Austin Munks, who lost an eye in a shooting accident, won the 350 and 500 Manx Grands Prix in 1934, 1935 and 1936 riding Nortons. A few years later Norton gave him a works 500T trials bike.
This bike will be displayed at the 33rd Carole Nash International Classic Motorcycle Show on Saturday and Sunday, April 27-28, 2013. The event takes place at Stafford County Showground in Weston Road, Stafford ST18 0BD.
The machine adds to an already stellar line-up headed by guest of honour Phil Read – the first man ever to win a Grand Prix world title in each of the 125, 250 and 500cc classes – and the show will feature more than 500 traders and displays by over 70 clubs.
David Pattison, who now owns Austin Munks’ 1951 Norton 500T, said: “I bought it quite a few years ago in Leicester as a result of a reader ad in Classic Bike Guide magazine. I have the original old buff logbook and the first name in it is Norton Motors Ltd. The second is Austin Munks.”
The Norton 500T is widely regarded as one of the finest rigid frame trials bikes. Joining it at the show will be a pair of motorcycles owned by Ferry Brouwer – the Yamaha four-cylinder 250 and 125 world championship bikes raced by Phil Read, while roaring into life will be Read’s ex-works MV. Owner Dave Bedlington will be firing it up each day.
Other attractions include the gravity-defying 1920s machines of the Wall of Death motorcycle show, the GP Paddock, where you can hear the growls and howls of monstrous racers being fired up, and a display celebrating a century of classic marque Velocette featuring nine bikes and two engines.
Mick Andrews will be taking part in a trials demonstration twice a day on both days next to the event’s Dirt Bike Hall with champion rider Yrjo Vesterinen and former sidecar world champion Stan Dibben will be at the Norton Owners’ Club stand.
On the second day of the event, Bonhams will be auctioning £1 million worth of the world’s rarest and most beautiful classic motorcycles. These include a pair of Brough Superiors – a 1931 SS80 and a 1926 SS80/100 – and a Vincent Black Shadow used by Vincent in a failed attempt to set a new world endurance record in 1952.
Classic Bike Shows organiser Nick Mowbray said: “Austin Munks is one of the great names from the Isle of Man’s history and was a great character. His Norton 500T provides a link to those glory days which are gone but not forgotten. It’ll be in good company at the Stafford show – we’ve got hundreds of historic bikes coming from all over the country, each with its own story to tell, and that’s the beauty of an event like this.
“If you come along too you’ll also have a chance to see and perhaps even shake hands with some of motorsport’s fastest men. Phil Read is a legend and his incredible achievements on the track speak for themselves. Yrjo Vesterinen is a master of his craft while Stan Dibben was a world champion sidecar rider in the 1950s, was a jazz trumpeter and also worked with Donald Campbell and Bluebird. I can’t wait to meet them.”