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Classic Fighters Marlborough 2005

23 March 2005

Classic Fighters Marlborough 2005

A highlight of Classic Fighters Marlborough 2005 will be the re-enactment of the race between T.E. Lawrence (“Lawrence of Arabia”) on a Brough Superior motorcycle, and a Bristol F2B Fighter plane.

Airshow organisers believe the race, described in one of Lawrence’s books, has never been accurately re-enacted before anywhere in the world. The event has aroused wide interest, with the British-based Lawrence of Arabia Society expressing interest in bringing the event to Britain.

Airshow organisers have secured the loan of the only restored OHV Brough Superior motorcycle in New Zealand from its Auckland owner, Ian Nielsen. The vehicle is so valuable that it is travelling with the motor cycle restoration expert who has done all the work on it.

Film footage of the “14-miles-in-15-minutes” event has been shot at Omaka Airfield and on nearby property, including the historic Lake Timara homestead at Hawkesbury.

The event will be shown on huge screens at the Airshow, with both plane and bike going through their paces before the crowds. The skilled “actors” in this re-enactment of will be Blenheim’s Dave Lochead on the motorbike, and American pilot Tim Sullivan flying the Bristol.

In the last twelve years of his life Lawrence owned seven motorcycles, all manufactured by George Brough, who was building the fastest bikes in the UK at that time. Lawrence describes the race in his book, “The Mint”, an account of his years in the RAF.

Lawrence died as the result of a motorcycle accident in May, 1935, riding at bout 40 m.p.h. along an English country road.


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