01 November 2007

Slippery Sam

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I just changed to a fresh month on my Classic Triumph wall calendar (So sue me. It's damn hard to find a picture of the '07 one!) and was regaled by one of 33 (or 28, or ?) road-going replicas of arguably the most famous Triumph roadracer of all time. The photo above is of a replica of a replica, but it looks good. It has a later BSA-style T160 'sloper' engine than the original '70 T150 with vertical cylinders. Either engine is a 750cc 3-cylinder OHV. More pix and hear it clank 'n roar here.

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The most celebrated Triumph racer of all time, the only machine ever to win five TT races in the Isle of Man in five consecutive years.

Slippery Sam was one of three similar models built for the 1970 Production TT, one of which, ridden by Malcolm Uphill, won the race at 97.71 mph. Tom Dickie was Sam's rider and, unused to Sam's ways, fumbled the Le Mans start and was last away. He rode to finish fourth.

The fastest lap was Alex George in 1975 at 102.82mph

The Slippery Sam nickname was coined during the 1970 Bol d'Or 24 Hour Race in France when a malfunctioning oil pump plastered the bike- and riders Tait and Jolly with oil.

Better the rider than the rear tire, I always say!

During my search, I found the Allen Motorsports Collection. The original Slippery Sam is long gone to the best of my knowledge, but you can see a replica of it in road race trim. Check it out. Noodle around a little. Lotsa neat bikes.

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