1965 Cotton 250cc Telstar Road Racer
Frame no. TBA
Engine no. TBA
Gloucester based Cotton were a lively and enterprising firm, yet despite their limited means still managed to entice Arthur Lampkin and John Draper onto their trials and scrambles machinery. They also enjoyed a lengthy and equally fruitful relationship with Derek Minter who, for several seasons, had countless successes while racing a Starmaker-engined Telstar. In similar vein to Greeves with their Silverstone racer, Cotton sold some dozens of Telstars to club racers in the quarter litre Class. Proof of the Telstar's potential is confirmed by Derek Minter's 9th position in the 1965 Lightweight at an average speed of 84 mph, which stacks up well against the 80 mph average clocked by Mike O'Rourke when he rode a Meier-tuned Ariel Arrow to 7th place in the 1960 event, receiving far more praise than was ever accorded to Minter! Virtually presented in an as-last-raced condition the fully faired Cotton is one of a pair the factory entered in the 1965 TT; i.e. one for Minter, the second for Dursley's John Kidson, who had yet to win a TT at that time. The race strategy was to run without stopping to refuel, both bikes were therefore fitted with large capacity tanks, which in turn led to John Kidson crashing out, fortunately sans injury. He and Minter were consecutive numbers. By Braddan, and riding comfortably within limits, John was sitting on Minter's tail. At this point the leading Cotton's tank emitted some excess juice through the breather. Esso Extra and Castrol 'R' mixed at a ration of 20:1 is slippery, and down John went! The ex Kidson Cotton has now reverted to its short circuit tank. Untouched for many years the historic Telstar is in need of some tlc. John Kidson himself has not seen the machine for many years, but when shown the photographs declared he would be surprised if it wasn't the genuine article. Offered with some period copy photos and a letter from John Kidson.
- We have been unable to locate the frame number on this machine. The engine number is 2225H834935.