1. My first adventure into Triumphs, I built a “Street Racer” — the equivalent of todays “Street Fighter” — a 650cc cast iron Triumph in a Norton Frame…a very fast bike for its time. 12 or 13 seconds on the 1/4 … raced very well against the Rival Street Racing Rebels of the time.
2. My next adventure was the “Outfit”, a Triumph sidecar racer, a full kneeler. The frame was sand-bent in my home-workshop. along with the leading link forks and I used a Jaguar electric pump for twin amals. I was the rider and Bill Vandernook was my swinger and we were at a hillclimb track around Newcastle, Australia.
3. The yellow “Outfit” is Mark lining up at Bathurst. Same Outfit with a home-built streamliner, which was aluminium sheet shaped around a steel frame and pop-riveted. The red outfit is the same bike, with Mark’s son Brendan “living the dream”.
4. Geoff Lucas on board Mark’s “Triumph Road Racer” (he was a lap record holder at Oram Park in the 60’s) — a 750cc Triumph motor in a frame built by Brian Payne. Fontano front brake. Renault car rear brake. Home-built aluminium Barrel, Steel Crankshaft and Conrod. Piston made by Siddy Willis. Roller followers camshaft and cams. 1 1/4″ del auto on each cylinder. 4 plug head running on alcohol fuel. Racing this bike was to continue for a ten years. The photo with 4 bikes is Ron Tombs in front of Geoff Lucas.
5. The last “Triumph Drag” engine that I built was a beautiful little piece of machinery, it was in the final stages of my Triumph era. Unit construction set of crankcases, long-stroke Norton crankshaft to the cases, I made some connecting rods and a huge steel barrel. Yamaha pistons. 2 GP 1 1/4″ carburetors. Very powerful magneto. Huge porting of valves and camshaft. 90% nitro and it could run 10 seconds direct drive…. this was in the late 60’s early 70’s. I took it to Surfers Paradise, and on this occasion Gary Franks rode the bike and we won the Australian Titles. From there I moved on to a Honda. (The B & W photo is of Mark riding at the Castlereagh Dragway)
6. Also at the end of the Triumph era… I had been working on a “Twin Engined Triumph” .. it was almost finished.. huge amounts of time and love…. I had just run out of steam on that journey of Triumphs at that stage, a lot to do with circumstances of where we are at emotionally.