After a while offline while we did some tidying-up of the data, we’re pleased to announce that our database of surviving Greeves road-racing machines is back online. We are trying to compile a record of as many surviving 250cc Silverstone and 350cc Oulton models as possible.
So where are they all now?
At the time of writing this we have 140 or the 327 manufactured machines listed – that’s 43%! Most of them – as expected – remain in the UK, although spread around with some in Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland, and of course the Isle Of Man.
A handful have made it overseas to nearby European countries, with a few in the Netherlands, one in Sweden, another in Germany and one each in France and Italy.
Perhaps more impressively a significant number have found their way to other continents. RFS 104 was last reported as being in South Africa. No less than six are in Japan where Greeves enthusiast Hiroshi Asada has an impressive collection. A further seven machines are located in Australia, nine more in New Zealand. And then we have a dozen machines in various states of the USA.
And what are they up to?
Whilst some of our database entries only report that a particular machine has been spotted at a show or for sale at auction, some of our entries describe racers with colourful histories or still being ridden in anger. Here are some selected excerpts:
“RAS173 was purchased from a Triumph/Greeves shop in Santa Cruz, California in or around 1964 or 1965. It was not ridden until 1972, when it was given to me to race at the Kawasaki superbike international race at Laguna Seca. I rode in the pro race and finished 15th out of 50. It was my first time roadracing. The bike has not been ridden since and sits in beautiful unrestored condition in my home in Aromas, California.” – RAS173
“Used at Manx GP as practice machine 1993-2003. Used at CRMC meetings. Previously owned by Jack Squirrel. Found in a barn in Ireland along with a collection of Greeves scramblers in 1991/92. Obviously raced on road circuits in Ireland in the late 60s/70s. The name on the fairing which came with it was an “A Black”. Believed to have possibly been Syd Mizen’s 1964 TT machine?” – RBS101
“An example of the 1964 production run, this machine has been prepared for modern classic racing, last raced in 1992 winning the club championship. The bike is fitted with a 246cc Challenger engine (66mm bore x 72mm stroke), a five-gallon long circuit petrol tank and Moto Plat electronic ignition. Other features include an Albion five-speed cam change gearbox, nickel plated frame and 36mm mk2 Amal concentric carburetter. The bike is CRMC registered and hopefully will be back in use for the 2019 season.” – RBS104
“I’ve recently rejoined the GRA. Regarding your Silverstones register, I own 24RCS129 (engine no. GPA2 150). According to Chris Goodfellow, it was sold new to Joe Di Fazio Motorcycles (Frome) and ridden by Richard Di Fazio, sold to Robbie Allen (current classic racer) a brother of Vic Allen. Vic, who was supported by the factory at the time, got his spares at a vast discount. When Derry Preston-Cobb discovered that Vic was buying quantities of “Silverstone” (rather than “Challenger”) parts, like Queen Victoria, he was not amused! George Buchan also rode this machine! I’ve had it since July 1977 and raced it regularly until the end of the 1991 season (runner-up in the Irish Classic Racing Association 250cc Championship 1984). Three outings in 2000 season. Bike in raceworthy condition as I write. It owes me nothing and is one of the family.” – RCS129
“This is probably one of the most original looking unrestored bikes. In 2003/4/5 it has been the fastest single cylinder bike in the CRMC Race of the Year events. Ridden by Mark Sharrock and Paul Coward it has had many national wins including the 2005 Classic 250 single cylinder pre-TT and the International IHRO Championship round at Olivers Mount, Scarborough.” – RCS138
“My machine was purchased new in Birmingham by Richard Waterer, who had previously raced an RAS at the Manx Grand Prix. It was raced by Derek Waterman for a few years, and by me for the last 17 – we have not missed a season. It is extremely original, and loads of fun.” – RES134
How you can help
If you have any photos, information or memories of any Greeves road racing machine then please let us know! We’d love to hear as much as possible about surviving machines and also those that have disappeared into obscurity. We are happy to keep your name and the bike’s location confidential if you’d like us to do so.
If you have found this page searching for information on your own machine and are not yet a Greeves Riders Association member then you might like to take a look at our membership page. And finally please register for our web forum – free even to non-GRA members – where you can get more involved.