ISDT 1951 – Italy

Page under construction always……

Introduction

26th ISDT was held 18th to 23rd September 1951 in Varese, Italy

With 220 starting 146 were able to finish with 89 gaining Gold Medals, 26 Silver Medals and 17 Bronze Medals

Image of scanned cover of official event programme of 26th ISDT 1951

Image of scanned cover of official event programme of 26th ISDT 1951

A beuatiful view of this mountainous area at high altitude. The area is close to Lago Maggiore in the Lombardy region and is within the Parco Regionale Campo dei Fiori It would be really nice to get a scanned copy of this if anyone ever finds a copy.

On the Map

Image - scanned map of course ISDT 1951

Image – scanned map of Day 1 – 4 courses ISDT 1951

Image - scanned course map of ISDT 1951

Image – scanned course map of day 5 and 6 ISDT 1951

Some pictures

Image of scanned page from ISDT 1954 programme featuring images of ISDT 1951

photo - R Dunn (500cc Triumph), making a cautious exit from a village ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales archive)

photo – R Dunn (500cc Triumph), making a cautious exit from a village ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales archive)

Photo of Gold medal (rear) of Jack Botting the well respected and talented Francis Barnett rider. Sadly this medal was found being auctioned on eBay – ISDT 1951

Photo of Jack Botting left & Brian Martin on Francis Barnetts [LHP 454] at that ISDT (courtesy Arthur Williams)

Jack Botting won the medal above, both on Francis Barnetts, in 1951 before a very young Brian left back to BSA.

Photo of Eric Wilson, on his ex Works Norton 500 Dominator parked outside his workplace Victor Horsmans, the Liverpool Motorcycle Dealer. He rode the bike to and from the event iin Italy as well as picking up a Gold medal. ISDT 1951 (Courtesy Wilson Family Collection)

Photo of #164 Eric Wilson, on his ex Works Norton 500 Dominator [KON 682] parked outside his workplace Victor Horsmans, the Liverpool Motorcycle Dealer. He rode the bike to and from the event in Italy as well as picking up a Gold medal. ISDT 1951 (Courtesy Wilson Family Collection)

photo - Italy: Chick Gibson (

photo – Italy: #171 Chick Gibson (“350 Bullet) Irish Vase Team leaving one of the time checks. ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales collection)

photo - Jack Stocker, (

photo – #203 Jack Stocker, (“500 twin”) on one of the many sections which really tested front and rear suspension ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales collection)

photo - W Clarke, (Irish Vase Team) amid the mountainous terrain and extremely rough road surfaces which characterised the 1951 event in Italy. ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales collection)

photo – #177 W Clarke, (Irish Vase Team) amid the mountainous terrain and extremely rough road surfaces which characterised the 1951 event in Italy. ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales collection)

photo - Rudolf Nystrom (Sweden) displays confidence in the road holding of his

photo – Rudolf Nystrom (Sweden) displays confidence in the road holding of his “350 Bullet” ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales collection)

photo - Altitude 2000 ft. - with Johnny Brittain (

photo – Altitude 2000 ft. – with #197 Johnny Brittain (“500 Twin”) making very sure over this tricky section ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales collection)

The five images above come from a sales pamphlet about the ISDT produced by Royal Enfield in 1953 which can be read here.

What the Papers Said!

Whilst we are awaiting our first period magazine report for the event we can share with you this article by ‘Motor Cycle‘ Deputy Editor, George Wilson, in the issue of ‘Motor Cycle‘ of  4th October 1951. The article is a critique of the event and aspects of the organisation of a large event in a very rural area short of adequate accommodation that saw major teams like the British with a considerable and sometimes perilous commute on narrow mountain roads each day to reach the start and race HQ. The British had what would have been a very palacial grand hotel high on the top of a mountain, sadly now abandoned.

The article is interesting as it was written at a time when the British motorcycle sport is at its zenith. Great Britain has been winning the Trophy every year since the ISDT resumed after the war. British manufacturers were world market leaders and we had confidence that our large capacity 350-500 singles and 650 – 700 twins ruled the ISDT roost. With the benefit of hindsight learned whilst I have been writing up the story of the ISDT, you can start to see a pattern emerging in the mid 30’s that the paths followed by the British and the rest of the world in developing machines for the ISDT were diverging. Since the British, who staffed and controlled the FIM ( a similar situation occurred in international cycle racing until the continentals quit the world governing body and set one up without the English which became todays UCI), it seemed the empire or commonwealth dominance of motorcycle sport was safe.

George, however, dedicates a long paragraph to the mistaken folly of an industry believing that our big bike domination would enable the survival of the industry and ,as such, our success was artificially retained by check speed schedules being high. However, more and more non British ISDT’s  events saw these schedules being altered and more favouring small lightweight bikes of which there was an abundance in Europe and a scarcity in Britain. It would however take Britain a further 15 years before coming to the realisation that the world George paints here was coming and would be embraced by the sport and probably leading to the collapse of the British Bike Companies who more or less up until then had dictated the strategy of British national team selection for the ISDT.

And indeed with a further pointer that I can relate to, myself, once having owned a BSA C15T that often tended to resemble a British made tribute to the Amoco Cadiz or Torrey Canyon for the amount of oil it discharged on the tracks of Wales, the writer alerts his readers to the apparent exceptional build qualities of the German bikes for their oil tight and low maintenance features.

Having alerted us to the problems of sticking with the old guard the writer George, treats us at the end to a worthwhile announcement of the coming of a new guard and singles out 3 under 20 year old riders who rode on the Fast pace for the event achieving Gold medals and all certain to be great names for the future, they all were including one young man who won Gold on his first factory ride with Royal Enfield – Johnny Brittain

George signs his article off with the quick, rose tinted spec wearing review of the Royal Enfield twin he had been loaned for covering the event by Royal Enfield.

The six images below come from the above mentioned article in ‘the Motor Cycle‘ 4th Oct 1951 which can be read here

photo -Hail, the victors! A jolly, informal picture of the Trophy Team after their success ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo – Hail, the victors! A jolly, informal picture of the Trophy Team after their success ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo - All eyes on#211 J Morrison (197 D.M.W) as he passes through ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo – All eyes on#211 J Morrison (197 D.M.W) as he passes through ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo - Geoff Duke greets #205 Hugh Viney ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo – Geoff Duke greets #205 Hugh Viney ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo - Motor cycles's Deputy Editor, George Wilson on the Royal Enfield Twin ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo – ‘the Motor Cycles‘ Deputy Editor, George Wilson on the Royal Enfield Twin ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo - F. D'Ignazio (125 Morini) and M. Riva (125 Vespa) on a dusty road near Valeso ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo – F. D’Ignazio (125 Morini) and #104 M. Riva (125 Vespa) on a dusty road near Valeso ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo - Everywhere the people turned out to watch the competitors. Picture shows R. Wagger (646 B>S>A> sc) cornering at speed ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

photo – Everywhere the people turned out to watch the competitors. Picture shows R. Wagger (646 B.S.A. sc) cornering at speed ISDT 1951 (Speedtracktales Collection)

Photo of at Varese with #33 Paco Bulto on a Montesa – ISDT 1951

Montesa D51 with Sr. Paco Bulto of the family who's family name came to grace the Bultaco - ISDT 1951

Montesa D51 with #33 Sr. Paco Bulto of the family who’s family name came to grace the Bultaco – ISDT 1951

Photo Bruno Romano and Alberto Vivaldi at ISDT 1951

Photo Bruno Romano and Alberto Vivaldi at ISDT 1951

Photo of Bruno Romano at the start ISDT 1951

Photo of #118 Bruno Romano (Vespa 125) and #117 Orlando D’Ingnazio (Morini 125) at the start ISDT 1951

Photo of Carrini and his 98cc Vespa at the start ISDT 1951

Photo of #64 Mario Carini (Vespa 125) and #65 Alfred Lutardt (Triumph 125) at the start ISDT 1951

Photo Scooter rider Natale Biasci tries covering ground ISDT 1951

Photo Scooter rider #69 Natale Biasci (Vespa 125) tries covering ground ISDT 1951

Photo of Britain's great lady rider the incredible Olga Kevelos on her Parilla 125

Photo of Britain’s great lady rider the incredible #46 Olga Kevelos on her Parilla 125 ISDT 1951

Photo - group of Vespa riders who competed in the ISDT 1951

Photo – group of Vespa riders, possibly at the speed test, who competed in the ISDT 1951

Photo of Vespa rider and group of dignitaries at start ISDT 1951

Photo of #104 Miro Riva (Vespa 125) and group of dignitaries at start ISDT 1951

Photo of Scooter rider with group of Dignitaries at Start ISDT 1951

Photo of #94 Giuseppe Cau (Vespa 125) with group of Dignitaries at Start ISDT 1951

Photo of Scooter Rider passing through narrow streets in a town ISDT 1951

Photo of Scooter Rider#118 Bruno Romano (Vespa 125)  passing through narrow streets in a town on his way to a gold medal ISDT 1951

Photo of Group of Vespa riders at ISDT 1951

Photo of Group of Vespa riders at ISDT 1951

The results list 15 Vespa and Lambretta scooters, a number of which not only finished but achieved Gold medals.

Photo of #4 Dick Clayton on his ISDT Norton Works Dominator prototype [LOL 474], at an International Six Day Trial try-out day in 1951. (Copies of this image can be purchased from http://www.mortonsarchive.com)

1951 ISDT Team SELECTION Trial to represent GB was held naturally from Llandrindod Wells.  The machine above was not used in the ISDT but is connected, plus I believe it still exists in a lovely & restored state.   [Pics please if u have?]

The following images appeared in the report of the event that was published in ‘the Motor Cycle‘ on the 27 September 1951 and a copy of the report article can be read on our issuu.com library which can be reached from this speedtracktales blog

Photo - Majestic scenery at Piedmuler: S Mazzola (CZ) leads N. Biasci (Vespa) and D.Mazzancini (Vespa) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – Majestic scenery at Piedmuler: S Mazzola (CZ) leads N. Biasci (Vespa) and D.Mazzancini (Vespa) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - Fast riding by placid Lake Como: B.H.M Viney (AJS of the British Trophy team leads D. Evans (Ariel) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – Fast riding by placid Lake Como: B.H.M Viney (AJS of the British Trophy team leads D. Evans (Ariel) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - Britain's victorious Trophy team - left to right B.H.M Viney, P.H. Alves, C.M. Ray, W.J. Stocker and F.M. Rist, captian. Team manager Len Heath stands behind ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – Britain’s victorious Trophy team – left to right B.H.M Viney, P.H. Alves, C.M. Ray, W.J. Stocker and F.M. Rist, captian. Team manager Len Heath stands behind ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - A fine scene by Lake Como; the leading competitor is A Montanari (Guzzi) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – A fine scene by Lake Como; the leading competitor is A Montanari (Guzzi) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - IN the shadow of the mountains; G Keitel (Zündapp sc) and HP Müller (DKW) seen near Vogogna ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – IN the shadow of the mountains; G Keitel (Zündapp sc) and HP Müller (DKW) seen near Vogogna ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - Busy scene as German competitor Franz Ischinger refuels his DKW two-fifty at Mosso Santa Maria ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – Busy scene as German competitor Franz Ischinger refuels his DKW two-fifty at Mosso Santa Maria ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - Effective shot of F.M Rist (646 BSA) British Trophy Team captain near Levo ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – Effective shot of #182 F.M Rist (646 BSA) British Trophy Team captain near Levo ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - By Lake Maggiore. S Cymyral (Puch) is closely followed by PT Hammond (Triumph)ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – By Lake Maggiore. S Cymyral (Puch) is closely followed by PT Hammond (Triumph) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - Shirt-sleeved crods at Gravellona watch the ISDT competitors come though. L Archer (BSA) is ahead of E. Dow (BSA) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – Shirt-sleeved crowds at Gravellona watch the ISDT competitors come though. 2nd Lt. Les Archer (BSA) is ahead of Lt. Ernie Dow (BSA) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - Fine action shot of #48 FH Whittle (Panther sc) near Vogogna. Following the Panther is U. Cervani (Matchless) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – Fine action shot of #48 FH Whittle (Panther sc) near Vogogna. Following the Panther is U. Cervani (Matchless) ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo - A 60cc competitor; #2 Mario Visioli on his little Ducati at Arona ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

Photo – A 60cc competitor; #2 Mario Visioli on his little Ducati at Arona ISDT 1951 (speedtracktales archive)

image - scanned photo from 'the Examiner' Launceston ,Tasmania featuring British Army team riders due to compete in ISDT 1951

image – scanned photo from ‘the Examiner’ Launceston ,Tasmania featuring British Army team riders due to compete in ISDT 1951

In this image of the British Army Motor Cyclists entered in the ISDT 1951 in Milan seen parading outside the War Office London.

image -scanned photo in 'the Examiner' Launceston, Tasmania featuring British Army team captain Fred Rist seen at the Calolzia check on the 4th day of the ISDT 1951

image -scanned photo in ‘the Examiner’ Launceston, Tasmania featuring British Army team captain #182 Fred Rist seen on his 650cc BSA [LOL 227] at the Calolzia check on the 4th day of the ISDT 1951

The Final Score: Results

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. Download a copy of the original Results and Stewards Report at the link below.

Download this file as a pdf

Download Stewards Report for the 1951 ISDT here

We are currently creating content for this section. In order to be able to keep up with our high standards of service, we need a little more time. Please stop by again. Thank you for your interest!

Adverts

Image of scanned advert for Triumph promoting its success in the ISDT 1951

Image of scanned advert for Triumph promoting its success in the ISDT 1951

Triumph are pleased their success in the ISDT for the previous 4 years had seen their success in the manufacturers team featuring Winning Trophy rider PH Alves, PF Hammond, and AF Gaymer.

Where are they now?

Jim Alves’ 650cc Triumph Trophy prepared by Triumph for this event was the first of this model which won not only the International Trophy but also along with Burt Gaymer on  [LNX 351] and Peter Hammond [LNX 341] on 500s all won gold medals and also picked up the manufacturers award. Now restored the bike won the best private entry at the 2005 Bristol Classic Bike Show

1951-triumph-trophy-759x570

Photo – Restored classic Jim Alves’s Triumph Trophy twin 650 from the ISDT 1951 which won the best private entry at the 2005 Britol Classic Bike Show

Photo of 1951 ISDT 500cc AJS twin

Taff asks Anything known about this gem?  AHHHH, Frazer solves the puzzle delightfully too:-

Frazer Wright

Your picture of the 1951 ISDT 500cc AJS twin in your assorted ISDT pictures was owned by me from 1973 until I sold it in 2000 to a collector from Oxfordshire.
I wanted an ex-ISDT bike but couldn’t find anything. Then we set upon an unnumbered AMC singles trials frame with fittings for a twin engine. We tentatively identified it was one of the ’51 works bikes (later confirmed to the late Bob Currie by a rider) and Walter Green of Barnsley, probably the best restorer of his day, spend a year rebuilding it to six day spec. It worked beautifully and carried me to trials etc for over 20 years until anno domini (me, not the AJS) suggested I find someone who would use it more frequently.
Any more details needed? email me.   BIG THANKS TO FRAZER WRIGHT.

[We would love to get more information and photos of this event if you can help please do.]

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24 thoughts on “ISDT 1951 – Italy”

  1. Dave Wilson said:

    I have a photo of my late father, Eric Wilson, prior to setting off for the 1951 ISDT on the ex-works Norton 500T. I’ll send it on soon.

    • iPø∂i$†å said:

      We would certainly love to post it, do you need help scanning it?

      • Rainer Laidig said:

        ISDT 1951: ich suche gute Fotos von Nr. 3 Riess, Deutschland, Nr. 14 Vanderschrick, Holland, Nr 21 Haller Schweiz, Nr. 28 Meier Schweiz, Nr 34 Kraus Deutschland, Nr. 76 Weiss Deutschland, Nr. 81 Ernst Deutschland, Nr. 85 Keitel Deutschland – alles Sidecars.MfGRainer Laidig

      • iPø∂i$†å said:

        If anybody has any good pictures of #3 #14 #21 #28 #34 #76 #81 & #85 please can they help Rainer, he also gives the riders names

    • iPø∂i$†å said:

      Dave Wilson.. a bit hot off the press I have just found on Youtube a 1955 Motorcycle Road Safety film made in Liverpool By Victor Horsmans and features in it’s cast… your dad.. check the site blog pages for a link to view the movie.

  2. Craig Powers said:

    Dick Clayton rode for various works teams including Norton in ISDTs. His son Dick Clayton Jr was a successful scrambles (& trials) rider in the 60’s / 70’s. Claytons were butchers in our local village, Orrell, Wigan. Dick Jr still lives in the area although his father passed away some years ago. The photo of Dick on the Dominator features in several Norton books and was apparently a Manx frame.

    • Chris spacey said:

      Hello thanks for the interest in Dicks Domi.
      I bought the 1951 ex works bike in December last year .
      It is a Manx frame and also has a Manx front hub , gearbox and 2 way damping rear shocks.
      It claims on this site that the bike was a proto type and not ridden in the trial but I can confirm it was and I also have photographic and documents to prove it.
      The bike is now in very good order , on the road she is a pleasure to ride.
      The bike will be featured soon in the old bike mart and real classic magazine.
      Kind regards,
      Chris spacey.

      • We live by the motto ‘always under construction’ whilst it would be nice to be the authority site because of the passing of time we are really dependant on views and opinions. We welcome any one to chip in but nothing is final. We would be more than happy to provide the opportunity to you to share more about your bike in the hope of throwing some final clarity on another ex six day trial bike.

      • Hi chris that bike was my step fathers bike peter green . And he also sed it was ridden as a works bike

  3. Rainer Laidig said:

    • iPø∂i$†å said:

      Thanks Rainer. I am going to make your pdf available via a blog article to help the fans of ISDT sidecars. Do you have a web page connected to your article I can provide a link to?

      • Rainer Laidig said:

        Send me your postadress and i will send you a CD with the word-Dokument.(DOCX).. Many greetings from Rainer Laidig

  4. Rainer Laidig said:

    Look to The WEB-Site:

    http://www.meisterdinger.de”

    and you have the motor-cycle-artikel from:

    Int. 6-Tage-Fahrten von 1951 – 1956 der Gespanne

    Österr. Alpenfahrt 1951 – 1957 und die KS 601-Gespanne

    Namen erfolgreicher Zündapp KS601 – Fahrer

    1953/54 Weltfahrt mit einem Zündapp KS601-Gespann

    Sportliche Erfolge der Marke Zündapp

    Zündapp 4-Zylinder Rekordmotor

    Ernst Schmidt, Vater von KS601, Kettenkrad, Bella

  5. Bob McGrath said:

    Today I visited the Museo Piaggio in Pontedera and met Guiseppe Cau ( No 94) in th gift shop there. His English was as good as my Italian so we didn’t get far but I think he was trying to sell me his autobiography. It contained lots of photos of his exploits in the ISDT. Ther were T shirts and posters featuring him also. I gather he started working at Piaggio in 1948 and never left. Possibly an Italian speaker could follow him up and get a good story out of him. There can’t be that many original 1951 competitors left.
    Cheers, Bob McGrath

  6. Alessandro Lanzarini said:

    I’m a very good friend of Giuseppe Cau, in these days we are writing a new book about his sporting career. He is the last survived of the Vespa’s riders in Varese, 1951, and celebrated his 87th year of life last December, 7. Since his retirement, in 1984, he spent every day to increase the culture of Vespa, taking part in tours, ceremonies, and so on. He also was a Vespa tester between 1948 and 1977, testing all the models since 125cc to PX 200, then Ape and Ciao. During his career in Piaggio, he worked as a technical assistant during the long-distance races and as a forerunner (is this word correct?) during the Giro d’Italia cycling race with Vespa, marching 3 km before the riders to ensure a safe way.
    Cheers, Alessandro Lanzarini

  7. The new book announced on December 11, 2015 has been published last saturday, with a presentation meeting during the Reggio Emilia Motor Fair. You can find information on this book, in italian language, at this webpage: http://www.vespamagazine.it/giuseppe-cau-il-cavaliere-della-vespa/
    If you need information in english language, please send a e-mail to: info at vespamagazine.it

  8. steve blackwell said:

    All 4 of the 1964 isdt gold medal winning bikes are still in the uk and owned by one man including I think one of the medals and clothing from the riders

  9. Many compliments for this incredible archive! Thanks from Varese Motorland. Cheers, Alberto

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