The way we were: 1937

By Richard Rosenthal, 18 May 2012. Originally appeared in The Classic MotorCycle
1937 TT
1937 TT

Freddie Frith breaks the 90mph barrier in the Isle of Man and wins the Senior while Scotsman Jimmie Guthrie and Omobono Tenni take the Junior and Lightweight classes respectively...

On Junior race day Frith couldn’t stay with his team-mate as the flying Scot Guthrie powered his Norton around the Mountain circuit setting a new 350cc lap record of 85.18mph on lap five. Frith gamely chased him, equalling Guthrie’s new lap record on the last circuit. Crasher White completed the Norton sweep in third.

For the first time in IoM TT history a ‘foreign’ rider won the Lightweight as Italian Tenni (Moto Guzzi) took the race at a record speed and set a new class record. German Eward Kluge (DKW) led after the first lap then Stanley Woods (Moto Guzzi) took the leading position for most of the race before slowing on lap five allowing his Guzzi mounted team-mate past. Woods retired on the last lap. Ginger Wood (Excelsior) trailed in second 37 seconds adrift of Tenni with E R Thomas (DKW) third.

Three riders tussled for the lead in the 500cc race, then Guthrie retired leaving his pals, Stanley Woods (Velocette) and Freddie Frith (Norton) to slug it out over the mountain course. As they started the last lap the two were tying on time, Frith threw all caution to the wind to beat Woods by 15 seconds at the flag with Crasher White (Norton) third.