Ted Mellors

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Ted Mellors
Nationality British
Born 10 April 1907
Chesterfield, England
Died 1946 (aged 38–39)
Motorcycle racing career statistics
Isle of Man TT career
TTs contested 12 (1928-1939)
TT wins 1
First TT win 1939 Lightweight TT
Last TT win 1939 Lightweight TT
Podiums 4

Edward Ambrose Mellors (10 April 1907 – 1946), born in Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England, was an international motorcycle road racer who rode in the Manx Grand Prix in 1927 and the Isle of Man TT from 1928 to 1939. He was the 350 cc European Champion in 1938, but died in 1946, overcome by exhaust fumes while working in a new home's poorly ventilated garage.


Mellors was one of five sons of a wheelwright and a clergyman’s daughter. Two of his brothers drowned in a local canal as children. He wanted to be an International motorcycle racer and spent a lot of time riding in the Derbyshire hills. Mellors met his future wife when he was still 15. She was 21, so he lied about his age. After 7 months they got married. In 1936, when Mellors became a works rider for Velocette, they moved south to Shirley near Birmingham. They had two daughters Gladys and Joan.[1]


In 1927 Mellors came 10th in the Manx Grand Prix on a P&M Panther.[2]

In 1930 Mellors had a French Grand Prix 250 cc win.

In 1936 Mellors won the French Grand Prix 350 cc class.

In 1937 Mellors won the French Grand Prix 350 cc and 500 cc classes

After initially riding in the TT races, Mellors started riding in Continental events, and in 1938 won the title of 350 cc European Champion[3] and held the title throughout the second World War, until racing started again when petrol was no longer rationed.

Mellors was one of a few pre-World War II British riders who realised that they could probably make more money by racing regularly in Grand Prix motorcycle racing events on the Continent.

In 1927 Benelli had a gear drive SOHC 175 cc model. In 1930 this became DOHC, and in 1935 the capacity was increased to 250 cc. With this machine Mellors won the Lightweight 1939 Isle of Man TT.[4]

World War II[edit]

During World War II Mellors worked in munitions and was with the volunteer fire service. He applied, but was not accepted for the Air Force due to slightly defective eyesight, despite already having a private air pilot’s licence.[1]

Mellors designed and patented a rotary valve system in the early 1940s, during World War II. He was issued Patent 559830, in March 1944.[5]

Mellors also wrote magazine articles and had an unpublished fictionalised biography.[1]

Accidental Death[edit]

In 1946, two days after moving into a new home in Etwall Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, Mellors was overcome by exhaust fumes while working on a car, and it was his daughter Joan, arriving home from school, who found him. The Birmingham Coroner’s Court recorded a verdict of Accidental Death. He was just 39 years old.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d [1] IOM TT Rider Ted Mellors (Retrieved 22 November 2006)
  2. ^ [2] IOM TT Ted Mellors Results (Retrieved 22 November 2006)
  3. ^ Title:The Guinness Motorcycle Sport Fact Book, Author: Ian Morrison, Page 151. Publisher: Guinness World Records Ltd,Enfield, Middx.: May 1991 ISBN 0-85112-953-6 : pbk.
  4. ^ [3] Krackowizer Benelli (Retrieved 22 November 2006)
  5. ^ [4] Museum Rotary Valves (Retrieved 22 November 2006)
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jimmie Guthrie
350cc Motorcycle European Champion
Succeeded by
Heiner Fleischmann