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Motorcycling in the '50s


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About the Author

Jeff Clew was an active motorcyclist from 1946 in both road and competition events. He retired in 1991 as Editorial Director of the Haynes Publishing Group, was a regular contributor to Old Bike Mart, and on irregular occasions to most other motorcycling magazines. He was a member of the Vintage MCC and founder of one of its Sections, also a member of the LE Velo Club and of the London Douglas MCC and the Kickstart Club of Torbay. Jeff also had some experience of broadcasting on radio and TV.


Put simply, we think this book is worthy of your coin and is fit for sticking on your own coffee table. It's not a demanding read, so you can easily dip in and out between the TV ads for eye make-up, car insurance and whatnot. And the narrative convincingly takes you back to the fifties (as opposed to having been written by a bluffer born in the 1970s onward) ... As a gift, it will probably go down well. Or just buy it for yourself. So if you've got an interest in the fifties era, here's when you can get yourself properly Clewed in. Sump. This book is a nostalgic collection of road tests, feature articles, and classic advertisements ... If you were around at the time, this book will rekindle great memories, and if you were not, you may come to agree with the author that this was indeed the golden era of motorcycling. - Old Bike Australasia. I found the whole book extremely interesting and brought back many happy memories, and it has a special place on my bookshelf. - On The Level. Motorcycling in the 50s was originally published in 1995 and has always been antiquarian. Veloce recently released the book in the Classic Reprint Series, which undoubtedly made motor enthusiasts who have experienced this years, and / or who are weak for especially the British two-wheelers of the mite, making a lot of fun. Because the book is written by the well-known British motor journalist and writer Jeff Clew, in 144 pages, offers a fascinating and nostalgic look at an era in which the English motor industry still has high days, the scooter has made up, two-stroke engines went on better perform, the moped developed and side-shift combinations were another common sight on the road. There is also attention to sports events in those years, both on the road (the Isle of Man TT course) and in the field. Anyone who wants to turn around in style in his 1950s can find in this book what he had wearing helmets, jackets, gloves and sunglasses in those years (which was often material from the military dumps until quite in the 1950s). The book is illustrated with over 120 black and white pictures and illustrations. - Het Motor Rijwiel. For those of us who were there or young enough to have noticed the events we see a rebirth of the British motorcycle industry as well as some of the last gasps before the inevitable decline. New ideas come and go and sometime we were slow to react. Powered bicycles and scooters offered much and we responded well enough only to have the competition show us how it should be done. The two-stroke can out of tis domestic ride to work to growl out its possibilities. Many attempts at family transport were tried through sidecars and bubble cars until Alec Issigonis gave us the Mini. When people think of motorcycling, one of the notable periods is always the 50s and early 60s. It is set apart from the 20s and 30s not only by a World War but by a view of motorcycling that went from basic transport to a social form of enjoyment and presaging what we know today. For some this is a trip down memory lane. For others this is a short history of what our grandparents and parents experienced and the joy or otherwise that they passed on to today's offspring. An interesting portrayal and experience of motorcycling in the 50s ... great times. - T. Aston. Motorcycling in the '50s is full of old photographs and period adverts taking one back through time. - J. Wright. This reviewer loved the black and white, almost 'scrapbook' design of this large-format classic reprint by Jeff Clew from Veloce Publishing. All the spontaneity, simplicity and promise of things to come that defined the 1950s come to life on every one of its 144 pages - and who needs colour anyway? Liberally laced with old photos and period adverts, it takes the reader on a fulfilling trip back through time. A colourful BSA advert featuring a Golden Flash and a Bantam makes the perfect front cover. - Old Bike Mart. In the book's 13 chapters, Clew recalls a lot of details that might have been lost to history altogether. the little things that riders of today probably would not have guessed could be challenges, such as getting decent riding gear, evolving rules of the road and regulation, societal attitudes toward motorcyclists and the motorcycling culture itself. He also recalls important details about a range of motorcycle marques of the day - most of which are long gone. For fans of the Isle of Man TT, Clew has a chapter devoted to the event, which provide insights you probably can't get anywhere else. Details that you probably never considered are covered in detail, such as what an enormous hassle it was to get a motorcycle to and from the island back in the days before drive-on ferry service. Peppered with images that include racing, trials, and the TT, illustrations and advertising art from the period, Motorcycling in the 50s is a treasure for those interested in the bikes and the times that were the fifties. - Ultimate Motorcycling.

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