Museum to celebrate 50th anniversary of Leamington man's succesful world landspeed record ride

Norman Hyde captured the World Sidecar Land Speed Record on Setember 24 1972, riding his home-built Roadrunner III motorcycle to an average speed of 161.8 mph – the record remained unbeaten for over 35 years

Norman Hyde with the restored Roadrunner III at the National Motorcycle Museum in Coventry. Picture submitted.
Norman Hyde with the restored Roadrunner III at the National Motorcycle Museum in Coventry. Picture submitted.

A museum will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of a Leamington man’s world landspeed record motorcycle ride.

Coventry Transport Museum will mark the day - which happened on Saturday September 24 1972 at RAF Fairford in Gloucestershire - that Norman Hyde captured the World Sidecar Land Speed Record riding his home-built Roadrunner III motorcycle to an average speed of 161.8 mph, a record that remained unbeaten for more than 35 years.

Norman worked as a development engineer at Triumph's Meriden factory at the time and used his experience to uprate the Triumph Trident engine that powered his nitro-methanol burning outfit, enlarging it to 831cc and adding a supercharger.

Norman Hyde breaking the World Sidecar Land Speed Record on Roadrunner in 1972. Picture submitted.

He said: “I never looked at the road.

"My eyes were firmly glued to the rev counter. 8,100, 8,2, 8,3, 8,4, 8,5.

"I thought for Christ’s sake keep going.”

Roadrunner III was added to the National Motorcycle Museum's collection in the 1980s, but was one of the hundreds of machines that was severely damaged when fire tore through the building in September 2003.

Fortunately the bodywork, handmade in aluminium by Don Woodward who made fuel tanks for the Triumph works road race bikes, was in storage at the time and survived.

The bike itself was painstakingly restored by Don's brother, John, and Roadrunner III is now on permanent display in the Museum.

Read More
Whitnash pupils had an experience they will 'never forget' when an elephant snea...

The anniversary of the world record ride coincides with Triumph's 120th jubilee celebrations and Norman will be at the Museum on Saturday September 24 from 10am to 3.30pm - 50 years to the day the he broke the record using their engine.

The Triumph Owners' Motor Cycle Club are organising a ride-in, with a concours competition for their bikes.

He will give a talk about his death-defying high speed ride on three wheels, followed by a question and answer session.

He will also be signing original Triumph postcards, made to commemorate the achievement, to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK.

For more information visit www.nationalmotorcyclemuseum.co.uk