Exhibition celebrates Hailwood’s TT career

Mike Hailwood riding to victory in 1967. A replica of the Honda 500/4 is on display at the Sayle Gallery

Mike Hailwood riding to victory in 1967. A replica of the Honda 500/4 is on display at the Sayle Gallery

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An exhibition being staged at the Sayle Gallery during this year’s TT festival will pay homage to Mike Hailwood, widely regarded as one of the greatest riders of all time.

Hailwood’s Height will feature some of the key motorcycles and memorabilia from the racer’s career.

In 1961 Hailwood became the first rider to win three TT races in a week and amassed 12 TT wins between 1961 and 1967. He also won nine world championship titles before moving into car racing.

In an astonishing comeback after 11 years away from motorcycle racing, Hailwood claimed two more TT wins in 1978 and 1979.

He died in 1981 in a car crash.

The Sayle Gallery will be home to the Suzuki RG500 on which Hailwood won his last ever TT and a replica of the Honda 500/4 which he raced in the infamous 1967 Diamond Jubilee Senior race, where he battled with Giacomo Agostini.

The exhibition will also feature one of the world’s rarest machines – the original Honda RC173 on which Hailwood won the world championship in 1966.

The machinery will be accompanied by memorabilia from the Hailwood family archive, which is being delivered and installed by Hailwood’s son, David.

David said: ‘I’m really excited about this exhibition. It will be really nice to see all our memorabilia reunited with the bikes, especially the RG. We have lots of photographs and items relating to that bike and I can’t wait to see it again.’

Among the objects in the exhibition will be Hailwood’s helmets, medals, sashes and his scrapbook from the famous Diamond Jubilee race.

Rachael Clegg, best known for her Milestones calendars, has created a series of paintings, known as Sound Stories, to complement the machines.

The paintings are based on the sound waves produced by the historic bikes and will be exhibited alongside rare audio clips of the bikes soaring over the TT course.

The Hailwood’s Height exhibition opened on Sunday and runs until June 8. It is being supported by the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. 

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