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Anniversary exhibition for Hyde’s record breaker

Triumph motorcycles is 120 years old this year – but there’s another notable Trumpet anniversary too. It’s fifty years since Norman Hyde drove his Roadrunner III sidecar outfit to 161.8mph at RAF Fairford, fast enough to give him the World Sidecar Land Speed Record, which he then held for more than 35 years.

Hyde was a development engineer at the Meriden factory at the time, so was just the man to build a Triumph engine for the job. He started with a Trident motor, taking the capacity out to 831cc and bolting on a supercharger.

Roadrunner III joined the National Motorcycle Museum’s collection in the 1980s, but was severely damaged in a catastrophic fire in 2003. Fortunately the aluminium bodywork, handmade by Don Woodward, was in storage at the time and survived. The bike itself was painstakingly restored by Don’s brother, John, and Roadrunner III is now back on permanent display in the museum.

Norman Hyde will be making an appearance at the Museum on 24 September, 50 years to the day since he broke the record. The Triumph Owners’ Motor Cycle Club is organising a ride-in, with a concours competition for member’s bikes judged by Hyde. He will give a talk about his death-defying high speed ride on three wheels, followed by a question and answer session and will also be signing original Triumph postcards, made to commemorate the achievement, to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK.

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