Author Topic: 1939 ISDT  (Read 889 times)

Offline Stew

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
1939 ISDT
« on: January 19, 2018, 10:22:48 AM »
Morning all,

First of all hello as I am new to these parts so to speak (not necessarily to internet forums but definitely to the world of classic motorbikes), and apologies of this is not the correct part of this board to post in.  Anyway before I start rambling too much I may as well explain why I'm here, my Grandpa on my Dad's side was a very active trails rider in the 1930's on-wards until 1950 (I think).  He sadly died in 1995 but it was only after his death that the rest of the family discovered that he had ridden for the CSMA Team in the 1939 ISDT in Salzburg, competitor number 47.

It looks like he was on a works provided BSA Goldstar/Silverstar (not exactly sure what as it appears to be some sort of factory hybrid possibly).  Picture two is the registration document of that machine, whilst picture one is him (left hand rider) with the other two members of the team collecting the bikes from the BSA factory.  Picture three is the time card for day 4 (his last day before the machine broke down...I think). 

Anyway, my main question is this...Does anyone know what happened to the teams machine's after they were handed back to the factory?  Did they survive? I know its a long shot but it would be cool to find out what happened to them.
 I have a collection of paperwork related to this event along with 50% of his trophy collection, I think my cousin has the other half.  I will try to scan these documents on as I have just replaced my scanner form one that works ( the attachments are just photos from my phone and not the best quality I'm afraid.

I will leave it there for now.

Stew

Offline iansoady

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 1939 ISDT
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2018, 10:38:23 AM »
Can't help but best of luck in your quest.

The 1939 ISDT was the one where the British teams had to make a fairly hair-raising trip back across the continent to avoid being caught up in the war. I believe a number of bikes were abandoned in France and others were loaded onto vans and brought back to the UK. Some managed to ride their bikes back.

I have a copy of the Rob Carrick ISDT book in which he says: "Of the CSMA team, Whitehouse lost 10 and Ridgway retired, leaving Fred Perks running on time" on the penultimate day - after which all British competitors were instructed to abandon and return to the UK.
Ian
1952 Norton ES2
1982 Moto Guzzi V50

Offline mini-me

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 626
  • Karma: +14/-17
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 1939 ISDT
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2018, 11:03:21 AM »
As Ian says the 1939 ISDT has a great back story, whether bikes were abandoned I can't recall but quite a few competitors rode their bikes home.
What is overlooked is the real help the riders were given by the German organisers to leave Germany before hostilities started, fuel, visa's etc.
Somewhere I have the story in an old issue of either Motorcycle or Motorcycling and I'd suggest that would be a good start for background.
Then the BSA owners club, maybe the ACU.
A surprising number of ex ISDT bikes survive, your may well still be in a collection, even a museum, Sammy Miller might help if he's in a good mood.
Have you checked DVLA records to see if that reg is still on their books?

There has been quite lot written about that 1939 event over the years.


Offline L.A.B.

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1478
  • Karma: +31/-4
    • View Profile
Re: 1939 ISDT
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2018, 11:04:50 AM »
It looks like he was on a works provided BSA Goldstar/Silverstar (not exactly sure what as it appears to be some sort of factory hybrid possibly).

https://speedtracktales.com/2012/09/26/appeal-help-us-find-the-pre-war-isdt-bsas/

Quote
It is believed that all the 500cc were M24s with the exception of 2 bikes in the CSMA team: Fred Perks rode a M23 Silver Star and Les Ridgeway a M23 engine in a M24 Gold Star frame. (see Classic M/C Dec 1984)
L.A.B.

Offline Stew

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 1939 ISDT
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2018, 11:22:41 AM »
As Ian says the 1939 ISDT has a great back story, whether bikes were abandoned I can't recall but quite a few competitors rode their bikes home.
What is overlooked is the real help the riders were given by the German organisers to leave Germany before hostilities started, fuel, visa's etc.
Somewhere I have the story in an old issue of either Motorcycle or Motorcycling and I'd suggest that would be a good start for background.
Then the BSA owners club, maybe the ACU.
A surprising number of ex ISDT bikes survive, your may well still be in a collection, even a museum, Sammy Miller might help if he's in a good mood.
Have you checked DVLA records to see if that reg is still on their books?

There has been quite lot written about that 1939 event over the years.

Thanks for that mini-me, I do have a copy of that book (its at my mum's house somewhere) there is actually a picture of Les Ridgway in 'action' in there as well.  Late last year I did manage to track down a December 1984 copy I think it was of Classic Motorcycle? with the Les Perks' article in, although not actually managed to read it yet.

I have checked with the DVLA online and nothing was showing up there so will give the BSA owners club a go see if that leads anywhere.
Can't help but best of luck in your quest.

The 1939 ISDT was the one where the British teams had to make a fairly hair-raising trip back across the continent to avoid being caught up in the war. I believe a number of bikes were abandoned in France and others were loaded onto vans and brought back to the UK. Some managed to ride their bikes back.

I have a copy of the Rob Carrick ISDT book in which he says: "Of the CSMA team, Whitehouse lost 10 and Ridgway retired, leaving Fred Perks running on time" on the penultimate day - after which all British competitors were instructed to abandon and return to the UK.

I'm pretty sure his machine made it back to the UK as I also have a letter from someone at BSA apologising for the failure of it during the event, will try to scan that on later on when I get home.

Stew

Offline mini-me

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 626
  • Karma: +14/-17
    • View Profile
    • Email

Offline chaterlea25

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 297
  • Karma: +14/-2
    • View Profile
Re: 1939 ISDT
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2018, 07:13:51 PM »
Hi Stew,
Quote
It looks like he was on a works provided BSA Goldstar/Silverstar (not exactly sure what as it appears to be some sort of factory hybrid possibly)

The frame and engine numbers in the log book are both KM23 Silver Star
KM101 being the first production number for the 1939 model year
Its a fascinating story and I hope you find out more

John

Offline cardan

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 637
  • Karma: +15/-2
    • View Profile
    • earlymotor.com
    • Email
Re: 1939 ISDT
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2018, 12:40:24 AM »

Wow, what a flurry of excitement! It's such an interesting topic, and by a bizarre twist I've spent the last week or two researching Rudges in the late 1930s ISDTs. The speedtracktales website is brilliant. I love the detail, particularly the "final reports" that provide information that would be extremely difficult or impossible to glean ten years ago.

A word of caution about "ISDT survivors". I'm sure there are some genuine survivors, but there are also fakes. There's a particularly nice "1937 ISDT Rudge" (VSL869) out there, owned by a member of the REC executive, which is no such thing. Despite the owner regularly calling it "my ISDT", a photo of it on the REC web page labelled "1937 ISDT Ulster", and Rudge expert Bryan Reynolds describing it in his book "Rudge-Whitworth - The Complete Story" (where there are no fewer than three photos of it!) as "one of the 1937 factory ISDT machines", there is not a single part of it that went around in the ISDT!!! But it's very nice to look at, and that's what seems to matter these days. Such is the parlous state of motorcycling history...

Stew - good luck with your research. Some of the Rudge ISDT riders rode their own machines, and were entered under their own names. However even on the occasions where there was a team of bikes entered by Rudge Whitworth Ltd at least some of the riders had ownership of their machines after the event. I guess it depended on the "arrangements" between the riders and the factory. Note that riders could be entered under a number of banners: one rider could be part of an Official British team (say the British A Team in the International Silver Vase), AND a member of a Club team, AND a member of a manufacturer's team. As you can see from the Final Reports, there were awards in different areas.

Was it usually Leslie Ridgway, or Les?

Cheers

Leon

Offline Stew

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3
  • Karma: +0/-0
    • View Profile
Re: 1939 ISDT
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2018, 07:59:56 AM »
Thanks Cardan  :), in answer to your question his birth name was Leslie but I don't think he was ever know as anything but Les, and our surname is always Ridgway although it had been spelt in-correctly as Ridgeway in a lot of text I have already found online.

Sadly I was a bit busy this weekend to scan the bit on I was promising to do, but hopefully I will get an opportunity this evening.

Offline iansoady

  • Advanced Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 318
  • Karma: +4/-0
    • View Profile
    • Email
Re: 1939 ISDT
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2018, 10:24:24 AM »
Slightly O/T but there was a very nice ISDT Enfield outfit from the mid-1950s in a fairly recent auction which went for a very reasonable 5K or so:

https://www.bonhams.com/auctions/20928/lot/20/
Ian
1952 Norton ES2
1982 Moto Guzzi V50