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Old Bike Australasia - - BUZZ BOX -

Known uni­ver­sally as ‘Debbo’, Eric was a star of both dirt and tar tracks; a te­na­cious but fair rider who never gave any­thing less than 100%. In the pits at any race meet­ing, you could al­ways hear Debbo be­fore you could see him; his roar­ing laugh­ter ris­ing above all the other noise. A truck driver most of his work­ing life, Eric lived at Ge­orges Hall in Syd­ney, be­side Bankstown Air­port. As well as mo­tor­cy­cles, Debbo raced Hy­droplanes and won the NSW Cham­pi­onship on Kog­a­rah Bay in 1963 and 1964 in his own Jaguar-en­gined boat.

Of all his achieve­ments, which in­cluded an Aus­tralian Se­nior Dirt Track ti­tle at Junee in 1958, his most mem­o­rable per­for­mance came at Bathurst in 1968 when, af­ter win­ning the Un­lim­ited B Grade with a new lap record on the Cor­ish Vin­cent, he looked set to take out the Un­lim­ited Grand Prix un­til a loose float bowl slowed him and al­lowed Jack Ahearn through to take the win with Eric sec­ond. When His­toric rac­ing be­gan in the mid ‘sev­en­ties, Eric jumped straight in, rid­ing his own Vin­cent/Nor­ton and a 350cc Manx Nor­ton owned by his long time friend Norm Aldridge. In later life Eric be­came a keen rally goer and a mem­ber (and later pa­tron) of the Illawarra branch of the Clas­sic & En­thu­si­asts, rid­ing an ES2 Nor­ton and a 1938 MSS Ve­lo­cette. A fall from his Suzuki road bike two years ago sent him into hos­pi­tal, and his health grad­u­ally de­te­ri­o­rated af­ter that.

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