A day for Jack and Nigel
Jack White and Nigel Boocock are names of high achievers in Speedway motorcycle history. The Vintage Speedcar Association of Queensland decided that this year’s display of Speedway bikes and memorabilia, held on August 5th at the Indian Museum would be ce
Both sadly are no longer with us but Cynthia Boocock (Nigel’s wife) and Jon White (Jack’s son) were present. Darren Sonnenberg who had the original vision and speedway tragic Tony Webb were the main organisers. The display was huge and filled both sides of Delta Street Geebung in front of the Indian Museum. Banners, leathers and mounted period photos complimented the bikes. In the crowd were many legends of the sport and Jack Porritt (Liverpool Hall of Fame recipient as a Midget Speedcar driver) armed with a microphone had a stream of notables fronting up for interviews during the day. John Boulger and his wife Jackie were flown up as special guests. He told me he is normally shy and hates public speaking, but we were entertained by exactly the opposite and it was rare to see John ‘not talking’ over the whole day. Other stories were presented by John Titman, Jim Airey, Jon White, Greg Kentwell and Bluey Scott. A notable loose engine caught my eye and after speaking with Nick Hicks I discovered that it will be the subject of an interesting restoration project. The 1000cc V-twin engine was built in 1983 by German ace tuner Otto Lattenheimer and fitted to a modified long-track machine nicknamed ‘Black Erna’. The engine was a 120HP monster made to test the cream of the speedway riders who could handle more speed than was possible with regulation 500cc solos. It was proposed for a new event which was intended for the best riders of each country at the time, a sort of ‘World Cup’ if you like. These guys were known as the fabulous five and included John Titman (Australia), Egon Muller (Germany), Ivan Mauger (NZ), Simon Wigg (UK) and another whose name escapes everyone. Unfortunately the proposal was not accepted and the engine (probably the only one of its kind in the world) was put aside. It thankfully ended up in Nick’s hands. Christmas is Nick’s target for re-building a replica ‘Black Erna’ and Mitch Shirra and John Titman have offered to ride it. Presentation time saw Darren Sonnenberg take the microphone. He presented medallions to the main supporters of the event: Darryl and Donna White (owners of the Indian Museum), guys from Queensland Vintage and Historic Karting Inc. who supported the event with a display and John Boulger for coming all the way from South Australia. The Jack White Trophy for Best Unrestored Bike was presented by Jon White to Col Rogerson from Kingaroy and the Nigel Boocock Trophy for Best Restored Bike was presented by Cynthia to Kym Mauger for the ex-Ivan Mauger ESO which won many championships in 1962 and 1963. The grand finale had 35 exSpeedway riders and some offspring lined up for a group shot behind the restored Ivan Mauger ESO. It was a very memorable day all round so many thanks must go to the organisers and participants who are keeping the legend alive. It reminded me a little of ANZAC day. With fewer of the aging warriors each year it seems their offspring rally to the cause to proudly celebrate the achievements of their forebears and the event keeps getting bigger. Pencil in August next year for the 2019 event.
Speedway veterans gathered to celebrate the past.
John Boulger shares a story while admiring Ian Proctor’s immaculate Godden.
The ultra-rare Otto Lattenheimer 100cc ‘double Weslake’ engine.
Kym Mauger, winner of the Boocock Trophy for his restoration of Ivan’s ESO.