European Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

Motorcycle Histories by Don Cox

Circus Life

Australian Motorcycle Racers In Europe In The 1950s

Welcome to the gypsy world of the Continental Circus private entrants in the 1950s, racing for a living - some on the road with their mates, others with their new brides. Drift a Manx Norton flat out with Bob Brown at Spa-Francorchamps. Learn the Isle of Man Mountain section with Maurie Quincey. Race against the works BMW sidecars at the Nurburgring with Bob Mitchell. Take on race organisers over starting money with Jack Ahearn and Keith Campbell. Cure an electrical problem with your teeth, as Eric Hinton did, or mend a broken gear linkage with fencing wire. Cross the mine fields into East Germany, where one wrong move could put you in a gulag.
~ Don Cox, Circus Life

The book contains almost 500 pages of history and rare images with quotes from the competitors and their compatriots which eloquently capture the life of Australians who travelled from the antipodes to compete in the Continental Circus in Europe of the 1950s and 60s.

The author's introduction to motorcycling was courtesy his father's Velocette as a pillion in the 1950s. With such a start it seems hardly surprising that he became an avid reader of everything motorcycle - particularly motorcycle racing - in his formative years. His writing career began with motorcycle articles for a university newspaper and quickly progressed to motorcycle publications, to which he continues to contribute. In addition to Circus Life, Cox is also the author of Australian Motorcycle Heroes 1948-1989 (with Will Hagon) and The Aussie and 2NZ Blokes.

I've said before that if I was restricted to one motorcycle book on my bookshelf it would be Phil Irving's Autobiography, a book always beside my bed that is often opened randomly and read before I retire for the night.... There looks like another serious contender...looks like two volumes beside me from now on....!
~ Velobanjogent

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