Saturday, 10 February 2007

Geoff Duke's van

Here's a really nice picture of Geoff Duke's J Type van, provided by Uncle Joe on the Old Classic Car Forum, via Rick, whose site it is; and a bloody fine site too. When he retired from racing bikes, Geoff Duke was very successful in business and this is presumably one of his early company vehicles. I have no idea what business he was in. Does anyone else know?

I believe he is still alive (?). He was born in 1923 and raced Nortons in the early 1950s, winning three World Championships before, controversially, racing for Italian motorcycle manufacturer Gilera from 1953. His final race was on a Norton in 1959. Altogether he won 6 Grand Prix/ world championships and 5 Isle of Man TTs. He got an OBE in 1953.

I associate him very much with my childhood, even though I was born in 1963. There was an old geezer in my sister's church called Geoff (or Jeff) Duke (or Juke) and I often wondered if he was the old racing biker himself. I don't know why I never asked. Maybe I just preferred not to have my bubble burst.

That's Duke in front, on a Gilera.

I'd love to know what line of business he was in with that van. Anyone?


No comments: