Tiger tales

Old Bike Australasia - - BLOW YOUR OWN -

As a fol­low on to the story of Cyril Jack ‘Tiger’ Find­lay (OBA 61), I was at the T.T. in the Isle of Man in 1967; the first time I had seen him since he left Aus­tralia in 1958. Tiger and Bernie Cole­man had been the two mates who in­tro­duced me to mo­tor­cy­cles in our teenage years. Af­ter his ac­ci­dent on the Bul­taco in the 250 TT, he asked me to drive his van – while I was help­ing Kel Carruthers – un­til he was fit enough to ride again (I had by this time be­come a Marine En­gi­neer and was work­ing for the Blue Star Line in London on the Brazil Star and was on leave). I drove him and Nanou to the Dutch TT and then to Spa Fran­cor­champs and he de­cided to race (he was still on crutches) in the 500 GP, so with a bit of help he cut the plas­ter off his foot and cut his left boot enough to get it on his foot and tied it up with tape, Af­ter get­ting the OK from of­fi­cials, he prac­ticed and they said he could start, but changed their mind and said he had to start from the back of the grid with no pusher. Luck­ily it was a down­hill start. He had to sit on the Match­less, clutch in with 1st gear en­gaged, push with his right foot and drop the clutch. He was last away, rode like a de­mon and fin­ished 4th be­hind Ago, Mike Hail­wood and Fred Stephens on the Pa­ton. Af­ter the race Peter Wil­liams told us he had never seen any­one ride so well around Spa. He drove him­self from there and I went with Kel, Jan and the kids for the rest of the sea­son. This is just a lit­tle story about ‘Tiger’, how de­ter­mined he was, and what a great rider as well. Pa­trick Bruce Bit­tern, Vic.

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