"I'm proud to be associated with the National Motorcycle Museum and honoured that they have entrusted me and my team to get some of the world's rarest racing motorcycles up and running on the track. It's our intention to have all their works racing machines in a position where they can be demonstrated at events like this within a year." -Team Obsolete boss Rob Iannucci quoted in Classic Racer Magazine 2001
Team Obsolete and the National Motorcycle Museum Team Up To Put Original Historic Motorcycles Back On Race Circuits
Team Obsolete (of New York, USA) and The National Motorcycle Museum (of W. Midlands, UK) have announced the commencement of their joint outreach program, in which Team Obsolete would bring out many of the Museum's exotic racing machines. These would be seen and heard on selected venues in the UK, on the European Continent, and in the USA, and would be ridden by world class riders from the history of motor racing. Prior to this outreach program Team Obsolete has enjoyed a long association with the museum and has restored several of its most prominent machines including the Monocoque Norton, the AJS 7R3 Triple Knocker, and the ex-Hailwood BSA 750cc triple. Currently, Team Obsolete is overhauling the Museum's own ultra-rare AJS E-95 Porcupine, considered by many to be the Holy Grail of innovative British racing motorcycles and sister to Team Obsolete's E-95, which will debut in the Spring of 2002. What follows is a history of the output of The National Motorcycle Museum and Team Obsolete's partnership.
(click on some pictures for a larger image)
ISLE OF MAN TT LAP OF HONOUR, JUNE 5, 2000
The National Motorcycle Museum entered one of its premier machines, an ex-works 1954 AJS 7R3 "Triple Knocker" in the Lap of Honour. Pilot was former AJS factory rider Derek Farrant who, in the 1954 "Junior" TT placed 2nd on a 7R3, perhaps on this very machine! He also won the 1952 "Senior" Manx Grand Prix on the prototype Matchless G-45 (after retiring from motorcycle racing when AJS pulled out of the Grands Prix at the end of 1954, Farrant went on to an illustrious sailing career and became a multi-time world champion). The "Triple Knocker" was restored for the Museum by Team Obsolete in the late 1980's, and recently Team Obsolete gave the motor a full overhaul. The 2000 Lap of Honour was its first run in forty-six years! Derek was joined by Jim Redman, MBE, ex-Honda Team Captain and six times FIM World Champion. Jim rode an ex-Agostini MV Agusta 350 3-cylinder, the same one that he rode to victory at Daytona Speedway the previous March. Jim also won Daytona in 1995 on this same MV on his first return to motorcycle racing since his retirement in the late 1960's. Finally, former SAAB USA Chairman and Board Member of McLaren USA Bob Sinclair rode a Mike Braid tuned Manx Norton 350.
(From left to right) Derek Farrant on the National Motorcycle Museum's 7R3, Jim Redman, MBE, and Mike Braid
OLIVER'S MOUNT CIRCUIT AT SCARBOROUGH, ENGLAND, SEPEMBER 9 & 10, 2000
PORCUPINE DEBUTS AT SCARBOROUGH Team Obsolete's ultra-rare AJS E-95 Porcupine, completed with help from the National Motorcycle Museum, debuted at the Oliver's Mount Circuit at Scarborough, England, ridden by 6 time FIM World Champion Jim Redman, MBE. Also in the Team Obsolete entourage was Giacomo Agostini, the Italian Grand Prix Star and 15-time F.I.M. World Champ. Although he was not riding due to arm injury, "the world's most successful racer" was able to woo and wow the crowd even while sitting still. The 1954 AJS E-95 Porcupine is one of only four E-95's ever made and is currently the world's only running version. It is perhaps the most original specimen of the rare model. Team Obsolete has been working on rebuilding the bike for the past 18 years, and the project got a finishing boost when the team acquired the bike's original and complete motor at the record-breaking Stafford auction of April 2000.
GOODWOOD REVIVAL MEETING, SEPTEMBER 2000
AJS E-95 Porcupine ridden by Stewart Graham, son of Les Graham. Les Graham was the world's first F.I.M. World Champion, in 1949, on an E-90 AJS Porcupine.
Stewart Graham on the AJS E-95 Porcupine
ROEBLING ROAD RACEWAY, GEORGIA; USA DEBUT OF THE AJS PORCUPINE
Team Obsolete's legendary 1954 AJS E-95 Porcupine debuted on the other side of the pond on March 2, 2001 at Georgia's Roebling Road Raceway. No Porcupine had ever before run in North America. Vintage racing king and Team Obsolete's #1 rider Dave Roper rode it to a solid fourth place in WERA's Heavyweight Vintage Class, behind second place teammate Erik Green on a 1962 AJS 7R. Roper reported that the Porc handled well, had a predictably low center of gravity, and gave good power from 5200 rpm to 7800 rpm. Beside being the North American debut of the Porcupine, Roebling Road served as a shakedown for the Daytona Races the following week.
DAYTONA HISTORIC RACES, MARCH 5-6, 2001
Dave Roper and the Porcupine completed ten trouble free practice laps. But in the Classic 60's race clutch slip required a quick return to the hot pit for adjustment. The Porcupine then completed the race at lap speeds which closely paced the leaders. It was clearly a star of the Daytona meet. Teammate Yvon Duhamel (father of modern racers Miguel and Mario Duhamel) placed 2nd in the F-750 class on the ex-Cal Rayborn XR750TT Harley Davidson, and second in Formula Vintage on the ex-Dick Man BSA triple, both times behind Adam Popp on a very modernized Honda CR750 Four. Cal Rayborn III (son of the Late Cal Rayborn, Jr.) was fourth on the same Harley in Formula Vintage. Team Obsolete rider Lon McCroskey was first 350 in Classic 60's followed by Team Obsolete's Tupper Robinson, both on standard AJS 7R's. In 350 G.P. Team Obsolete's Erik Green was second on a genuine original AJS 7R behind firtst place Jay Richardson who rode an ultra-short stroke replica 7R.
The Team Obsolete Daytona Lineup (from Right):Cal Rayborn, III (Harley-Davidson XRTT750), Dave Roper (AJS E-95 "Porcupine"), Yvon Duhamel (BSA A75R), T.O. Boss Rob Iannucci (standing), Erik Green (AJS 7R), Lon McCroskey (AJS 7R), and Tupper Robinson (AJS 7R). The National Motorcycle Museum was the primary sponsor.
End of Team Obsolete and National Motorcycle Museum Page 1
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