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.