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mIcK50

Sprouts Elder

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I recently had to clean out my carport and in all the accumulated junk, I found a book that I had completely forgotten I possessed. It was written by the great American rider, Sprouts Elder and is called The Romance of The Speedway and it gives a wonderful insight to the pioneer days of speedway. The following paragraph reveals a little of the evolution that was going on in speedway machines before a standard was reached, not to mention revealing a few famous names as well!

 

"Gus Kuhn, I believe, used to ride a Calthorpe when he first started. Jack Parker, of Coventry, preferred a B.S.A., while Billy Lamont at one time found in the A.J.S all that he wanted in the way of speed and acceleration. Then again Art Pechar was partial to the Indian 500c.c., while Ron Johnson and Sig Schlam, the Australians, used to ride Peashooter Harleys before they took to Douglas bikes."

 

I've never heard of a Calthorpe, but I wonder if Jack Parker's B.S.A was a Sloper, which was popular as a speedway bike for a while in the 1930's. With it's forward inclined engine, the Sloper sort of proves that there is nothing new under the sun, especially when you look at todays "lay-down" style of bike. I suppose the former was good for speedway by accident, the latter by design.

 

Ron Johnson and Sig Schlam were Western Australians and I think Schlam was killed racing at the Western Australian Cricket Association Ground, (the famous WACA). Speedway was run there for one or two years in the early 1930's, but couldn't compete with Claremont and closed down.

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Posted (edited)

What a wonderful find mlcK50!

Edited by JohnHyam

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On 4/18/2003 at 8:52 AM, mIcK50 said:

.....I found a book that I had completely forgotten I possessed.......

Wow. Thanks for sharing that. Sounds like a really good read.

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1 hour ago, False dawn said:

Wow. Thanks for sharing that. Sounds like a really good read.

Yes, it's a great book. I managed to buy it about 20 years ago.

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There's a copy available on abebooks - for over $500...

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, norbold said:

Yes, it's a great book. I managed to buy it about 20 years ago.

Might be a worthwhile investment, depending on what you paid for yours.....

Click here

But you'd think for that price, they would throw in the postage. And who owns that strange gold hand on some of the photos?

Edited by False dawn

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7 hours ago, False dawn said:

Might be a worthwhile investment, depending on what you paid for yours.....

Click here

But you'd think for that price, they would throw in the postage. And who owns that strange gold hand on some of the photos?

Cripes! I think mine cost £10.

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32 minutes ago, RS50 said:

Always wondered. Was this his real name.

From the write up on this book:

"James Lloyd Elder. Lloyd was known as 'Sprouts' due to a growth spurt in his teens"

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On 5/19/2022 at 10:11 PM, JohnHyam said:

What a wonderful find mlcK50!

2003 again!  You’re really living in the past, rolling back the forum years.  Why????

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5 hours ago, Midland Red said:

2003 again!  You’re really living in the past, rolling back the forum years.  Why????

Because he is John Hyam?

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