver Dream Team

Prac­ti­cal Sports­bikes is proud to of­fer you the in­side story of the mak­ing of Sil­ver Dream Racer…

Practical Sportsbikes (UK) - - Contents - WORDS MARK GRA­HAM PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BAUER AR­CHIVE AND DAVID WICKES PRO­DUC­TIONS

In­side story of the mak­ing of this pe­cu­liarly Bri­tish mo­tor­cy­cle movie

YOU WILL NOT be sur­prised to learn that our man Pe­ter Kent, who was em­ployed specif­i­cally by Bar­ton Phoenix to look af­ter the Sil­ver Dream ma­chines spent most of his time try­ing (with some suc­cess) to get­tina Free­man (Diane Keen) onto the back of his Suzuki GT380. “I took her round Brands a cou­ple of times,” says Pe­ter. “And around Pinewood stu­dios when we were shoot­ing there too.” He has noth­ing but com­pli­ments for the win­some Bri­tish star­let whose finest mo­ment in the movie ar­rives in the first five min­utes when Nick Free­man’s brother (her hus­band) dies in a fairly in­nocu­ous dirt bike ac­ci­dent. She does great scream.and she was pretty good in 10 years’ worth of Nescafé cof­fee ads too (sadly, with­out the yelling). But we di­gress. Re­leased in 1980 David Es­sex’s finest hour (111 min­utes to be pre­cise) has di­vided opin­ion among the mo­tor­cy­cling cognoscenti (that’s you) for 37 years. For some it rep­re­sents all that is piss-poor about the Bri­tish film in­dus­try; stretched bud­get, cheesey, hack­neyed stodge fit only for wet Sun­day after­noons when li­cens­ing laws pre­vented you from stay­ing in the pub. For oth­ers it’s a high-wa­ter mark in home­spun big screen drama of the ut­most qual­ity. Ei­ther way, it re­mains one of the very few movies with mo­tor­cy­cle rac­ing at the core of the plot, a no­table other be­ing Lit­tle Fauss and Big

Halsy star­ring Robert Red­ford and Michael J. Pol­lard.

What­ever.where­am­er­ica got the work­man­like Robert Red­ford, we had gen­uine ’70s su­per­star David Es­sex; singer, ac­tor, pin-up, role model, man about town and son ev­ery mother wished they had. He was also a real-life mo­tor­bike rider (al­though so was Red­ford to an ex­tent).

David Es­sex shows off his sil­ver­ware

L to R: Pe­ter Kent, Cristina Raines, David Es­sex, Barry Hart

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