Sunday, May 1, 2016

Syd Gleave Specials

I came across this paperback book about Syd Gleave a short while back. I've got to admit that I was ignorant of him and his motorcycles until this point.

Syd was born in Macclesfield and was something of a local celebrity through his racing exploits in the late twenties and into the thirties. From 1927 to 1931 Syd produced his own motorcycle, the Syd Gleave Special and it seems that some 60 examples were made. Syd's racing career came to a halt in 1935 following a bad spill. In the meantime however he had obtained his private pilots' license and became a keen air racer. In 1938 he joined the Fleet Air Arm (the naval air force). In 1942 he became a test pilot for the aero manufacturers Avro. Syd tragically died in 1944 whilst testing a Lancaster at its terminal velocity dive speed.

There's a little more about Syd here:

I'm assuming the book is quite rare, it is a 60 page paperback published in 1981 but if you want to hunt it out the ISBN is 0 9507599 0 2.

Syd Gleave on one of his own SGS motorcycles.

The cover of Syd Gleave and his specials by Paul Maybury.

1 comment:

  1. What a life's story. A marvelous find. What a job: "Oh, Syd, we've upped production, so if you wouldn't mind, we've got 10 Lancs out here that need to be dived today..."