Nobby Clark


Since meeting him in the 1960’s, Nobby Clark has been like family to the Hailwood family and one of our dearest friends, so it is with great sadness that I now write of his passing.

He had been battling cancer for many years, but this year it came back and he was told that it was terminal. However Nobby being Nobby, he wouldn’t accept that, he remained positive and fought it until he slipped away quietly on the 16th December 2017 aged 81.

He was quite simply a lovely, genuine man; who lived very simply, was unpretentious, honest and who would help you if he could. You knew where you stood with him, he didn’t suffer fools and would speak his mind when necessary. He also had a wicked sense of humour and at times made me cry with laughter at his little quips. I shall miss our frequent trans-Atlantic phone calls.

Of course he was also probably the best mechanic of his time, although ‘mechanic’ doesn’t quite do him justice, he was much more than that, he was an expert. He worked for fellow Rhodesian rider Gary Hocking on the MV’s, before moving over to Honda in the sixties. It was then that Mike, Jim Redman, Luigi Taveri, Ralph Bryans and Stuart Graham were riding for the team, and together they gave Honda some of their most successful years.

When Honda pulled out of racing at the end of 1967, they gave Mike 3 bikes to ride in non-championship events, so Nobby stayed with Mike and worked for him privately until two years later when Mike moved over to racing cars full time. It was during that time that I got to know Nobby better and when we became lifelong friends.

Nobby then went on to work for Yamaha during the successful Kenny Roberts era; and later worked in the restoration of classic bikes for various collectors.

He was widely respected by the motorcycle world both for his technical ability and just for the man he was. He wasn’t into computers and the like, but was an encyclopaedia of knowledge which came partly from his keeping detailed hand written records of machines, races and results spanning many years.

He was so popular, and loved, a true and constant friend to me and many others. He will be greatly and sadly missed. God bless you dear Nobby. Rest in Peace.


Pauline Hailwood

nobby clark

Photo courtesy of Dawn Deppi, Eye of the Beholder Inc.




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