1931 - 1950
The single-cylinder Nortons and Velocettes continued to hold the foreign invasion at bay in 1938, with Harold Daniell producing one of those never-to-be-forgotten laps in the Senior.
Stanley Woods rode a Velocette once again and proved to be a thorn in the side of the works Norton team. Frith had the upper hand in the early stages, but by the third lap Woods led by three seconds, with Daniell a further 30 seconds adrift in third spot.
Daniell was the man to watch. On the fifth lap he moved into second place, just three seconds behind Woods. It was only a matter of time before he grabbed the lead, which he did with a new record on the penultimate lap. However, he was saving his best efforts for the very last, when he pushed the Norton round the Mountain Circuit in an incredible 24m 52. 6s - an average speed of 91mph.
That lap record stood for another 12 years - until Geoff Duke came along.
Woods and Frith fought tooth and nail for second place. Going into that historic last lap they were equal on time, but Woods managed to squeeze a 1.6s advantage to finish second.
Both Norton and Velocette had worked hard to improve the handling of their singles to meet the multi-cylinder and supercharged threat, employing telescopic front forks and full swinging-arm suspension. Velocette‘s efforts paid off in the Junior, Woods and Ted Mellors taking the first two places. Frith was the first Norton rider home in third place, helping them regain the manufacturers' award.
Moto Guzzi did not enter the Lightweight, preferring to concentrate on Italy's war effort, which left the way open for the German DKW. The ear-splitting two-stroke, ridden by Ewald Kluge, had over 11 minutes to spare at the finish and also recorded the first Lightweight lap at over 80mph. Ginger Wood was second on an Excelsior and similar machines filled the next five places.