I have had this brochure shot for many years, and when looking through some old computer files recently, I found this article about its builder. I tried to find its originator, Peter Lohre, who I lost contact with many years ago, to no avail. It’s such an inspiring but sad story that I have decided to print it. Peter, if you are out there, please could you contact me? I would love to have a catch-up.
Peter Lohre talks about his friend Peter Heuser. “There are certain people who for some reason you can never forget in life. Peter Heuser was such a character.”
The first meeting
The dateline is the early seventies and the venue Troisdorf, West Germany. I first heard of a Fina brand petrol station owner Peter Heuser at a time when his mind was focused on a brand new breathtaking motorcycle the Italian Benelli six-cylinder machine. He had never seen anything like it. He liked it, and he started a Benelli sales business. As everybody knows about Italian motorcycle manufacturers, they are most wonderful with their designs and most dubious in their reliability. Frustrated as he was, Heuser changed direction and looked towards the British Isles. Wasp of South Newton, Salisbury came into focus.
He convinced Robby Rhind-Tutt to build him a Norton-engined trials special. He took it over to Germany and started playing with it. That was when I first met him as a rider. I heard a deep sound crawling up from behind the hills in my usual trials practice grounds. Heuser turned up with this fascinating trials sidecar outfit, shouting at his passenger. He usually shouted at them all the time. This chap walked away, and I was given the hot seat in this special. We got along, and I became his number one trials passenger and Peter Heuser more or less finished my solo career — not that it was anything to mention.
We quickly discovered that the old Norton lump was too clumsy for modern-type sections; steep hills or muddy bottomless pits were more suited to it. One day Peter bought a Suzuki 250cc two-stroke enduro engine that he wanted to be fitted into one of these Wasp frames.
The next step was to travel to South Newton near Salisbury where he had special lightweight trials chassis tailored around us. The process took five days from bare Reynolds 531 steel tubes to a hand-brazed rolling chassis.
Using a CCM engine as a stopgap, it turned out not to be any good. When I went to CCM at Bolton Jubilee Works, I blew up Heuser’s newly acquired 2.8 Litre Capri on the M4 at full speed. Oil poured out everywhere; the Salisbury Ford dealers said they had not seen anything like it before!
The Suzuki engine connection led to Beamish Motors at Portslade near Brighton. The Beamish Suzuki was the sidecar to have in the 1970s.
Heuser became the sole importer to Germany, and we were both in business as ‘works’ riders. Deutschmark after Deutschmark was poured into organising a national German Sidecar-Trials Championship and we were always having the latest technical modifications fitted to our Beamish Suzuki.