The beginnings of a wonderful relationship

Vic Willoughby goes for a test ride on the Potts 250 around Bellshill on trade plates.

So why would Bob turn down these works rides and instead decide to stay with Joe, working at the back of a funeral parlour in Bellshill, Glasgow? The answer: Bob was a man of his word and he had made plans with Joe for the 1956 season. Bob’s friendship with Potts and his belief in what they could achieve together meant that he would continue with these plans.

During the 1955 season it was apparent that the Joe Potts/Bob McIntyre team was the only privateer able to compete with the Works teams. With the reputation gained by both in 1955, Joe was able to start getting lots of spares out of the ‘back door’ of Norton’s. This included unmachined cylinder heads, crankcases, pistons etc. Joe had effectively taken off and moved on from where the Works team had been operating. Norton recognised this and as well as providing the aforementioned parts, it was also supplying drawings of parts and engines from the Works team. With the unmachined crankcases Joe would now be able to start creating the highly developed special Potts engines that were stamped with JP engine numbers. Huge amounts of sponsorship money started flooding in to the team, the largest portion coming from Shell.

Read more in the September/October issue of Classic Racer – on sale now

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