I congratulate you on the excellent ‘Hailwood special’ May issue. I have a memory of Mike which could not happen today. In the very late ’50s he was entered in a meeting at Snetterton, my local circuit. During the morning a rumour spread that Mike was nowhere to be seen and would not be racing. At lunch I wandered around the paddock and saw a BMW saloon car arrive. Behind the wheel was Mike beside a very decorative young lady. In the back where the seats should have been was a tatty looking 125 Mondial.
The lightweight race had a very respectable field, but Mike cleared off and lapped almost the whole field. People were stunned to silence. Maybe like me, it was the first time they had seen this phenomenon on two wheels.
I never met Mike, but some time later I did see that ratty Mondial again. I walked into a bike showroom and there it was. The bike shop manager who was racing it confirmed that it was indeed ‘ex-hailwood’. “How does it go?” I enquired. “It’s OK, but nothing special”, said its new rider. It’s previous rider truly was “something special”.