More Unscrambled Five

Former British champion Andy Roberton got to know David quite well and enjoyed some support on CZs early in his career. ‘Dave was my hero when I started out. He was the one we all wanted to be. He was the CZ importer and when I was 18, I bought a 250 twin-port off him and I did quite well on it and then he’d help me out a bit, lending me bikes for a while.’ Andy is being quite modest here as he won the Tweseldown winter series in 1966/67, as an 18-year-old, which prompted the renowned motorcycle journalist, Ralph Venables, to write a glowing profile of the young man for Motor Cycle News, saying he was Cast in the Bickers mould, high praise indeed! 

After a brief spell on a factory Cotton, Andy returned to CZ, but he didn’t have things all his own way as he tells us: ‘Chris Lavery was quite helpful to me when I was starting out and in 1967, I was chosen to ride in the Trophee des Nations in Holice, Czechoslovakia. Chris organised the trip and I remember that I used Dave’s sign written A55 pick up. I’d hardly been abroad before so we went to a Thursday International meeting in Mol, Belgium, then we loaded up the bikes and drove all night to the Czech border. So, we got to the meeting, and I had an horrendous crash and travelled home with Malcolm Davis and Harold Taylor (the team manager). Two of my brothers were at the meeting and they took my bikes to the CZ factory to get them tuned up and they got hit by a train as they were driving into the factory. They were unhurt and the bikes were OK, but the pick up was completely caved in on one side. All in all, it was a pretty disappointing trip. Dave told me later that CZ kept the pick up there. They put a new body on it and used it as a runabout at the factory.’ 

Many years later David returned to the CZ factory for a reunion, travelling out there with Freddie Mayes, Chris Ginn and Dave Cordle, who all raced CZs in their time. They all remembered David pointing out where the accident had happened. As an aside, Chris Ginn recalled: ‘He ate chicken for the first time there, by mistake! This chap David knew wanted us to go to his museum and after we’d taken a look, they wanted to give us lunch. This lady had prepared all this food and (unbeknown to David who was a very fussy eater) it was chicken in breadcrumbs. To David it looked like one of his favourites – Wiener Schnitzel. I knew it was chicken as soon as I tasted it, because I don’t like Chicken, but I think it was Freddie who asked after we’d eaten, “What was this?” and she said, “Chicken.”  David’s face was a picture, but he took it quite well.’