Don Noys, Sporting Hero

Written by Frank Osgerby

Although he was not the first to "have a go" he was certainly the most successful at the time establishing eight records over the two years. The first attempt was at Chelveston in 1964 were he set a new standing 1/4 record at 17.5 secs and kilo at 34.6 secs and the flyers at 77mph for the 1/4 and 78mph for the kilo. The following year he took "Stingray" to Elvington, by this time he had removed a further 98 pounds of wieght off the bike. This improved his previous performance and the standing 1/4 came down to 17.2 secs the kilo to 34.1 and the flying 1/4 and kilo to 82mph.

"Stingray" was a standard GT200 with the sidepanels, toolbox, airfilter box, fuel tank and the original rear suspension removed to save weight. The engine capacity was kept to 200cc, the motor having a modified high compression double plug cylinder head supplied with power from two HT coils and a battery.It ran on Methanol through a large bore remote float Dellorto racing carb, and of course that huge expansion chamber exhaust!

Practice laps were around 5.00pm (we each had to do two). The race started at 7.15pm with Burt doing the first stint and we would alternate during the 12 hours. The pit crew operated the timing lights red, amber and green and the scooter had a boardattached, with a light underneath and rolled paper showing the time you had to cross the finishing line on each lap, which would get quicker as the event progressed. My self and Burt also had stop watches attached to our jackets to give us some idea of time keeping. The 5 gallon cans were filled and ready for a quick scooter refill at every change of riders. Everything was good, to begin with. Darkness fell, along with the cold, but the scooter was warm.
 


About 2.00am and fog arrived at the end of the long straight, now whilst I am happy to go fast I do like to see where I am going.


 

With fog your hearing becomes more acute and I could hear scooters coming up behind me at top speed, they must have been counting to know when to throttle back, unfortunately not all could count that well and the gravel run off could be heard rattling with several gratings of metal. I survived, but many did not continue. The fog went as quickly as it had come and the list of retirements grew as light dawned. Some scooters burnt out due to fuel coming into contact with very hot engines and there was one bad accident on the finishing line due to a scooter arriving early and deciding to do a “slow race” for the last 100 yards, unfortunately the rider behind did not realise and went straight into the back of him.

Don's mechanic was the late Ray Collins who was a well known tuner of the period. Don also had connections in Italy and could speak the language and so in 1966 he arranged for the Ancillotti brothers to come over to England and take part in the records meeting at Elvington. Of course Alberto showed everybody just how quickly a Lambretta could go, but also at that event was a young man helping out as a track marshall, his name was Fred Willingham! Need I say more. Both Fred and Don were I've no doubt spurred on by the enthusiasm of a young lady who regularly took part in many scooter events, her name was Christine Jackson and she rode both machines on several occaisions. I had the pleasure of meeting her and can honestly say I have never met a person other than Mike Karslake who has been involved with so much Lambretta history as she has. Don sadly recently passed away after a long battle against cancer.