Monday, February 12, 2007


What a pile of rubbish! And a daunting prospect for restoration, so I handed it off to a Scott specialist in, of course, Scotland (Chris Odling). He's found it daunting too, apparently, as it's been sitting in his workshop for a few years with little progress. Why bother with this heap? Ah, there's where we find the magic... one doesn't come across a genuine, documented, ex-works Isle of Man racing machine every day. All the bits correlate to WX179 (a road registered Grand Prix machine!), which was raced in both the '29 and '30 Isle of Man Senior TT's, ridden either by Ernie Mainwaring or Tom Hatch. Sepia photos show the bike 'as was' for the '29 TT; Hatch was the only Scott rider of six on the team to finish the race (13th place); he is pictured with glasses and a big stripe on his sweater. Ernie Mainwaring has his usual, comical, po-face, and no wonder; although a brilliant rider, in six consecutive years competing in the Isle of Man TT on Scotts, he never finished a race.

In 1930 there was no Scott factory racing team per se, but several of the former works racing machines were entered by various Scott dealers, including Albert Reynolds of Liverpool (who probably entered WX179). The depression had hit the motorcycle industry very hard, and a small eccentric product like a Scott, with its 500cc two-stroke, water cooled engine, was a hard sell in the best of times. Racing teams are expensive and take valuable time away from the endeavor to make a profit, so in lean times they take the axe first.

How did I come across this machine? I was actually looking for a racing Sunbeam advertised by David Earnshaw in England, but it had sold, and when I expressed an interest in all 20's racing machinery, he mentioned this Scott, which had lain in pieces for decades. It was reasonable, and the pound wasn't quite as strong that year, so it seemed a good deal. Time will tell!