Gilded Grit and the 125cc MV Agusta
Mondial, NSU, Ducati, Yamaha, Honda, AJS, Triumph, Norton, Itom, MV Agusta – the list of machines raced by Mike Hailwood is staggering.
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And each of them reveals something of the time, the era and the driving forces in Mike’s career.
In the early years – from Mike’s first race at Oulton Park to his TT hat-trick of 1961 – the chief force behind his racing was his father.
So to understand Mike Hailwood – and more importantly for this feature – his machines, is to understand the ruthless, ambitious, indefatigable Stanley Hailwood.
Stan did the deals, secured the bikes, promoted Michael, drove him to meetings – drove him mad, no doubt. And – a former racer himself – he mentored Michael’s riding. The two proved an unbeatable alliance: motorcycle brilliance and business acumen. It also helped that Stanley had the chequebook. A very fat one.
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