By Dave Tooley
Solent City Scooter Club racing activities were
limited to only a few determined and resolute
Marten Holdway and myself (
After Keith and I had our abortive ride to
Mallory Park on his Wildcat 150, I decided to build him a
bike dedicated only to racing.
It was cobbled together, as usual, from a hybrid
group of abandoned Lambretta's of dubious pedigree from
the Gosport area.
I can remember that bike like I built it
yesterday. It was sprayed Matt Black (from a Dag aerosol)
because that was the easiest way of covering up the
varieties of different coloured parts it had been built
up from. I had hand painted (in vivid yellow, and
very bad taste) the words 'Black Death' on the
The engine was an Li 150 'sort of wildcat'
In other words, a combination of anything in the way of
go faster goodies I'd managed to scrounge from Les
I'd race ported the barrel myself after studying
Les Rafferty's methods, but to be quite honest it was
hopelessly outclassed in the 150 specials but was
sufficiently quick to give a few of the also rans a run
for their money.
I remember on it's first outing at
Lydden in Kent Keith crashed it at the top of Hairy Hill
whilst trying to make up for its power shortage by taking risks
on the bends, but he wasn't badly hurt. Incidentally this was
the same meeting that Les came a really bad cropper whilst
riding passenger for George Matthews on the sidecars, so we had
someone far more important to worry about.