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
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
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.
Photo courtesy of Dawn Deppi, Eye of
the Beholder Inc.
Contact us | View