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New Book: The Comet Man
By Tony Webb

Behind every logo there is a real person, the Comet logo is known world wide, now read about the man in the background, the Comet man himself, Gordon May. Grass tracker, frame builder, scrambler, road racer, benefactor, sponsor, sculpture, artist and friend to many.

The twin tube Comet frame, the Flexi-Flyer was used successfully by Kenny Carter and many top riders in the 1978-1986 period. Many regard the Comet name to be connected solely with this model. Over the last few months I have had regular dialogue with the originator of the Comet, Yorkshire engineer. Gordon May, now in his 85th years. What has emerged from our talks is a rich speedway heritage for those interested in the workshop legends.

Gordon actually made at least 800 frames from 1956-1986. Long track, sidecar, road racing, grass track and different speedway models .The Comet brand was formed in 1970. The workshops on the edge of a Yorkshire Moor became a home from home for many Australian riders, several worked for Gordon and dare I say had the odd bevvy with him. Neil Street, Phil Crump, Phil Herne, Rob Ashton, Steve Baker, Steve Koppe, Merv Janke all have fond memories of those times. Danish star Mike Lohmann also helped out in the workshop.

The twin tube was predated by a three tube used by Billy Sanders and Kenny Carter and a complete welded frame for Mike Lee. Eric Boocock helped design the twin tube, later Americans John Cook and Dennis Sigalos had an influence. It was tested by Eric, Alan Emerson,and Paul Stead. Kenny Carter became the sponsored rider using Godden, GM and Weslake engines always in Comet frames. Later on the Moran brothers were sponsored by Gordon.

Phil Crump rode Comet frames on the grass track as did Phil Kynman, Tom Leadbitter and Steve Hartley.Comet frames were distributed or promoted world wide through Trackstar, Alan Belham, John Titman, Ivan Mauger, Neil Street and Rick Miller.

 

155 Photos, 105 pages, Index, list of Comet owners in a large format, soft cover book.

Price $30 (GBP 15) Airmail. Worldwide. $25 in Australia.

Cheques to Tony Webb; 15 Tranquil Street; Sunnybank Hills; Queensland; 4109 Australia. 07 3711 5885

Paypal to binbooks@iinet.net.au

Cover by Steven Herbert.

 

This article was first published on 13th October 2014

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