The Treasury of the Isle of Man Government have issued a new fifty pence commemorative coin which honors seven of the great Tourist Trophy Motorcycle Race Legends.
The International Isle of Man TT (Tourist Trophy) Race is an annual motorcycle racing event held on the Isle of Man which was for many years the most prestigious motorcycle race in the world. The first TT race was held in May 1907 and was called the International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy. The event was organised by the Auto-Cycle Club over 10 laps of the St John’s Short Course of 15 miles 1,470 yards. The origins of the Isle of Man TT race was organised in response to the 1906 International Cup for Motor-Cycles held in Austria which was plagued by accusations of cheating and sharp practices. A conversation between the Secretary of the Auto-Cycle Club, Freddie Straight and the brothers from the Matchless motor-cycle company, Charlie and Harry Collier and the Marquis de Mouzilly St. Mars, the then-President of the Federation Internationale de Motocyclisme from 1905 to 1906 led to a suggestion for a race the following year for road touring motor-cycles based on the concept of automobile races to be held in the Isle of Man on closed public roads. The result was the first International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy – today’s TT motorcycle race we know so well and which celebrated its centennial anniversary in 2007. For motorcycle enthusiasts, there is nothing on earth quite like the Isle of Man TT Races. No other motorcycle race is held on such a challenging track as the 37 mile plus Mountain Course with its never-ending series of bends, bumps, jumps, stone walls, manhole covers and telegraph poles. The skill, bravery and concentration required are immense with speeds approaching 200 mph. No other motor sport even can boast more than 100 years of such illustrious history, rich in tradition and legends.
The coin, produced by the Pobjoy Mint UK on behalf of the treasury of the Isle of Man government celebrates seven of the great TT Legends on this new Fifty Pence. The central reverse design shows two motorcyclists racing around the track and the logo is also shown. The names of the motorcycling stars are shown around the seven edges of the coin:
- Geoff Duke OBE – the British multi-time motorcycle Grand Prix road racing world champion dominated motorcycle racing in the 1950s, winning six World Championships and six Isle of Man TT Races.
- Mike Hailwood – regarded as many as on the greatest racers of all time, Hailwood was known as ‘Mike the Bike’ because of his natural riding ability which earned him 14 TT victories and 9 World Championship titles.
- John McGuinness – McGuinness started his winning ways at the Isle of Man TT in 1999 and 2013 saw him add his 20th victory to the record books. He has won just about every solo class from 250cc to Superbike and everything in between with only the TT Zero title eluding him so far.
- Giacomo Agostini – an immensely skillful and courageous rider, Agostini was a real crowd-pleaser. The Italian star rode in just 16 TT races and won ten of them. During his TT years he gave the crowds many thrilling races and is especially remembered for the spectacular battle between himself and Hailwood in the Diamond Jubilee Senior TT.
- David Jefferies – a ‘giant’ of a racing competitor, the six times winner first rode in the TT in 1996 and took the newcomers award. In 1999 Jefferies joined the elite band of riders to record a hat-trick with victories in the Formula One, Production and Senior, a feat he repeated in 2000 and 2001.
- Bob McIntyre – McIntyre secured his place in TT history as the first man to break 100 mph on a motorbike which does not sound like such a feat in this day and age, but in 1957 it was compared to the four minute mile or breaking the sound barrier.
- Joey Dunlop – ‘King of the Road’ Joey Dunlop OBE MBE first saw the course in 1976. Altogether his number of wins totals a record breaking 26 wins. In 2005 Joey Dunlop was voted the fifth greatest motorcycling icon ever.
The obverse of each seven sided coin bears a fine detailed effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Lord of Man by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS.
|50 Pence||Cupro-nickel||8 grams||27.3 mm.||BU||unlimited|
|50 Pence||.925 silver||8 grams||27.3 mm.||Proof||5000 pieces|
Available in Cupro Nickel (BU) and Proof Sterling Silver (proof), each precious metal coin has been carefully struck four times enhancing all details to perfection.
For more information on these and other coins issued by the Isle of Man treasury, please visit the website of the Pobjoy Mint at: http://www.pobjoy.com/products/view/isle-of-man-2015-tt-legends-proof-sterling-silver-50p Information offered in English, international orders dispatched.