Brian Clark­son

Old Bike Australasia - - BUZZ BOX -

The big­gest mo­ment of BRIAN CLARK­SON’S ex­ten­sive and var­ied rac­ing ca­reer came in 1971 when he won the inaugural Sun­raysia Desert Rally near Mil­dura. The event was a new con­cept for lo­cals, and there were many dif­fer­ent ap­proaches taken by com­peti­tors. Clark­son’s ap­proach was sim­ply pull on his faded yellow Husq­varna jer­sey, strap a gal­lon of petrol to the top of the forks, and go for it. The win was a touch for­tu­nate af­ter sev­eral of the lead­ing com­peti­tors be­came lost due to in­cor­rect course mark­ing, but ‘Clarko’ just sol­diered on through the dust storms, bat­tling with the loss of first gear which made get­ting through the deep sand dif­fi­cult. But for the most part, it was flat in top and af­ter 170 miles, the three-year old Husky came home not just ahead of all the other bikes, but way ahead of the clos­est car. Brian just trousered the $625 first prize and went home happy. Born in 1943 and a mem­ber of An­nan­daleLe­ich­hardt MCC, Brian raced var­i­ous bikes on Syd­ney dirt Short Cir­cuits like Vine­yards, Ar­ca­dia and Glenorie, and in Scram­bles at Moore­bank and Mount Kem­bla. Get­ting onto a new 360 Husq­varna el­e­vated him to the A Grade ranks, and he used the Swedish ma­chine not only off-road, but for road rac­ing at Oran Park. In 1970, he suf­fered a se­ri­ous crash at Bathurst when his Ve­lo­cette Thrux­ton seized at the flat out down­hill kink en­ter­ing Con­rod Straight, leav­ing him a with a bro­ken wrist, but in order to take part in the much-pub­li­cised ‘Steeple­chase’ event on the Husky at Syd­ney Show­ground Speed­way, he painted the plas­ter cast black and slipped on an over­size glove. Brian gained fur­ther no­to­ri­ety when he en­tered an MV Agusta in the 1972 Cas­trol Six Hour Race, an en­try that gained con­sid­er­able pub­lic­ity but lit­tle else af­ter clutch fail­ure forced an early retirement. He cam­paigned an odd va­ri­ety of bikes in mo­tocross, in­clud­ing Mex­i­can Cara­bel­las, a TM400 Suzuki owned by Hazell & Moore, and the ‘All Aus­tralian’ (ac­tu­ally built in Bri­tain by Sprite) Al­ron. Af­ter quit­ting rac­ing, he opened a mo­tor­cy­cle wreck­ing busi­ness at Pen­rith which he op­er­ated un­til he re­tired to live on the NSW Cen­tral Coast. Of burly physique, fit­ness was never one of Brian’s strong points, but his nat­u­ral strength helped him greatly in the off road events. Brian Clark­son passed away on 21st May, 2019, at his home.

Brian Clark­son on his 360 Husq­varna at Moore­bank, 1969. ABOVE Brian Clark­son with his MV Agusta at scru­ti­neer­ing for the 1972 Cas­trol Six Hour Race.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.