Common knowledge recognises that with a long involvement with the ISDT and ISDE including its founding in 1913 at an event in Carlisle Britain has won the International Trophy the most of any nation. However it is popular belief, held with some disappointment in Britain, that the last time Britain won the Trophy was way back in the ISDT 1953 held in Czechoslovakia. The following year they lost it in Wales, handing the Trophy back to the hosts of their victorious event in the previous year. However a question remains that was ’53 the last year. Many at the time held out the vbiew that Britain should squeeze an extra year of glory if the decision of the Jury about an accident on the route had not reinstated a Czechoslovakian rider, who many felt should have been excluded for breaching the rules. Below is a picture of the first and second team in the Trophy from Motor Cycling and below that is the text of the editorial that appeared in the post ISDT 1954 issue of Motor Cycling which explains the reason why British Riders and supporters were unhappy about the final result.
A lucky Google search in 2012 identified friends of the late Jim Alves were selling off a number of his ISDT souvenirs. Photos of a number of these can be found on this blog but of particular interest was the FIM Gold Medal Jim won at the ISDT in 1953.
The importance of the 1953 win was that despite the British Team being, what Americans describe as the “winningest” when it come to the International Trophy, this event marks the last year an ACU team won it. Maybe this is one of the visual milestones that pointed towards the end of domination of British Motorcycle Brands. For another 10 or 15 years individual British riders imposed there brilliance on the ISDT results but by 1970 this was either on non British machines or custom workshop handbuilds like the Cheney or TriBSA
For now the 1953 we had never had it so good and this was our last best win of the ISDT, with the team now gone this is an important piece of the tale of the legend they left.
After brief negotiations the vendors were very keen to ensure the medal remained connected to the ISDT and agreement was quickly made for its acquisition by Speedtracktales. The collection grows.
We have been diligently, with the help of many supporters, pulling together the images of the ISDT in a hope to protect the history of the event and convey how the changing century imposed its standards on the attire, machines and attitudes of those riding. However our most frequent request from readers is to see copies of historic results looking for the names of family members, history of bikes or other studies of the riders and venues for the events. I made an appeal to our faithful supporters to help to bring together the results of the event as it seems many national governing bodies no longer hold these in their archives.
Thanks to the efforts of our secret agent in Germany, the FIM itself has stepped in and has scanned and provided all the remaining copies of Final Results and Stewards Reports they hold. The collection is substantially complete and and we will be releasing these as pdf files, hopefully with some analysis of the material they contain on the event pages. Speedtracktales wishes to thank Marc Pétrier of FIM Information Resources who has facilitated the scanning of the FIM archive of ISDT results material and is allowing us to make it available here as a public service. You will be able to download a copy of the original Results and Stewards Report.
Approaching the end of the first 9 months after taking over and updating Taff Isaac’s old ISDT site I have mostly focussed on consolidating and correct the errors in the material as well as start filling some of the years missed. I have been able to re-discover some rare archive material. For the first anniversary I am hoping we can start to create new original material that adds to the understanding of the ISDT rather than just gathering old archive material to allow SpeedTrackTales to become more of a publication, although always free to anyone wanting to read.
I have been looking through the Search Terms that have driven visits to the site and looked in particular at those search terms I think we might be deficient in that appear high in reader search terms. I am proposing over the next year 3 months to prepare articles on the following and would encourage anyone who can help me with material or copy to make the articles from.
Photo of Brit Trophy Rider Ken Heanes looking happy in ISDT 1961
BSA Empire Star
As a post script to this post I must sadly add that i have just discovered of the recent passing away of Ken Heanes in October 2012. Another great loss to the community of the ISDT and hopefully we can ensure his achievements can be preserved here for future generations of Heanes family members to discover.