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Competitor Profile: Fred Cook

TT Career Summary

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Motorcycling started for Fred at age 16 with a 1937 Ariel 350 used only on the roads.

His first competitive bike was a BSA 350 Gold Star used for road racing and scrambling (motocross). Then a 1950 AJS 7R 350 with works motor and this meant Fred could race against the top riders of the day in New Zealand. 

1955 saw Fred chosen for the New Zealand TT Team with Bill Collett and John Hempleman. While Bill and John were able to get sponsored bikes, Fred had to purchase his own new 7R and Matchless G45. Sailing from New Zealand in late February, the team arrived for 3 weeks course learning before official practice started.

 27th in the Junior and 18th in the Senior secured two silver replicas. Then it was off to the Continent for more races and then home to New Zealand.

Fred was selected again for the 1956 Team with Bill Aislabie and Bob Coleman (brother of Rod). Fred again used the two 1955 bikes and had the company of his older brother (Bob) as he would also be racing, but as a privateer.

Sailing from New Zealand, the team met three girls and one was to become the future Mrs Cook. Sadly, Bill Aislabie was to lose his life in the North West 200, so the TT Team was then only two.

14th in the Junior (brother Bob was 25th) and 18th in the Senior gained two more silver replicas. Further racing in Ireland followed by another Continental session followed the TT.

Sadly, during the Continental racing, Fred was to learn that brother Bob had lost his life whilst riding at Aintree circuit in England.

Back to New Zealand and after some further racing and also now married to Julie, Fred decided that dairy  farming was to take over from bike racing.

A trip back to the TT in 1995, as a spectator, showed Fred the increase in speed that the bikes had gained in 40 years.

In 2012, Fred, in his 80s, was living in the Taranaki region of New Zealand and looking as fit as a 40 year old.

 (Information from Fred Cook and  the book Taranaki Men Talk by Alison Robinson) 

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