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1952 World Championship Winning Norton - Watsonian Sidecar Outfit

1952 World Championship Winning Norton - Watsonian Sidecar Outfit

This outfit was ridden by Birmingham's Cyril Smith, a Sgt Major who had been blown up by a mine somewhere between Alamein and Tobruk in trhe last war. Sustaining a fractured skull he took up grass track racing and gratuated to road racing with a home built Norton outfit based on a 1934 machine. Rcing on the continent appealed for there was start and prize money, so he built a new outfit based on a secondhand Norton frame and Manx engine.

His first race in 1952 ended in disaster, he collided with another outfit and ended up in hospital with another fractered skull and injured shoulder but was back racing in 3 weeks, finishing second in the Swiss GP. In the Belgian GP he had another collision and dislocated his shoulder but carried on to finish third behind Eric Oliver, reigning World Champion.

Smith won the Greman GP at Solitude in the last few yeards of the race and was second at Monza and third in Barcelona, after their frame broke. The battles between Oliver and Smith carried on to 1955 but the outside flywheel works engine (seen in this machine), became increasingly unreliable, especially in Smith's heavy hands and the BMW machines went on to dominate.