- Stanley Woods
Stanley Woods (1903 ["The Magic of the TT". A century of racing over the Mountain by Mac McDiarmid] -
28 July 1993["Isle of Man Eaxminer" dated 8 August 1993] ) Dublin, an Irish motocycle racer famous for 29 motorcycle Grand Prix wins and winning the Isle of Man TTraces 10 times in his career. He was a past pupil of The High School, Dublin. [http://www.highschooldublin.com/prominent_past_pupils.htm (retrieved June 4, 2006)] Stanley started racing in 1921 on a Harley Davidson. He was also a skilled trials rider competing in the 1930s.
His début on the new
Isle of Man" Snaefell Mountain Course" in 1922 was as a promising seventeen year old finishing fifth in the Junior TT on a Cotton even though his machine had a fire at a pit stop and he completed the race without brakes. [http://www.iomtt.com/HistoryOfTheTT/TheHistoryoftheTTRaces/TheMountainCircuit.aspx (retrieved June 6, 2006)] He won it the following year. His association with Norton spanned the years from 1926 until 1934 during which he won four of the 1927 Grands Prix, two more in 1928 and several more in the following years. He became disillusioned with the Norton and rode for Moto Guzziin 1935 giving them the first victory for a non-English manufacturer at the TT Races.
Described by the motor-cycle press at the time as the "Irish Dasher" ["TT Heroes" by Mike Savage pp133 (1st Edition)(1997)Amulree Publications ISBN 095211269-8] his stylish riding style was influenced from watching fellow TT competitor
Alec Bennett["TT Heroes" by Mike Savage pp134 (1st Edition)(1997)Amulree Publications ISBN 095211269-8] Over the years many scraps took place between the likes of Jimmy Guthrie, Jimmy Simpson, Charlie Dodson, Harold Daniell, Freddie Frithand Wal Handleyduring these races. Stanley was a toffeemaker and in the Isle of Man TT history it states that he would bring a couple of boxes of toffee with him for the Scouts who manned the scoreboards [http://www.iomtt.com/HistoryOfTheTT/TheHistoryoftheTTRaces/1907AndAllThat.aspx (retrieved June 7, 2006)] on which the grandstand audience relied to follow the races. Stanley was president of the [http://www.ttra.co.uk/ttraabout.htm TT Riders Association] . CommandantStanley Woods is credited with the task of training some of the first Irish Army4 Cavalry Squadron's Motor Squadron personnel during "The Emergency" as the presidential "Escort of Honour". [http://homepage.eircom.net/~benhalligan/unit%20history.htm (retrieved June 7, 2006)]
His career record of ten Isle of Man TT victories remained until the era of
Mike Hailwoodwho won 14 TT races. Three riders have equalled his record while another three have had eleven victories, but the most victories goes to another great Irish rider: Joey Dunlopwith 26 TT wins.
Woods' standing in the history of the TT was so high that in 1968 a panel of experts named him the greatest of all the island’s competitors. In 1957 he returned to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the TT races riding a 350cc Moto Guzzi round the course at just over 82mph.
In 1996 the Irish Post Office issued a set
postage stamps of notable Irish motorcyclists that included a stamp depicting Stanley Woods.
Isle of Man TT Race Career
After competing in race sprints and handicap races with his fathers Harley-Davidson motor-cycle which his father used in his business as a commercial salesman for Mackintosh toffee. ["Pastmasters of Speed" by Denis May pp41 (1958) Temple Press Ltd] It was the pre-war Rudge rider Tommy Green who Stanley Woods calls "his mentor" ["Tourist Trophy" 90 Glorious Years of the Worlds Greatest Road Race - page 69. Classic Racer Special 1997] that encouraged him to visit the
Isle of Man TTRaces in 1921 with his friend C.W. 'Paddy' Johnston. After watching the races at Hillberry during the 1921 Isle of Man TTRaces, Stanley Woods told his friends that "I can do that." [History of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Races 1907-1989 page 39. Motocourse.] Despite his enthusiasm for the Isle of Man TT Races, Stanley Woods was without a motor-cycle to compete in the 1922 Isle of Man TT. After writing to most of the British motor-cycle manufactures, Stanley Woods was able to persuade the Cotton motor-cycle company to provide a machine for the 1922 Junior TTRace. The Cotton marque had entered a new motor-cycle with a new overhead-valve Blackburneengine. On first meeting Stanley Woods, the Cotton racing manager exclaimed that;- "My God! They've sent me a bloody schoolboy! ["Tourist Trophy" 90 Glorious Years of the Worlds Greatest Road Race - page 69. Classic Racer Special 1997]
Racing with Cotton Motorcycle Company
The "Isle of Man Examiner" newspaper described Stanley Woods as an "enthusiastic amateur" ["Isle of Man Examiner" page 5 dated
26 May 1922] and started the 1922 Junior TT with the number 40 entered by Cotton. After being delayed at the start to stop to recover dropped spark-plugs which had fallen-out of his pocket ["Pastmasters of Speed" by Denis May pp39 (1958) Temple Press Ltd] , Stanley Woods still managed to make good-time and lapped in 40 minutes and 50 seconds despite ["Isle of Man Examiner" dated 19 June 1922] clipping the kerb at Governor's Bridge on lap l. At Sulby on lap 2, Stanley Woods slipped off the motor-cycle ["Isle of Man Weekly Times" dated 11 June 1922] and continued but hit the same kerb again at Governor's Bridge which removed part of the exhaust. A fire in the pits at the TT Grandstand followed which was extinguished by pit-attendants and Stanley Woods using an overcoat. Further problems occurred at Braddan Bridgewhen Stanley Woods had to stop to re-place an exhaust valve after the inlet push-rod had broken. ["Pastmasters of Speed" by Denis May pp39 (1958) Temple Press Ltd] At Greeba Castlewhen he discovered the brakes had failed after the rear brake cam lever had split ["Pastmasters of Speed" by Denis May pp39 (1958) Temple Press Ltd] a result of the pit-fire. Although, Stanley Woods continued the 1922 Junior TT Race with no brakes, he again fell-off at the Ramsey Hairpin on the last-lap ["TT Heroes" by Mike Savage pp134 (1st Edition)(1997)Amulree Publications ISBN 095211269-8] , but finished the race in 5th place in a time of 3 hours, 55 minutes and 33 seconds.
Isle of Man TT Race Victories
List of people on stamps of Ireland
* [http://www.motoringpicturelibrary.com/preview_image.asp?lcID=541&fleID=6709 On the winning 1935 Senior TT Moto Guzzi 500cc]
* [http://www.velocette.nl/Pagina13.htm On a TT Velocette]
* [http://www.velocette.nl/Pagina16.htm 1937 Junior 350cc TT Velocette]
* [http://www.velocette.nl/Pagina42.htm On a TT Velocette #10]
* [http://www.velocette.nl/Pagina42a.htm 1939 Junior TT poster]
* [http://www.mcb.net/amulree/fotof%2031%2039.html Bikesport Photo Archives 1931 - 1939]
* [http://www.iomtt.com/TT-Database/competitors.aspx?ride_id=403&filter=W Biography from iomtt.com]
* [http://www.ttwebsite.com/history/ History of the Isle of Man TT Races]
* [http://www.chez.com/racingmemo/MOTORSPORT/PALMARES%20CLASSIQUES/MOTO-entreguerres.htm Pre-World War II motorcycle Grand Prix results] French site (retrieved
June 8, 2006)
* [http://www.irishroadracing.co.uk/historyUGP.htm Ulster Grand Prix History]
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