Geoff ‘Jake’ Smythe 1926 – 2018
JAKE SMYTHE learnt his trade as a Mechanic doing the last three years of WWII as an RAAF fighter mechanic before returning to Tasmania to join Jackson Ford (Launceston) as a mechanic. He developed an interest in motorcycle racing with his first major success coming at Greens Beach in 1948 followed by great results at Valleyfield and Tunbridge in 1949, all on a 1948 B34 500 BSA. He was backed by local distributor Sim King who in turn used him regularly in major ads in the Launceston Examiner. In 1950 he was nominated as Tasmania’s youngest State representative to the Australian TT in Bunbury WA over Easter. For this Trevor Jowett loaned him an AJS 7R 350 to compete in both the Junior and Senior races. The Junior race was won by Maurie Quincey (Vic) from George Scott (WA) with Jake able to beat Lloyd Chapman for third in a spirited battle. He returned to the State to continue racing the 7R AJS and by season’s end was the all-round Expert Club Champion. For a number of years, he worked hard for the Club as a committee man as well as riding 250 and 350 AJSs with a great deal of success. Jake developed an interest in boats and for a while worked in a marine shop before joining the large Lloyd Campbell group in their Marine and Honda Motor Cycle shop.
RIGHT Jake Smythe at one of the club’s tough Trials that usually ended with an observed section.