Blast From The Past

With NVT producing machines from foreign components it is interesting to note that the first twin to finish in the very first TT of 1907 was a Peugeot powered Norton. The French vee twin produced 5 horsepower and could rev to the unheard of figure of 4,000 r.p.m. Parts of the course were covered at 50m.p.h. with the fastest lap of 42½ m.p.h. and average fuel consumption of 87 m . g. (A twin was allowed 75 m.p.g. and a single 90) A Norton advertisement of the period states:

A private rider H. Rem. Fowler Esq., (Birmingham Motor CC) on a genuine STANDARD NORTON TOURING machine, rode magnificently in this his first race, TWICE making FASTEST LAPS and finishing FIRST against the cream of British riders in spite of the following EIGHT STOPS:

  • Came off twice on bad corners;
  • Two stops to shorten new belts;
  • PUNCTURED, changed front inner tube;
  • broke front mudguard against kerb stone, had to wire and strap it on;
  • changed sparking plug twice;

The language is a little quaint but you get a feeling of the time. Just for the record the TT was an all class race then. On a 16 mile course ten laps had to be covered and Fowler won by 32 minutes.