Arthur Wheeler (motorcyclist)

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Arthur Wheeler
Nationality British
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Grand Prix motorcycle racing
Active years 19491962
First race 1949 Isle of Man 350 cc Junior TT
Last race 1962 250 cc Argentine Grand Prix
First win 1954 250 cc Nations Grand Prix
Last win 1962 250 cc Argentine Grand Prix
Team(s) Moto Guzzi
Championships 0
Starts Wins Podiums Poles F. laps Points
27 2 4 0 2 68

Arthur Frederick Wheeler (5 August 1916 – 16 June 2001[1]) was a Grand Prix motorcycle road racer.[2] Wheeler gained a reputation as one of the top privateer racers on the Grand Prix circuit.[1]

Born in Epsom, Surrey, Wheeler left school at the age of 15 to be an apprentice electrician and engineer.[1] He began his competitive motorcycling career campaigning a Velocette in grass track racing.[1] Opening a motorcycle shop in 1937, he used his profits to enable his motorcycle racing career.[1] When World War II started, Wheeler's engineering skills led him to being chosen to work alongside Barnes Wallis in developing the bouncing bomb.[1]

After the war, his motorcycle business boomed, allowing him to enter Grands Prix racing on the circuits of Continental Europe.[1] Wheeler won the 1954 250 cc Nations Grand Prix at Monza after the dominant NSU factory racing team withdrew from the race.[3] He was a five-time winner of the North West 200 race in Northern Ireland and won the Leinster 200 at least twice.[3][4] His best season was aboard a Moto Guzzi in 1962, when he won the 250 cc Argentine Grand Prix and had a fourth place finish in the Isle of Man Lightweight TT, finishing in third place in the 250 cc world championship behind Jim Redman and Bob McIntyre.[2] At the end of that year he retired at the age of 46.[1]

Wheeler continued to develop the long-outdated Moto Guzzi (which ceased production around 1953) all through his career, using home built streamlined 'dustbin' and 'dolphin' fairings and along with Ken Sprayson at Reynolds tubing (Reynolds Tubes Co Ltd[5]) he developed a spine frame with swinging arm rear suspension and oil bearing top tube.[5][3] Wheeler was a close friend with many of the Guzzi factory riders, and it was through Fergus Anderson that he acquired his first Guzzi from the factory, a pre-war Albatross 250 cc, which was to be developed through the 1950s to Gambalunghino spec and beyond.[3] After his win at the Nations Grand Prix it was Moto Guzzi factory rider Enrico Lorenzetti who gave Wheeler his stock of factory spare parts, enabling him to campaign the Guzzis long after the official factory team had disbanded.[3][note 1]

Motorcycle Grand Prix results[2][6][edit]

Points system from 1950 to 1968:

Position 1 2 3 4 5 6
Points 8 6 4 3 2 1

(key) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Class Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Points Rank Wins
1949 350cc Velocette IOM
20
SUI
-
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
10
0 0
500cc Triumph IOM
NC
SUI
-
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
1950 350cc Velocette IOM
12
BEL
16
NED
-
SUI
-
ULS
10
NAT
-
0 0
500cc Norton IOM
26
BEL
-
NED
-
SUI
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
1951 250cc Velocette SUI
-
IOM
5
FRA
-
ULS
3
NAT
-
6 7th 0
350cc Velocette ESP
-
SUI
-
IOM
47
BEL
-
NED
-
FRA
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
500cc BSA ESP
-
SUI
-
IOM
NC
BEL
-
NED
-
FRA
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
1952 250cc Moto Guzzi SUI
-
IOM
9
NED
4
GER
6
ULS
-
NAT
-
4 12th 0
350cc Velocette SUI
-
IOM
NC
NED
12
BEL
-
GER
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
500cc Norton SUI
-
IOM
21
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
1953 250cc Moto Guzzi IOM
4
NED
-
GER
-
ULS
6
SUI
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
4 10th 0
350cc AJS IOM
19
NED
-
BEL
-
FRA
-
ULS
-
SUI
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
500cc Matchless IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
FRA
-
ULS
-
SUI
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
1954 250cc Moto Guzzi FRA
-
IOM
7
ULS
4
NED
6
GER
4
SUI
-
NAT
1
15 4th 1
350cc AJS FRA
-
IOM
10
ULS
-
BEL
-
NED
-
GER
-
SUI
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
500cc AJS FRA
-
IOM
28
ULS
-
BEL
-
NED
-
GER
-
SUI
-
NAT
-
ESP
-
0 0
1955 250cc Moto Guzzi IOM
4
GER
5
NED
6
ULS
7
NAT
10
6 11th 0
350cc AJS FRA
-
IOM
12
GER
16
BEL
14
NED
-
ULS
14
NAT
9
0 0
500cc Matchless ESP
-
FRA
-
IOM
17
GER
-
BEL
15
NED
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
1956 125cc MV Agusta IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
250cc Moto Guzzi IOM
6
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
ULS
3
NAT
-
5 9th 0
350cc Moto Guzzi IOM
18
NED
-
BEL
11
GER
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
1957 125cc MV Agusta GER
-
IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
250cc Moto Guzzi GER
-
IOM
8
NED
6
BEL
4
ULS
-
NAT
-
4 13th 0
350cc Moto Guzzi GER
-
IOM
19
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
500cc Moto Guzzi GER
-
IOM
23
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
1958 125cc Mondial IOM
9
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
SWE
-
ULS
6
NAT
-
1 13th 0
250cc Mondial IOM
NC
NED
5
BEL
-
GER
-
SWE
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
2 16th 0
350cc AJS IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
SWE
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
500cc AJS IOM
35
NED
-
BEL
-
GER
-
SWE
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
1959 125cc NSU IOM
7
1 14th 0
Ducati GER
-
NED
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
ULS
6
NAT
-
350cc AJS FRA
-
IOM
21
GER
-
BEL
-
SWE
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
500cc AJS FRA
-
IOM
NC
GER
-
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
0 0
1961 125cc Ducati ESP
-
GER
-
FRA
-
IOM
13
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
SWE
-
ARG
-
0 0
250cc Moto Guzzi ESP
-
GER
-
FRA
-
IOM
7
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
SWE
-
ARG
-
0 0
350cc Moto Guzzi GER
-
IOM
39
NED
-
DDR
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
SWE
-
0 0
500cc Matchless GER
-
FRA
-
IOM
27
NED
-
BEL
-
DDR
-
ULS
-
NAT
-
SWE
-
ARG
-
0 0
1962 250cc Moto Guzzi ESP
-
FRA
-
IOM
4
NED
6
BEL
5
GER
5
ULS
4
DDR
-
NAT
-
ARG
1
19 3rd 1
350cc Moto Guzzi IOM
23
NED
-
ULS
-
DDR
-
NAT
6
FIN
-
1 17th 0
500cc Moto Guzzi IOM
NC
NED
-
BEL
-
ULS
-
DDR
-
NAT
-
FIN
-
ARG
-
0 0

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Arthur Wheeler obituary at The Telegraph.com
  2. ^ a b c Arthur Wheeler career statistics at MotoGP.com
  3. ^ a b c d e Robinson, James (September–October 2001). "Arthur Frederick Wheeler (1916–2001)". Classic Racer (91): 32–33. ISSN 1470-4463. 
  4. ^ "1950s North West 200 results". northwest200.org. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Motorcycle Sport, August 1969, p.314 Frames Unlimited. Part 2 of the Reynolds story (with particular reference to Ken Sprayson) Accessed 17 May 2014
  6. ^ Arthur Wheeler Isle of Man TT results at iomtt.com
  1. ^ Motor Cyclist Illustrated, May 1968, p.54 Arthur Wheeler Ltd for all models BSA 45–47–51 Waterloo Road, Epsom. Accessed 6 April 2014