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Australian Motocross Championships Mosman Park 1962

Australian Motocross Championships Mosman Park 1962

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Australian Motocross Championships Mosman Park

17 june 1962, THE ROPE WORKS, MOSMAN PARK- WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Australian 350cc Champion Alan Nicol
Australian 350cc Champion Alan Nicol - Portrait
1962 Glen Britza at the Rope Works Australian Championship and Harley Scramble on his Greeves

Photo: [Left and centre] 1962 Australian Motocross Champion and Harley Scramble winner – the late Alan Nicol;  and [Right] Glen Britza in action at the Rope Works was second on his Greeves  in the 250cc class  to another Bunbury rider Gordon Renfree and third outright against the larger four-stroke machines.

Alan Nicol emulates his brother to win 3 Australian motocross titles

Western Australian Alan Nicol performed a repeat of older brother Peter’s 1955 efforts when he dominated the 1962 Australian Motocross Championships to win three titles as well as the prestigious annual Harley Scramble.

The 1962 championships – the first to be televised – were held at the Rope Works circuit in Mosman Park, Western Australia (13kms south of Perth) in front of more than 15,000 spectators.  And as in 1955, where there was a record crowd of around 20,000 people, the race-hardened local brigade filled the placings.

Spiraling travel costs reduced the interstate contingent to only token level with Gerry Vial (NSW), Leon Street (VIC) and Rob McDonough (VIC) being the only ‘Easterner Staters’ competing.

With the annual Harley Scramble at the Rope World circuit attracting between 5,000 to 20,000 spectators (depending on the weather conditions) each year since 1928 (excluding the World War II years 1940 to 1945), the Auto Cycle Council of Australia (ACCA) approved the 1962 Championships and Harley Scramble to be combined for the second time.

But unlike in 1955 where the Harley Scramble format was adopted with riders starting in pairs at ten second intervals and being timed and all classes riding together, in 1962 the racing reverted back to usual Australian Championship format with mass starts and separate races for each class.

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Alan Nicol’s clean sweep over the emerging 2-strokes

Jill Sabage 250cc Cotton scrambler , brought this bike to Australia in 1962
1963 Australian Runner-up 250cc Champion John Burrows on a Cotton

Photos: [Top]  British motocross rider Jill Sabage bought her 250cc Cotton scrambler to Australia in 1962 and sold it to a competitor who finished 8th.  The following year John Burrows borrowed the bike from a friend and finished second on it at the 1963 Australian Motocross Championships in Queensland.

Alan Nicol rode his 350 BSA to three wins(Unlimited, 500cc and 350cc) – as well as the Harley Scramble – setting fastest lap in all of them and generally outclassing the large field of over 100 riders and bigger machines.  It was Nicol’s fourth Australian Motocross title, having won the 250cc class at Royal Park, Adelaide in South Australia in 1959.

While BSA machines continued to dominate the solo titles, the two-stroke was improving steadily with Glen Britza (Greeves) and John Mitchell (Jawa) filling the 250cc lightweight class placings behind the winner Gordon Renfree.

The new 1962 model Greeves had dispensed with the chrome-plated (over alloy) bore in favour of a cast iron liner and in the redesign had its engine output increased to 23 bhp @ 7,000 rpm. The previous engine had run out of steam by 6,500 rpm and the bike benefitted by some definite concessions to weight. Fibreglass number plates, light alloy tank and mudguards and a plastic twistgrip had kept weight down to 220 lbs.

An even more significant machine than the Greeves raced at the ’62 titles, although performing only poorly (8th in final); the Cotton Cougar scrambles machine. Brought to Australia by English female scrambles competitor Jill Sabage, the bikes took the 250 class by storm as the year progressed, banishing the BSA 250 forever.

No riders entered on 125cc machines due to the length and difficulty of the Rope Works circuit, which was situated in a natural valley of open grass and sandy terrain with a high sandstone ridge running along one side near Cottesloe Beach.

It was called the “Rope Works Course” as there was a large rope factory adjacent to when the circuit was built in 1928.

1962 Australian Motocross Championship Results

250cc

1. Gordon Renfree (WA, B.S.A.)
2. Glen Britza (WA, Greeves)
3. 
John Mitchell (WA, Jawa)

350cc

1. Alan Nicol (WA, B.S.A.)
2. 
Gordon Renfree (WA, B.S.A.)
3. 
Glen Britza (WA, Greeves)

500cc

1. Alan Nicol (WA, B.S.A.)
2. Don Russell (WA, B.S.A.)
3. Bob Cutts (WA, B.S.A.)

All Powers (Unlimited) and Harley Scramble

1. Alan Nicol (WA, B.S.A.)
2. Don Russell (WA, B.S.A.)
3. Glen Britza (WA, Greeves)

1962 Australian Sidecar Champions - Lloyd Chapman and Charlie Thomas

Photo:  1962 Australian Junior Sidecar Champions – Lloyd Chapman and Charlie Thomas, from WA.

Sidecars (Junior)

1. Lloyd Chapman – Charlie Thomas (WA, B.S.A.)
2. Stan Smith – Murray Newton (WA, B.S.A.)
3. Robert McDonough – Don Denver (VIC, B.S.A)

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Australian Motocross History