The latest instalment from Sideburn ambassador, John Harrison. I first encountered Sideburn mate and perennial Dirt Quaker Pete Stansfield at the 2011 Hotrod Hayride, where he had ventured south to run his Triumph sprint/drag bike at the 1/8th mile Detonator Drags at Dunsfold in Surrey. He told me it was the first time the bike had been out since 1972.
I was racing my Harley 45 and drew Pete in my first race. Needless to say, he had blasted across the finish line before I completed my first (hand) gear change. The pic shows him warming the motor prior to changing to race plugs. I think he was running on methanol. I remember being impressed by his bib 'n' brace leathers and suffering severe tyre envy over that historic M&H slick. Yes that is a Dakota in the background and yes, the legend is true, it did race down the runway against Chief Detonator Langley Gifford in his 1940s period-correct '32 Roadster Hotrod, which was a lump-in-the-throat sight as they both thundered away into the late afternoon sun before the Dakota lifted off and banked hard right. Could it be the same plane that overflew Dirt Quake IV?
Pete also brought his sweet, hardtail pre-unit when it was in reverse-head incarnation. It has since seen Dirt Quake action, though in a different guise.
He raced Dirt Quake this year on a bone stock, low-mileage CCM flat tracker in the Street Scrambler class (I thought the stars on my leathers were neat, but Pete's were big 'n' GOLD)...
...while his daughter, Ellis, raced his stock ('cept for whitewall tyres) Suzuki B120 Loanaladyaracer.