THE motorcycling fan eager to find out about an old vehicle driven by legend, Joey Dunlop, may be out of luck - at least as far as finding the van in one piece is concerned.
For a telephone call to the Times in response to a plea from Neal Anderson for information on the Mark 1 Forst Transit suggested that local motor vehicle dealer, Eddie Torrens, had taken possession of the vehicle some years ago and the likelihood is that it was scrapped.
However, Mr. Torrens says he has no recollection of the vehicle although he does recall buying a Mercedes van off Joey.
“The years you’re talking about are a long time ago and it would be difficult to remember .
“Joey was a regular visitor to my yard and I sold him a lot of stuff, but the van is something I just don’t remember anything about,” Eddie told the Times.
“In around 1975/1976 Joey Dunlop had a long wheel base Mark 1 Ford Transit van that was painted in the Rea Racing colours (Joey’s main sponsor at the time),” said Neal.
“This white, black and red van appears very briefly in the famous film The Road Racers.
Mr. Anderson said he had tried a number of sources, including members of the Dunlop family direct, Mr Hugh O’Kane, local photographers and even the director of the Road Racers film without any success.
He then asked for help from our readers.
On Wednesday of last week, a caller said he was certain that the van had been taken to Eddie Torrens’ scrapyard for disposal after having served its owner well down the years.
Neal would still like to find out more about the van and if anyone else has any information it would be greatly appreciated.
He said: “I would love to hear from anyone who has any other photos that show even just a small part of the van?
“I would dearly like to try and discover what the van’s registration number was, and also who the local sponsors were on the sides of the van.
“At least two sponsors names were sign written on the middle and rear lower half of the van in a yellow/gold colour, but it’s impossible to make out who they were from the grainy film.”
If you know any more about Joey’s van, please contact Neal on 07719 821146