Full credit to Glenn Bewley which found this excellent article about the 1969 Bol d’Or at Montlhéry on a French blog, and shared it. The “Bol d’Or” which could be translated by the “Golden Basin” or “Golden bowl” is to motorcycles what the 24 Hours of Le Mans is for cars: one of the oldest and prestigious race in the world. There is something special about this 1969 edition as the previous one was hold in 1960. 9 long years of absence while the interest for motorcycle was booming, this rebirth was the initiative of the magazine Moto Revue. No need to say that spectators were celebrating much more than the victory of Michel Rougerie and Daniel Urdich on Honda CB 750 Four!
The “Autodrome de Montlhéry” is the famous French track where the Vincent team got its 8 world records in May 1952 (http://wp.me/p4cm0Z-3Z). One of its unique characteristic is the combination of a regular track like we see everywhere in Europe with a large banked curve as we see on the US Speedway. Used for many years for the “Coupes de Moto Légende”, a classic motorcycles meeting, the campus is now closed.
The blog I am referring is written in French, I have translated freely the content with a special permission of the author, “Zhumoriste” (Jean Bourdache, a former Moto Revue Journalist) and also have attached at the end the links to the two original posts. There was no Egli-Vincent on the starting grid, but these pictures shoot us back 45 years so bad that I am sure you will enjoy them. The British bikes enthusiasts will be disappointed to see that the first of the three British finishing the race, a Triumph 750 piloted by Lombard-Rayez, was only 9th behind a pack of Japanese bikes. However, the next year, Paul Smart and Tom Dickie won the 1970 edition on a Triumph 750 and similarly, Percy Tait and Pickrell won the race on a BSA 750. Honor is avenged!
While I was cleaning my computer, a bunch of pictures from the 1969 Bol d’Or popped up. The color prints have aged quicker than the motorcycles of the same period, this is not a reason to forget them….