Ron Wil­son

Old Bike Australasia - - UNDER THE CHEQUERED FLAG - From John Simms

RON ‘DARBY’ WIL­SON was orig­i­nally from North­ern Ire­land, born 18th Jan­uary, 1937. He em­i­grated to Aus­tralia with his par­ents, brother and sis­ter in 1960. Ron was an air­craft en­gi­neer and started work with Qan­tas at Mas­cot. His rac­ing be­gan on a Match­less G45, which he later sold to the late Jack Saun­ders. He then bought a 350 Manx Nor­ton from Eric Hin­ton. This bike suited his style and he started get­ting good re­sults in C and B Grade events. In 1964, he trav­elled to Europe with two other Wil­loughby District MCC mem­bers. Bas­ing him­self in Sh­effield he bought a 500 Manx Nor­ton from John Har­tle, and in his first year only raced in UK events. He was soon get­ting no­ticed and be­ing paid start money, and in 1965 raced in North­ern Ire­land with mixed re­sults. In 1966 he again raced in North­ern Ire­land and the smaller In­ter­na­tional events in Europe. He was get­ting good re­sults in Europe and Ire­land and earn­ing good start and prize money in 1967, but re­turned to Aus­tralia at the end of the sea­son and raced here. Re­turn­ing to UK in early 1968, he raced one more sea­son be­fore sell­ing his bikes and re­turn­ing to Aus­tralia. He rode in the 1971 Cas­trol Six Hour Race, shar­ing a T250 Suzuki with Jack Saun­ders and Dig­ger Marsh, and then re­tired from rac­ing, open­ing an elec­tri­cal store in Haber­field in­ner west Syd­ney, af­ter which he de­vel­oped heat­ing el­e­ments for do­mes­tic stoves. He passed away on Novem­ber 4th 2018.

Jeff Nield’s iconic photo of Ron Toombs in full flight past the Drive In on Con­rod Straight, Mount Panorma in 1975.

ABOVE Ron Wil­son on his 500 Manx Nor­ton at Oran Park in Novem­ber 1967.

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