There is a bit more history on Allan Saunders’ SS250 in Darwin. The photo on page 73 in OBA57 captioned as Charlie Lack, is actually of Charlie Summerton, who was born in S.A. and was enlisted/mustered in WW2 as a “motor cyclist”. Charlie’s photo appears on his War record and it is indeed him in that photo. After the war it appears Charles travelled overseas to England at some stage and by 1949, he was living in Darwin, working for the Shell Oil Company and racing motorcycles. His main preference appears to have been Nortons, with one in 1954 being reported as a “specially imported exworks Norton of England”. In February 1953, Laurie Jamieson of S.A. still had the 2 DKWS, the SS250 and the 250 “practice” bike, when he bought a 350 Camshaft Norton. It appears that in the remaining months of 1953 Charlie Summerton acquired the DKW SS250 from Laurie Jamieson as by 27 September 1953 it is reported that, veteran rider, Charlie Summerton rolled “his supersonic special an imported job from the southern states (which) is still on the secret list” onto the track that Sunday afternoon and gave it a “work out”. This “work out” was in preparation for the following weekend’s Darwin MCC Championships at the 21 Mile Airstrip. The Championship race was to be 50 miles which was 25 laps of the circuit and was duly held on 3 October 1953, before 300 spectators, with Club President, Bob Balderson, winning on his 1936 BSA 500, with Charlie on the DKW SS250, second, from a field of 14 riders, which included a HRD, Gold Stars, an International Norton and Thunderbird Triumph. Charlie continued racing in Darwin till the end of October 1954, when it appears he headed overseas to England again returning to Australia in October 1955. It was after this time that Charlie Summerton moved to Sydney and no doubt took the DKW with him. This timeline of the appearance of the DKW in Sydney, certainly fits in with Allan Saunders meeting Garnet (Arnie) Coglan with the DKW in about 1956. Garnet had a bit of experience in motor racing circles. In September 1949 Garnet had raced his MG at the Leyburn, Queensland, Australian Grand Prix and by 1951 had raced in the Easter Sports car races at Bathurst and the Qld. Road Race Championships (cars). By 1952 Garnet was an active Speedway rider the Sydney Showground and in 1954 he became entangled in a fatal solo accident at Bathurst Speedway in which he was injured and this no doubt contributed to his withdrawal from motor racing.
It is intriguing that there still appears to be one racing DKW unaccounted for, and that is the racing DKW advertised by Hazell and Moore in March of 1939 which was also reported in the 13 April 1939 edition of Brisbane’s Courier Mail (above), where it is stated that “it is now being shown in Sydney” and is described as having front suspension that “is carried out by long rubber bands instead of springs.” This is not Allan Saunders SS250 as it has a spring front suspension. The “practice” bike had rubber bands on the front suspension. So is there any truth to the delivery to King’s Motors of a 1939 works spec DKW and to its subsequent spiriting away? Is there really a ‘missing DKW’? This missing DKW is described as having rubber band front suspension, which was not a feature of a 1939 spec DKW.
Don Bain (right) winces while Kluge poses.