It was on 24th September 1972 that Hyde – the “Warwickshire Wizard’ – drove his home-built Roadrunner III outfit to an average speed of 161.8 mph at RAF Fairford.
“It was deafeningly noisy inside the aluminium body and without ventilation it was incredibly hot too, and very jittery – the front wheel lifted at 170mph. It was all untested at those speeds” he recalls.
At the time Norman worked as a development engineer at Triumph’s Meriden factory and used his experience to boost a Triumph Trident engine by enlarging it to 850cc and adding a supercharger.
Roadrunner III was added to the National Motorcycle Museum’s collection in the 1980’s but was one of the 380 machines that was severely damaged when fire tore through the building in September 2003.
Painstakingly restored by John Woodward, whose late brother Don made the original bodywork by hand, Roadrunner III was returned to the Motorcycle Museum in November 2013.
Norman remains a committed motorcyclist – he recently took delivery of a new 1200cc Triumph Bonneville T120 – and the company that bears his name continues to supply performance and styling products for Triumph motorcycles. Visit www.normanhyde.co.uk for details .