CANADIAN VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE GROUP
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Hosted by The Eastern Shield Section of the CVMG
History of the TT (by Ian Taylor, 2017)
In 1975, John Nelson, Racer & Motorcycle Dealer along with 3 best friends purchased 200 acres in Shannonville.
John later bought out his partners and went on to build the Nelson International Raceway.
In 1979 the track officially opened, Racers & Fans alike made their way to John’s new track
Those were the days; we would ride our motorcycles to the track in the early 1980’s for the Molson Superbike weekends. The Pits were full, Motorcycles filled the parking area; the stands were packed as Fans watched some of the best racing of the day. Yamaha RD 350’s & Kawasaki GPZ 550’s ruled the track.
The VRRA have held their event at Shannonville since the early 1980’s.
On that weekend we would ride our Vintage motorcycles down to Shannonville to watch the Vintage races, The noise emitting from the exhaust of Triumph’s, BSA’s, Velo’s and Norton twins would leave a lasting impression with us. No Honda 350’s in those days.
The VRRA offered a Parade Lap around the track for us on vintage bikes. Steve Bonnisteel on his Dunstal 810 Norton and yours truly on the Triumph SpeedTwin did a lap or 2, what a blast that was!
During the 1990’s the VRRA event was known as the Spring Fling.
In 2002 Denis Curtis suggested they call it “The Quinte TT” in Honour of the Historic 1936 Belleville 200 mile Road race held on City Streets. In 2003 it became a reality.
3 years ago Ashton Bond of the VRRA asked us at the Eastern Shield if we could help make this the Premier event to go to this side of Toronto.
Peter Sheppard who over the last 3 years has put in a lot of hard work getting promotions out to the local radio stations, posters to Motorcycle Shops and collecting donations etc. His hard work has started to pay off.
For our First year we added a Swap meet and a Concours for the Saturday, George Best looked after the 50/50 draw with proceeds going to Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the racers dug deep into their leathers to buy tickets.
During the last 3 years, we have seen an increase in fans & racers attending the VRRA event. 162 racers this year signed up for The Quinte TT.
What amazes first-time visitors is how friendly the racers are and the willingness to answer questions or even give suggestions on a problem.
Young Leo Foley wasn’t too pleased with his Fathers 4 cylinder Suzuki on the track,
Joel Nelson stepped up and offered Leo his Norton to ride. What a great gesture that was. Leo came back after the race and I’m told had a grin that went from ear to ear.
Meanwhile, Bob Whittleton was caught wiping oil off his BMW, a leak between the timing cover & case had occurred. Bob’s initial thought it was a hairline crack.
A hairline crack it was not but a small tear in the gasket, just enough to sideline Bob for the weekend.
Back at the display area, 30 Vintage motorcycles were entered in the Concours, Yamaha LC 350, Suzuki RG 500, Velo, Ariel, Honda 750/4’s and a Harley XLCR just to name a few.
Al Crook from Newburgh had a vintage Speedway bike next to his vendor booth.
As Members looked after the Concours, others were on the track, Bob Whittleton (BMW), Gary McCaw (Ducati), Derek Strange (Suzuki) and George Best aboard his Norton.
Don Empey was busy with his camera all weekend, capturing the racers in action. Amazing Photographs I must say! And the Racers appreciate the work Don does.
Michelle, Kathy, and Sandra did a fantastic job selling our new Women’s Shirts. Those new shirts sure look great; the new logo was a hit. Our first batch almost sold out in a few hours.
Our judges had some difficult decisions to make in the Concours this year but they pulled it off. Awards were handed out to the Winners. Our thoughts were maybe an Honourable mention award should be in place for next year.
The bike that stood out for me was Robbie Wilson’s beautiful “Mike Wolf” Suzuki. RG 400, well OK I wouldn’t turn down his 1986 RG 500,very nice machines!
I would like to thank all those who participated in the Swap Meet & Concours, we can only get bigger! To the Volunteers, THANK YOU! These events cannot happen without you the Volunteer.
We hope to see you next year in June at “The QuinteTT"
1980's Quinte TTs
2017 Photos by Don Empey & Ian Taylor
George Best Derek Strange
Gary McCawBob Whittleton