1950 Isle of Man TT. Motorcycle Race #32
The 1950 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy festival marked a significant transition in motorcycle racing, as new talents emerged and traditional elements bid farewell.
Geoff Duke, fresh off his victories in the Clubman's TT and Manx Grand Prix the previous year, joined Norton and brought a wave of excitement to the Junior and Senior races. Norton introduced their innovative 'Featherbed' frame, and the combination of Duke's skills and the new frame proved to be an instant success.
Number being painted on W Hall’s Triumph 500, Bottom left the 3 Norton teammates , # 57 Geoff Duke
Nice side on shot of Duke’s new ‘Featherbed’ Manx. Reynolds 531 alloy
steel frame either made by the McCandless Bros or by Reynolds on the
McCandless jig depending on the reference. Either way a great step
forward, Nortons frame design until the mid-sixties ‘Isostatic’
In the Senior TT, Duke made an astounding debut, leading the race from start to finish on his Norton. He not only clinched victory but also shattered previous race and lap records. Meanwhile, Artie Bell secured the Junior honours, with Duke finishing in second place. Harold Daniell concluded his TT career by securing a place on the podium. Norton's dominance in both the Junior and Senior races was evident and solidified their position as a leading force in motorcycle racing.
Spectators check out H Daniell’s works Norton 500 prior to the Senior TT
The Lightweight class witnessed one of the closest finishes in TT history. Italian rider Dario Ambrosini and Maurice Cann battled fiercely, with a mere 0.2-second gap separating them after 264 intense miles.
The start of the Lightweight TT (Tourist Trophy) Race on the Isle of Man, 10th June 1950. Number 96 is Dario Ambrosini, who won the race on his Benelli motorcycle
The Norton team's success can be attributed, in part, to the superior handling of their motorcycles equipped with the Featherbed frame. Additionally, Vincent HRD bikes dominated the Clubman races, with A. Phillip, J. Alexander, and F. J. Young showcasing their skills and securing top positions in the 1,000cc category.
Norton teammates Harold Daniell, Geoff Duke and Artie Bell, Isle of Man Senior TT 1950
Duke and his Norton teammates before the off
The results of the 1950 TT races speak volumes about the fierce competition and the outstanding performances of the riders. Geoff Duke's victory in the Senior TT marked the beginning of a remarkable racing career that would see him achieve numerous triumphs in the years to come.
Geoff Duke #57 and Artie Bell both on works Manx Norton ‘Featherbed’ 500’s race for the finishing line.
Spectators watch as Geoff Duke of Great Britain riding the #57 Norton
500cc motorcycle walks into the paddock after winning the Isle of Man
SeniorTT Tourist Trophy motorcycle race on 7 June 1950
The 1950 Isle of Man TT festival served as a milestone in motorcycle racing history, witnessing the emergence of new talents and the introduction of groundbreaking technologies. It was a testament to the enduring spirit of the sport and the constant pursuit of excellence on the iconic Isle of Man Mountain Course.
More photos from the race:
Mechanics fettle Duke’s Norton pre-race
Harold Daniell before the start of the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy Race fixing his Norton bike, 9th June 1950
Senior TT Race…
C Horn, Norton
R St J Lockett, Norton 500
Spectators at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy races, asleep on the grass
Autograph hunters tackle a competitor before the start of the Isle of Man Senior Tourist Trophy Race, 9th June 1950
A view from the TT Grandstand of the start/finish line, as well as a graveyard, at Glencrutchery Road, Douglas during the Senior TT at the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy, 9th June 1950
You can also watch this 28 minute film shot in black and white. Get the flavour of sport reporting 1950 style with some interesting views across this beautiful British Island, situated in the middle of the Irish Sea.
Photos by Bert Hardy, Don Price/Fox Photos/Hulton Archive/Getty Images