Charlie Collier

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This article is about the English motorcycle racer and director of Matchless. For the American lawyer, banker, and politician, see Charles Collier.
Charlie Collier
Nationality British
Born 1883
Died 1963 (aged 79–80)
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Isle of Man TT career
TTs contested 8 (1907-1914)
TT wins 2
First TT win 1907 Single Cylinder TT
Last TT win 1910 500 Single and 750 Twin TT
Podiums 3

Charles Richard Collier (1885 – 1954)[1] of Plumstead, London, was a British motorcycle racer famous for winning Isle of Man TT races twice in his career. After racing in continental Europe in the 1906 International Cup Races, Charlie Collier became the winner of the first Isle of Man TT Race in 1907.

Along with his brother Harry[2] he raced Matchless motor-cycles manufactured by his father's company H.Collier & Sons.

After setting a number of world motor-cycle records on Matchless motor-cycles, Charlie Collier won another Isle of Man TT Race in 1910 and later became the first competitor to be disqualified from an Isle of Man TT Race for illegal refuelling. Later, Charlie Collier became a joint managing director of AJS and Matchless motor-cycles and died in 1954.[3]

Racing career[edit]

First race was in 1902 at the 3½ mile Canning Town cycling track riding a Matchless motor-cycle with an MMC engine. After leading until the last lap, a burst tyre caused a crash and Charlie Collier suffered friction abrasions. In 1905, along with his brother Harry Collier participated in the eliminating trial for the International Motor-cycle Cup held in the Isle of Man. Held on a 25 mile section of the Gordon Bennett Trial course the event was won by J.S.Campbell. Although, Harry Collier managed to qualify, the Matchless motor-cycle with a JAP engine which Charlie Collier had specially built suffered a broken connecting-rod and was forced to retire.

After racing in the 1906 International Cup, both Charlie Collier and his brother Harry were unhappy with the relatively low imposed weight limit of 110 lbs, causing sacrifices in frame and tyre strength to be made to compensate for the heavy engines.[2]

They entered a new motor-cycle event in the Isle of Man in 1907 for road-touring motor-cycles. The new race was to be held on the St John's Short Course with two categories for single and twin-cylinder motor-cycles. The 1907 Isle of Man TT race and the single cylinder-class was won by Charlie Collier riding a Matchless motor-cycle in 4 hours, 8 minutes and 8 seconds at an average race speed of 38.21 mph. His brother, Harry Collier also riding a Matchless motor-cycle had problems with an engine seizure on lap 2 and eventually retired on lap 9.[4]

Single Cylinder race[edit]

Tuesday 28 May 1907 - 10 laps (158.00 miles) St John's Short Course.

Rank No Rider Team Speed Time
1 4 United Kingdom Charlie Collier 3½ hp Matchless 38.21 mph 4:08.08.2
2 2 United Kingdom Jack Marshall 3½ hp Triumph 36.60 4:19.47.3
3 1 United Kingdom Frank Hulbert 3½ hp Triumph 35.50 4:27.49.4

TT Race Victories[edit]

Year Race & Capacity Motorcycle Average Speed
1907 Single-Cylinder Matchless 38.21 mph
1910 500cc Single & 750cc Twin-Cylinder Matchless 50.63 mph

TT career summary[edit]

Finishing Position 1st 2nd 4th DNF
Number of times 2 1 1 4


  1. ^ England and Wales Births, Deaths, marriages Retrieved 2014-02-26
  2. ^ a b Carrick, Peter Motor Cycle Racing Hamlyn Publishing, 1969, p.17, p.21 ISBN 0 600 02506 3 Accessed 2014-02-26
  3. ^ TT Special 1953 edited by G.S.Davison page 22
  4. ^ The Motor Cycle dated 5th June 1907 p.446

External links[edit]