TT Career Summary
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Motorcycling started for
Fred at age 16 with a 1937 Ariel 350 used only on the roads.
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.
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
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.
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
(Information from Fred Cook and the book Taranaki Men Talk by Alison Robinson)
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