General History of the ISDT 1913 – 1979

Under Construction always

The FIM have published a complete list of trophy winners for the ISDT – ISDE 1913 – 2011 which can be downloaded here

ISDT / ISDE Trophy winners

Image of scanned list of International Trophy Winners 1913-59 from programme ISDT 1960

Image of scanned list of Silver Vase Winners 1924-59 from programme ISDT 1960

This is how it went from 1913 to 1949, this was in the 1950 Official Programme plenty know 1913, HOWEVER IT TOOK NIGEL CLARK, editor of several Morton Publications to give us the dates 18th to 23rd August 1913 as THE DATE. Many thanks to Clarky.

The potted history of Reliability Trials in Great Britain

A. H. Bindoff with solid rubber tyres on his 3 1/4 hp Rex

Auto Cycle Club held a Six Days Trial in 1905, however without springing few of us could envy A. H. Bindoff with solid rubber tyres on his 3 1/4 hp Rex!, seen here (understandably) not sitting on it at Foregate St. Station in Worcester.

1910 ACU Trial at UXBRIDGE (courtesy of Dave Martin)

Photo of Blue Bank Section of that 1911 Event, (a great image located by Dave Martin.)

Photo of E. Merrall & P. Shaw on 3 1/2 hp Panthers in 1911 Six Days Trial.

Photo of W. Munroe in ACU Trial 1911.

Photo of George Brough  and the 976cc Brough Superior

What a dapper owner and 976cc Brough Superior machine seen here perhaps in the Switzerland event in 1922 event, the largest machine ever entered by then.   Brough Superior Owners webmaster Bob Withers kindly advised me that HP 2122 is actually the maker’s Trade Plate, the nattily dressed rider’s name? George Brough.

Hold it! more good info arrived & I shall insert the great info as is With thanks to Dave Clark & Mike Budd:-Dear Lynn, The photo you have in the ISDT pages of 1922 George Brough, Switzerland is wrongly captioned.

Mike Budd  went to Beaulieu Library for me, &  sent me this : NOT the ISDT in Switzerland, There were no Brough entries for the ISDT in 1922. Mike Budd, confirms George did ride in the A.C.U. Six Days Trial in the UK which was held from 21st. August to 26th. August 1922 , and the caption to the picture of GB on HP 2122 refers to this event. George Brough was entry No. 81 in the trial.

At the end of the third day GB was indisposed, so he wired Jack Watson-Bourne, who rode down to Wales overnight and completed the rest of the Trial as a substitute rider. He managed to lap Brooklands on the last of the six days at just under 70mph (unofficial timing). This accounts for the picture of George Brough and J W-B at the Track( picture 1). The number 81 on the competition plate confirms the Brooklands photo was at the end of the Six Days. The chap in the saddle in picture (2)  with the 81 plate is Ivor Thomas of  the Speedwell Oil Company.

The photo on your web page is almost certainly at the start of the ACU trial, the bike is nice & clean!
Dave Clark

[Many thanks lads.]

Image of scanned image New ACU license and a book of some tax dodging scams.. er I mean guide to new taxation regulations

George no doubt had any smart additions to equipment, here is the 1922 ACU Badge after the 1921 ‘essentials” both thanks again to Dave Martin

The International Six Day Trial

Original FICM Logo

International Six Days Trials (ISDT) became known later as  International Six Days Enduro (ISDE) is the oldest ‘off road’ event on FIM’s Calendar.  LLANDRINDOD WELLS Starts 1933 before this FIM was formed!

here we have a newspaper, Carlisle Journal coverage.

1st INTERNATIONAL SIX DAYS TRIAL 18.-23.August 1913 CARLISLE in the North-West of England The Carlisle Journal 26.8.1913.

The series of motor-cycling reliability trials under auspices of the Auto-Cycle Union in the North-West of England, which began on Monday, was continued in favourable weather on Tuesday.

The second day’s route provided an even more exacting test for men and machines than Monday’s series of mountaineering exploits. A printout from the Carlisle Journal obtained by ‘STB’  who has been superb obtaining this plus Data from Morgan Cars Archive.

First held in 1913, with first & Second World Wars interruptions ISDT then ISDE has been  held every year since then. Events have been tests of machine plus rider skill, along with reliability held on the ‘roads Speed Reliability tracks Cross country sections plus Hill Climb locations, today more of the routes are held truly ‘off road’. Originally called International Six Day Trial but since 1980 has been titled ISD Enduro’. Now it has modernised the Logo

Modern FIM logo

Until 1974 it was held at European plus Scandinavian locations, then in 1974 it was held in the USA. Since then it has been outside of Europe more frequently, twice in Australia (1992 and 1998) once more in USA (1994) and then BRAZIL! (2003). In 2006 this year’s event is in New Zealand, with 2007 Chile, Greece is 2008 scheduled location. [Editors note: We will update the ISDE information once the ISDT material is all transferred to the blog. Any help with information welcome]

National Teams from as many as 32 different countries compete in recent years. it’s History rules & conditions naturally developed to keep pace with developments within market requirements, commerce plus Sport.

It remains however a supreme test of men with varying machines over six days and approx. 1250 miles, strict rules on time allowances, also restrictions on mechanical replacements must be observed to avoid penalties, the rider is still required to carry out running repairs.

Earlier media & World Market Interest has been on a par & perhaps Worldwidely greater than current levels to Current Formula F1. Regarded as an ‘Olympics of Motorcycling’ Nowadays Carrying Trophies for Best National and Junior National Teams, Club Teams plus Manufacturers Teams with Gold, Silver, Bronze Medals for individual performance it attracts entries of circa or over 500 riders along with thousands official support plus back up helpers with hordes of spectators.

Llandrindod Wells to this day hosts the Welsh 2 Days version, still starting and finishing near that same Lakeside Boat House.

Earliest 1913 ISDT Event Pic. at Carlisle

FIM-World Trophy was won by British Team W B Gibb, W B Little, & the famous Ch R Collier.   The event began again after the  Great War WW1
1920 ISDT at Grenoble the Switzerland Team J Morand, A Robert & E Gex triumphed.  The winning Switzerland team Country staged
1921 ISDT at ‘Genf Schweiz!’ in the list with a slightly altered team winning J Morand A Rothenbach & E. Gex winning.

Rider and Crowds ISDT 1922 Switzerland

1922 ISDT again, seen here by courtesy of Dave Martin was held in Switzerland with the 1920 Trio of Morand Robert & Gex winning again.
1923 ISDT was held based in Stokholm Sweden & the Trophy taken for the first time by a 4 member Team of Gustav Gothe, Yngve Eriksson, Bernhard Malmberg & J A Bylund.
1924 ISDT at Chaudfontaine (Belgium)had British 3 man Team of G S Arter (later a famous racing name!) C Wilson & F W Giles, this year the Silver vase became introduced to be lifted by Norwegian Three C Vaumund, O Graff & J Juberget.

This Picture of Marjorie Cottle came here stating it was at Merano… So by the BSA she is on it could be the 1931 or 1932 event not the 1925 the sender thought, Please help us solve this one.

1925 ISDT Back in UK at Southampton,  B Kershaw, G S Arter, & F W Giles took the Trophy for Britain.
1926 ISDT held in Britain at Buxton resulted in G W Walker, J Lidstone with P Pike taking the Trophy for Britain.

1926 ISDT from Buxton. Van der Veen of Netherlands on his FN is 42 with Harley Davidson mounted J Boelstra 45. (many thanks for the pic to Mr Van der Duim)

Photo of the Morgan team in the 1926 ISDT from ‘the Light car and CycleCar’ magazine

1927 ISDT at Ambleside followed with L Crisp G W Walker & F W Giles winning the Trophy with Silver Vase Trophy, quite sensationally at the time, being taken by the  British Ladies Team of Marjorie Cottle, Edyth Foley & Louise MacLean.

1928 ISDT from Harrogate in England saw Trophy won by V C King F W Neill with the Silver Vase being won by L Crisp, G W Walker, F W Giles.

It is during this period the ISDT appears to have become an event of significant national importance in the british sporting calendar. It is being reported widely on each day in the national and regional press. Much of the coverage features the performance of Marjorie Cottle, Louise McLean and the other ladies and it appears that their success may have have attracted a lot of press interest that added to the popularity of the event not just amongst motorcycle enthusiasts.

1929 ISDT is listed as Mid Europe we trace to having been split between mainly Munchen in Germany with Swiss, Italian Austrian plus French ‘portions’ of the routes G R Butcher, George Rowley & F W Neill took the Trophy L A Welch, A R Edwards with H S Perrey taking the Silver Vase for Britain.

Motorcyclist struggle up a hill in the 1929 ISDT which covered a large area of central Europe

That 1929 ISDT, Mid Europe FICM Planned Event Pic. started at Munich, passed through Germany, Austria, Italy, France, then on to Switzerland with a Grand Finish at Geneva you will find the Official 1929 ISDT Documents in another section
28 is Albert Reinhardt of Denmark on a Rudge Whitworth, 35 is Achilles Weider of Switzerland, then, 36 ? Carmine of Switzerland on a Universal, once again my thanks to Jan Melssen for identifying the scene.

The Trophy for the 2002 Reunion Ride arranged by the late Tony Boundy who had been a lifelong ISDT enthusiast

W Edwards Gold Medal ACU Six Days Event (picture copyright Stephen Edwards Collection)

Just to pick up what we can and where, let us look at the Man who started ‘Edwards Towy Garage’ & had links & Medals (2) at 1920 Pentre Cwrt & one spelled Pentre Court at Lampeter plus Silver Medals at the Scottish Six Days Trial that year along with the Gold Medal ACU Six Days Event?[advise & we can alter.] (The Medals etc. are still kept safe by W Edwards’s Great Grandson now living in Wales after 21 yrs in Australia)

85 years onwards

W. Edwards at Pendine 1920, however what is that bike? can anyone advise us?, some say AJS (Picture copyright Stephen Edwards Collection)

Riders at Water Crossing near Ambleside, Lake District ISDT 1927 (Courtesy of Neal Owen)

1927 ISDT, with a quaintly captioned English Lake District Picture, at that Ambleside Event. This plus the 1913 Carlisle pic. and a total 6 following have been supplied by Neal Owen, a Vintage enthusiast ‘biker’ who hails from the Llandrindod Wells area.

A.E. Perrigo emerges from a tunnel near Grenoble in the 1930 ISDT

1930 ISDT, based at Grenoble, France, entering a pitch-black tunnel with no spot of light at it’s far end out of blinding sunlight came as a surpirise to A.E. Perrigo, British Team man, later ‘Bert’ emerged as BSA’s Comp. team Manager plus he had strong involvement in BSA Production Management. Italian trio of Rosolino Grana, Luigi Gilera, & Miro Maffeis took Trophy with French Team A Sordot, R Debaissieux & N Coulon winning the Silver Vase.

W.T.Tiffen Snr.riding in the 1931/2 ISDT

W.T.Tiffen Snr. shown here 1931/2 ISDT Reale Motor Club d’Italia organised the trial to test gearboxes, engines & braking systems on Alpine Roads radiating from Merano, here on  Castalunga finding it thirsty work with a dark Dolomitic background. W.T. Tiffen Jnr Rode for Velocette Factory in the 1937, not sure whether 1938. [we have a 1937 pic & are awaiting permission to add]  Rosolino Grana, Luigi Gilera and Miro Maffeis won the Trophy for Italy for the second year running with Netherlands Silver Vase team D H Eysink (famous machine producing name)  G Bakker-Schut & A P van Hammersveld lifting that award.

Photo of a British team in the 1931 ISDT Switzerland (courtesy of Steve Dolling)

1931 ISDT in Switzerland, a superb pic if an assembly of determined competitors far from home.
RIDERS from left:- H S Penney, Vic Brittain, N P O Bradley on his trusty Sunbeam

British Sunbeam Works sidecar (Peter Bradley) Location TRAFOI, 1931 ISDT in Switzerland (Courtesy of Steve Dolling)

The Stelvio, then the highest road pass in Europe featured both the 1931 & 1932 ISDT

9000 feet of Stelvio, then the highest pass in Europe was also part of both the 1931 & 1932 ISDT events, even in August Holidaymakers Ski there, an impressive backdrop & test of machinery developments too.  Albert E Perrigo, to become Comp man for BSA, George Rowley with N P O Bradley took 1932 Trophy with the other British team for Silver Vase of G W Walker, Jack Williams with R McGregor seeing superb sights on their way to winning the Silver Vase.

An advertisment for Rudge Whitworth Motorcycles from ‘The Motor Cycle’ magazine mid 1930’s

Rudge Whitworth were beginning to fancy their chances, Graham Walker doubtless to be their man too.
1933 ISDT at Llandrindod Wells Wales for the first time had Germany’s Ernst Jakob Henne, Josef Stelzer, Josef Mauermayer & Ludwig Kraus take the Silver Trophy with Silver Vase taken by Britain’s Vic Brittain, Jack Williams, G F Povey.

1934 ISDT Cover of Das Motorrad showing the start & Internationale atmosphere where Bikes 83? & 88 are 500 ohv Gillet Herstal Slopers with Jacky Ickx’s dad Jaques Ickx & Alfred Lenfranc (former members of FIM Board in the 60’s) ‘merci Yve a Minerva 1902.03 owner.

Scanned image of the cover of ‘Das Motorrad’ featuring a photo of a check in the 1934 ISDT.(supplied by Yve Campion)

Photo – A remarkable find is this Official Event Plaque. Our great thanks to Jan Melssen, his research brought this politically significant to light ISDT 1935

1935 ISDT Oberstdorf, Germany won the Trophy once more with Ernst Jakob Henne, Josef Stelzer, Luswig Kraus, & J Muller.  & this time took the Silver Vase as well with Arthur Geiss, Walfried Winkler & Ewald Kluge.

Photo – ISDT 1935

It is just a button I thought!,  One Dutch Rider Hans de Beaufort carried this official entry Button in 1935 ISDT, into WW2 he was heavily involved in helping Allied Airmen to safety in Switzerland, so absolutely sad & how touching that he was later executed by the Germans on April 9th 1942.  The squandering of human life wars bring about. Currently, author & historian Jan Melssen is compiling the data on that wearer of Button 213.  Hans de Beaufort was son of well to do family who became a journalist on weekly Magazine “Motor” from Piet Nortier & not a winner of great Competitive Prizes.  He was however a man with a determined sense of Justice & was incredibly active in his aims particularly to Forge Papers & help crashed Allied Airmen to return from enemy held areas & was strongly active within the resistance movement. February 1942 saw him aged 27 leave Holland by train to try to reach UK via Switzerland.  He was captured in Besancon then taken to Dyon prison where he was shot along with 2 other Dutchmen held there & buried there.  1956 however saw his remains transferred to the Dutch Military Cemetery at Orry-la-Ville.  In 1947 the KNMV Sportcommission instituted a De Hans de Beaufort Beker (Cup) Only to be awarded to motor Sportsmen that had not only excelled in competition but also in decency plus perseverence, since 1947 it was not even awarded on 8 occasions when a suitable rider was not found.  Such as this can make men humble & incredibly respectful.  Thanks, for more information on a button than can be imagined, to Jan Melssen

Photo of the 1936 ISDT in Germany show the high level of presence of Nazi Propoganda and troops for the event.

1936 ISDT Europe, Freudenstadt Bavaria , the Splendidly organised tough sectioned Trial with enormous mileages, timed Hill Climbs & uniformed officials & Nazi Banners galore.  The 1936 International Six Days Trial was held in Germany, organised by the Deutsche Automobil Club and began on the 17th September. It started in the Black Forest town of Freudenstat and the course headed towards the Olympic stadium at Garmisch. There were a total of 249 entrants, 138 of them being German. The country having the second highest number of competitors was Great Britain & Ireland with 53.

Photo of Organisation sign 1936 ISDT

Organised by Deutsche Automobil Club, the ISDT event started 12th  October 1936, here is one of the orig signs!. We currently require content for this section. Please stop by again. Thank you for your interest!


photo – 1936 FICM Plaque, ISDT 1936 (Again Jan Melssen’s efforts allow us to see)

Photo of 1936 ISDT Checkpoint scene W T Tiffen on a Velocette

1936 ISDT Checkpoint scene, we do need a Programme copy of 1936 plus literature & pictures, W T Tiffen (perhaps Jnr.?) can anyone advise us?) has now been identified as the Velocette rider to the left of this pic.

ISDT 1936 winners of Trophy, Vic Brittain, George Rowley, W S Waycott & E Belsten, Silver Vase winners were British as well R McGregor, J A Leslie & J C Edward.

Photo of British Sunbeam Works Sidecar exponent N Peter O Bradley in 1936 ISDT (Courtesy of Steve Dolling)

Photo of N P O Bradley’s Sunbeam refuelling (Courtesy of Steve Dolling)

N P O Bradley’s Sunbeam from Steve Dolling’s collection the atmosphere, items plus attention of competitors & officials has that special moment caught by a camera.

Photo of Continental Sidecar outfit crew drifting around a corner ISDT 1936 (Courtesy of Steve Dolling)

Another actual moment caught by camera,from Steve Dolling, can anyone out there please identify or provide any info,the sidecar is mounted on Continental side.

Photo of the Rudge Motorcycles of the winning team of the 1936 ISDT Silver Vase competition at a national Motorcycle show

1936 ISDT Silver Vase competition was won by the British ‘B’ Team who completed the course in the best average time. They consisted of the Scottish trio: Edwards; MacGreggor; & Leslie, riding Rudge motorcycles seen here after the win!.

Photo of J A Leslie’s Rudge [DRW 339] as a Vintage Classic on show at Brooklands (Courtesy of Stuart Towner)

Here still is J A Leslie’s machine seen here with Sue & Stuart Towner at Brooklands, Stuart is still a very fine Grass track Racer on Vintage Classic or even newer machinery, thanks for the Pic Stuart

Gold Medal won by a member of the 1936 Rudge winning team (Courtesy of Steve Royer)

This Superb Medal was the one members of the 1936 Rudge winning team won, this is now owned by Steve Royer who kindly supplied these pictures.

Photo with closer view of the Rudge Works 1936 ISDT machine [BVC 533] (Courtesy of Stephen Royer)

Photo of Gold Medal rear and the still fine case (Courtesy of Steve Royer)

The Medal rear and the still fine case, that fine Medal picture supplied by Steve Royer, (many thanks to Steve) a little more History!

Image of the cover of the Works Rudge book for 1937.

Above & below are from faded photocopies kindly contributed by Alistair Crook.

British BSA ISDT team of 1936 or 1939

A team which passed the sign! BSA 1936 ISDT team with Fred Rist prominent. Fredrick Maurice Rist to give his full name.   They can be seen here on machines in WD paint coats so this Pic of the same 3 is More likely to be 1939 ISDT, many thanks to a visitor Pat Jeal who helped us out with this, more help like that always needed to get what we have to be just a little more accurate.

Photo of Tom Whitton with AJS for ISDT 1937

ISDT 1937 Tom Whitton astride a OHC AJS ‘chosen to ride a 500 machine for AJS at the 1937 ISDT at Llandrindod Wells, with Tim Robbins & Waycott in the West of England Team.  Brittain, Rowley & Waycott were officially the AJS Trophy team, George Rowley & Fred Povey were to ride the 350 machines. a here faded record of a sparkling period of achievements galore.  1937 ISDT at Llandrindod Wells (Wales) saw Vic Brittain George Rowley with W S Waycott take the Trophy with Netherlanders A P Van Hammersveld, G Bakker-Schut & J Moejes lift the Silver Vase.

Here are 2 pics of Medals which Trials guys would give their eye teeth for.

Photo of Tom Whitton’s Medal from ISDT 1937

ISDT 1937, Tom C. Whitton was in the AJS team plus took part in that 1939 aborted? Austrian ISDT when tales so far point out that the British Consul sent the competitors out of Nazi controlled Austria in a hurry via Switzerland! with Petrol provided by their hosts, the Wermacht, I need more data for this aspect, & shall enlarge or modify accordingly.Take a look at that Artwork, ‘Rose of England to the left of the World in relief, next to it’s right WELSH LEEK symbol, above them the FIM logo plus ACU emblem, the Welsh Mountains grace the background, (actually the view from Ystradfellte high corner on the course is the same).

1938 ISDT, at Llandrindod Wells had an enormous European entry, Britain again winning the Trophy with Germany’s Georg Meier Rudolf Seltsam & Josef Forstner taking the Silver Vase.

Photo of Tom Witton’s medal from the Scottish Six Day Trial 1939

1939 ISDT at Salzburg!!! World in a bewildering period of ominous threats & counter threats ISDT time only now emerging in fragments & faded images. a Scottish Six Days badge here, the midway cancelled & “annulled” was the eventually listed result

see photo below

Still alive worse for wear but surviving


photo – Scanned ACU team appointment letter ISDT 1939

1939 ISDT, International Six Days Trial, INVITATION to Tom Whitton, to attend that 1939 ORIGINAL ‘GREAT ESCAPE’.   Mr Neville Chamberlain’s peace in our time ticket carried little weight after late 30’s Spanish war, followed by a Grand Goose stepping entry  into Austria then Sudetenland part of Czechoslovakia.   It was then Poland witnessed a steady approach to it’s borders & Von Ribbentrop had gone to Russia to sign that Nazi-Soviet non aggression pact on the very day this ISDT commenced.   Writers in the Motorcycle field had called for the ISDT to be held on closed roads to avoid accidents plus confusion which had seen a 58.7% retirement list in 1938.  Hitler’s Reich immediately offered to run it ‘properly’ & when all arrived there a cavalcade of the NSKK, the motorised section of the Brownshirts under Korpsfuhrer Adolf Huhnlein spoke & stessed how friendships of Nations could be helped by the event 267 starters then became involved.

Scanned news clipping ISDT 1939

To go to Salzburg, Berchtesgaden both names familiar to those oldies amongs us Tom (T C Whitton) first had to be chosen from many, this shows media record of the start of the roads to the 1939 ISDT saga.  Getting into AJS Works Team in itself is an achievement, what followed could defy screenplay written stories. Thanks again to David Whitton, now from California for reaching into an Aunt’s scrapbook & saving some epic historic events which became overshadowed by the suffering & turmoil of War.

In Spite of Mr Chamberlain’s vain ‘peace in our time’ sortie to Germany & a triumphant return with signed peace provenace brandished in his hand on the gangway of his plane. Governmental releases plus Political Press release messages in credibility to masses has diminished further still, ‘Weapons of Mass destruction’ has passed the way of ‘Victories in Afghanistan’, Cold War Nuclear standoffs, Suez Conflict along with Balkan States turmoil, warlords in Africa, Middle East interminable tussles & all right down to secular plus tribal differences, it all still goes on.

5 am saw the start, Civil Service Motoring team pictured below made offhad Norman Blockley as a BSA mounted travelling support man!.    Tom Davies team Manager Gold Silver & Bronze medals plus the Trophy plus silver Vase were challenged for along with Bowmaker plus Huhnlein awards, Three British Army teams were involved under Lt Col C V Bennett OBE, Italy strongly represented with speed tests planned to take placeover 3 laps of a cross Country Circuit at Gmain nr Salzburg.   Eleven non starters came to light, all german entries on BMW NSU Zundapp, TWN (German Triumph) The German Vase ‘B’ team on 3 Zundapp sidecar outfits were replaced by 3 solos.  No official reason given, naturally distrustful conjecture & wisecracks suggested they were being painted Field Grau & the paint was still wet or they had been held up near the Polish Border.

Photo of CSMA Team on BSA motorcycles at Armoury Rd ISDT 1939

Before Leaving for Salzburg, ISDT 1939 CSMA team outside Armoury Road Factory on works prepared machinery.
Left to Right:- Les Ridgeway on the Iron engined M 23 engined Gold Star.  Fred Perks M 23 Silver Star, & Fred Whitehouse on M 24 Gold Star all with 21″ Wheels on front plus ‘nail catchers’ & 4″ Comp tyres on the rear.  Fred Whitehouse had favoured comp tyre on front as well due to the final Speed test & avoided a ride from Birmingham by taking the seats out of His Flying Standard 9 car & bunging his machine in with a little dismantling, Ridgeway went by Continental Trains & Whitehouse drove his Ariel Combo there with his Gold Star on top of all, Witehouse, Perks & BSA Sidecar man Harold Tozer towed his outfit behind his car which carried Tom Davies too & the convoy went by Dover-Ostende via Brussels.
Hoteliers & receptionists greeted them with Heil Hitler plus Nazi salutes, ACU had been puzzled what to respond with but thought a good one was Heil Konig (Hail King)   No German Marks had been available from Banks, Karlsruhe then Munich were aimed at now, A letter in German from the ACU NSKK agreeing & authorising Petrol supplies to be made where needed encountered Petrol pumps with ‘asverkauft’ (sold out) or ‘leer’ (empty) & German soldiers had not been too jolly as they changed a flat tyre near a spot somewher about the Siegfried Line.   Petrol had been filled to all machines at Belgium and a Jerrycan full added to the filled trophies, on their way to pause at Hotel Pitter where most of the Brit contingent met Continental breakfasts with disdain for 300 miles per day covering mountain tracks.

Photo of riders and motorcycles at the start ISDT 1939

1939 ISDT ACU’s Major Watling with what seems a Swastika flag to be used at the start line, an honour in those days? 137 is C N Rogers on a 346 Royal Enfield, 136 H Kirchberg  DKW 343  with 135 George Rowley on that Works ohc 348 AJS.   A loud maroon explosion coincided with the start at & that maroon explosion certainly shocked Major Watling into a delayed raising of his flag, CSMA had made the day run of 300 miles to Czechoslovakia without loss of marks, BMW’s seemed worst failures knocking pots off! ‘first day over & tired men off to bed.

Scanned magazine photo of motorcycle racers near the Grossglockner pass ISDT 1939

Jack Booker on 163 Royal Enfield, Colin Edge on 166 Matchless, behind him stands The Motor Cycle Editor Arthur Bourne, a faded pic with Grossglockner providing a background, plus a yodelling practice venue, ‘early days yet.   Second day took in the Grossglockner along with it’s 33 hairpins, climbs to 8000 feet with snow!, ‘Continentals’ had seemed most occupied in the straightening footrests business.  Brit stuff again was dealing well with conditions & altitude but CSMA team had lost 11 marks, Ridgeway arriving late at a control, (3 mins max delay with no marks deducted then 1 point lost per minute over the 3 mins) Norman Blockley had ‘come off’ & hurt himself, Tom Davies knew not where!.

Photo of British riders at time check manned by Nazi staff in ISDT 1939

ISDT 1939,  53 is Wehrmacht Riding gear clad S Luck with his 494 BMW plus Allan Jefferies on his 498 Triumph No 52 wait whilst Nazi officials check their time cards, note also the Wehrmacht registration on number 53.  CSMA team out of the running for Club awards but Italians had lost marks & it looked like Britain versus Germany for the big stuff, since both were ‘clean’.   ‘European developments’ had not really been filtering to competitors & August 24th unwittingly became the last day of 300 miles  Tyrolean Austria routes where Whitehouse lost 10 marks, Ridgeway became forced to retire Tom Davies could still not locate Blockley & Petrol was becoming embarrassingly scarce to continue.   Lunch Checks had a single German Army Lorry allocating & dispensing rationed Petrol a protesting George Rowley had to be given extra to even having a hope of reaching the next fuel stop.   Norton Trophy Team sidecar rider Harold Flook had to create a rumpus to obtain 7 litres and still could not reach the next stop with that amount, having to cadge petrol from sympathetic motorists, BRITISH protests were not allowed leaving Germany as the only team which was ‘Clean’ or could win the Trophy!!.

Photo of Rudge Motorcycles at ISDT 1939

A rare image of 1939 ISDT machines, does anyone know who that is on the Matchless DUC 161, plus which machines had FOG parts of Registrations?, Rudge team machines had KMP 607  KMP 608 & KMP 609. Huhenlein then promised all who remained would be escorted safely to the frontier despite a Telegram warning British Subjects to leave immediately.   Most inc. CSMA team retired to bed with intentions of completing the Trial, but in the early hours of Friday all were roused to be advised all were packing to make for the Swiss Border.   Machinery taken from parc ferme, Fred Whitehouse & Jack Breffit got their machines onto Harold Tozer’s Trailer.   Fred was to drive Tozer’s ‘outfit, Jack Breffit to drive Fred’s Car, not legal insurance wise but needs must had advanced on the Competitors.   German Officials continued to insist that there would be no war, despite that assurance teams left by 7.30 am for Innsbruck & Swiss border.   Care on fuel consumption en route prevailed, Switzerland was reached & night spent at St Gallen. Fred had to dismantle his Silver Star & make directly for Ostende rather than other well busied Channel Ports, he made it home to find his “calling up papers waiting for him”.

image – Scan of press article re-telling the escape from Germany of the British Riders ISDT 1939

1939 ISDT, the only one in which a British contingent had to retire from, the World was changing to a certain approaching war footing, this copied exactly from press cuttings by David Whitton (Whose immense help brings such as this to light)is what came from Tom Whitton & colleagues via reporters from to Newspapers in UK, worth a careful scan through. After WW2 started in Europe Tom was with troops surrounded, yet on a WD motorcycle he got through to where the Dunkirk rescue took place, he got back to Britain to continue a struggle which needs no emphasis.

British Army teams however had not received orders from the War office & Korpsfuhrer Huhnlein expressed appreciation of the sporting spirit of the Military teams & 4 civilian Riders, one of which was Marjorie Cottle on her 250 Triumph, they were escorted by a Colonel to the Swiss Border via Munich & Bregenz.   Germany had won the Trophy with Italy runners up, Fred Perks never got his Gold Medal after not losing marks in 37 and 38 but crashing out both times!!

Photo of motorcyclists pushing in ISDT 1939

Tom C Whitton getting a helpful push with his works AJS, in the short time the 1939 ISDT was underway, followed by German Competitor H. Zureck with his 250 Triumph.

Photo of the ‘Great Escape’ as British motorcycle racers escaping into Switzerland from Germany ISDT 1939

Next, ‘Team Manager woke the lads at 1 am on the 4th day to advise them not to continue or the British Embassy & Foreign office could not vouch for their safety, a memorable exodus homeward commenced, an arduous task after coping with competing over 300 miles per day for 3 consecutive days, it meant heading for Switzerland across a Part of Germany where Tom & Co was escorted by an SS Colonel Grimm!, Tom is identifiable in this newspaper print under the cross applied!, this was a reliability he became involved in a time trial with far more than points at stake.  One little piece of info which has emerged of late is that a Triumph 600 Sidevalve machine was prepared for this event, for Stuart Hyslop who ran the Timble Inn near West Leeds.   That machine was passed on to the Founder member of the West Leeds Club after WW2 and used by him for Trials, I believe his initials are MA, however I’d love to be able to find out more.  can anyone help?.  Norman Blockley with a Broken leg made it back to Blighty, his BSA? never recovered though!,  Whitehouse & Ridgeway also made it home along with Tom Davies, Whitehouse immediately became a DR with his machine at the Drill hall reassembled & a Trials works BSA in Camouflage paint.  War declaration came one week after the teams got home. At the fall of France in 1940 Fred Whitehouse had to get out through Marseilles & finally got home via 2 slow boats via Newfoundland and Gibraltar

Photo a 1939 now restored 250 DKW ISDT machine

1947 ISDT was held at Zlin in Czechoslovakia, Trophy won by the Home Trophy Team of Jroslav Simandl, Richard Dusil, Vaclav Stanislav, Jan Bednaf, Karl Hansl.   Silver vase also went to the same country’s team of Cenek Kohlicek, Emmanuel Marha & Josef Pastika.

Photo of motorcylists on steep mountain track Italy ISDT 1949

In 1948 a late change brought 1948 ISDT back to Italy centred at San Remo, ‘nicknamed the “Alpine Grand Prix” by regulars, from Palm lined coastal highways to the sort of track shown here in 1948. Trophy came to Britain’s A Jefferies, B H M Viney, J Williams, C N Rogers, Vic Brittain.  Silver Vase too came to britain thanks to P H Alves, C M Ray, W J Stocker.

Photo of Sunbeam MCC team ISDT 1948/9

AA Saunders left, Jim Kentish centre & Ron Woolaway in this picture, as the Sunbeam MCC Team in what is called the 1948/1949 Welsh International Six Days Trial. Perhaps the 1949 ISDT held in Wales? >We shall look up the Official 1949 Programme soon.  Big thanks to Steve Wedgbury it is the 1949 event & all gained Golds!. Thanks Steve

Photo of Works Triumph Trophy ISDT 1951

The Works Triumph Trophy Machine ridden by the great Jim Alves in 1951 ISDT, shown here deservedly bearing a Rosette at Bristol Classic Show.  The picture here is kindly supplied by Nigel Wynne who has produced the best website which I have been fortunate to see.

Photo of Bram Hartman’s restored 1952 JAWA 350 Perak, many thanks to Reese Dengler of for permission to use this

Scanned image of cover of MotorCycling Magazine ISDT 1953 (Courtesy of Rik Gibbon)

Another sent-in pic of a 1953 ISDT reporting Magazine, many thanks to Rik Gibbon. The ISDT team which went to Czechoslovakia shown below, thanks Rik.

Photo of fully suspended Triumph 650 ISDT 1953

Tester Bernal Osborne at Llandrindod Wells 1953 trying P.F. Hammond’s SWINGING ARM FITTED 650 TRIUMPH to be ridden in 1953 ISDT.  Emergence of suspension to replace their rigid back end & Triumph ‘sprung hub you can see advertised in 1950 section.

Photo of British Trophy Team ISDT 1953

Scanned cover of Cycle World featuring US Jack Penton ISDT 1962

J Penton 1962, This has been sent in here, a chap’s Magazine front cover pic. I have not had the formal OK to use this from the Publishers however shall delete immediately if objections arise.

Photo of Zundapp in Speed test ISDT 1962

This was seee above was Garmisch Partenkirchen in 1962, here is Albert Seitz making a Zundapp sing, oblivious to watchers or listeners.

photo of 1962 Greeves ISDT, this print was for sale on ebay!!

1962 Greeves ISDT, this print was for sale on ebay!!

Photo of Steve McQueen on 278

Photo of Steve McQueen’s Triumph

Steve McQueen’s 650 Triumph TRSC steed, of the 1964 ISDT ‘here on display, this pic has been sent in here & I am unsure of the source, should it offend or be objected to as breach of copyright it will be immediately removed.

Photo of 278

Photo of USA Team with 278 rider at the front

photo of scooter in ISDT

More info please? POLISH Scooter in ISDT WFM M-50, 175 cc, Can anyone identify Rider & ISDT Location & date plus further info please?.

photo of 1964 ISDT, DDR Winning Team.

Photo of Simson

A tiny pic shows the 75cc Simson from 1967 ISDT

Photo of replica ISDT MZ

Can anyone advise the date of this Replica ISDT MZ  or better still find us a orig pic please?

Photo of MZ Fuel cap carrying the ISDT Win Data

Photo of 1964 ISDT Program Programme

Photo of winning team Madrid  Espana ISDT 1970

Photo of 1970 ISDT Sticker for Replica

Photo of Ossa ISDT advert

OSSA 250 Pioneer & Winners of 1971 ISDT, Ron Webster (Gold), Dave Latham (Gold), Charlie Vincent (Gold), Don Cutler (Silver) Winning Team & Advertisment which followed.

Photo of Moto Morini team IDST 1975

See below, Isle of Man ISDT 1975 the Moto Morini Official Team taken at Douglas IoM.

Photo of Doug Linford of USA on the Hercules ISDT 1975

Doug Linford of USA on the Hercules 1975 ISDT Wankel GS Rotary machine, this pic. was given by Doug himself to Leo Keller to use his superb Site (wish I could do one anywhere near as good!) anyway Leo Keller has kindly allowed me to place this unique pic. of the machine & rider in action here in this website, THANKS TO LEO.

Photo of IoM ISDT badge ISDT 1965

This was the 40th ISDT event in IoM prior 1964/ the one below, any info out there?.

Photo of 50th ISDT anniversary badge IoM ISDT 1975

Photo of 1970 ISDT, line-up of Competing machinery with the Spanish Royal Palace ‘El Escorial’ in the background.

12 thoughts on “General History of the ISDT 1913 – 1979”

  1. Thank you for this fascinating and informative blog, I very much enjoy it.

  2. have property belonging to Julius Von Krohn 1939 5350 km My Dad brought ithome from germany after ww11

  3. have property of Julius Von krohn pictures 1939 relyability trial continentil tire

  4. Steve Corbett said:

    You asked for more info on scooters in the ISDT, take a look through Helmut Clasen’s excellent photo’s of the 1962 ISDT, there are three WFM Osa scooters and a Vespa taking part…..

  5. I only became aware of the ISDT as a rerult of seeing the movie “On Any Sunday” 35 years? ago. I’ve been a fan ever since! Please continue updating and please provide more information. So Interesting!

  6. Wow what a great history. I really enjoyed. I lived in Dalton MA and at 14 and a rider myself was in a trance over the ISDT coming to our little town. The first and only time in the US. I remember going to Musantis field where all the riders and teams were staged before school. How incredible to see this world stage event. I also remember my parents allowing us to skip school one day to watch the hill climb section in Lansboro. I can remember it like yesterday. These riders were amazing and to think they could change tires in the field and all was just unreal. Really thinking back now and it was a great time in my life. Thanks.

  7. Cheryl Sanderson said:

    Hi read this with grest interest i am the Granddaughter of Stuart Hyslop from Timble Inn and would be very interested to hear from you prehaps between me and my mum his daughter we may have info your looking for.

    • Cheryl would love to hear what memories you have to share of Stuart, thanks for finding us.

    • John Arnell said:

      Re note from Cheryl, Stuarts nickname was Stelvio, earned ,I understand, when Stuart went off-road going up the Stelvio in the ISDT, I don’t know which year. The 600cc, Triumph referred to in the 1939 event was eventually sold to Malcolm Adams a founder member of the West Leeds Motor Club. I joined The West Leeds Club in 1950 and met up with Malcolm at the pre 65 SSDT a few years ago. Sadly Malcolm died about 5 years ago.
      Regards John Arnell.

  8. Kevin Grimes said:

    The rider in the Wankel photo is Doug Wilford.

  9. Chris July said:

    Regarding picture of Polish scooter WFM M50 – picture was taken in Austria at Bad Aussee between 19 – 24th September 1960. Correct name of the scooter is WFM OSA M50 – nowadays that is one of the most iconic motorcycles in Poland. The rider name is Jozef Rewerelli who won silver medal.

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