Swiss on a roll
Several issues of Benzina ran short pieces under the “Ivar’s Archives” banner. Although credited to A Herl Inc. – their eBay shop’s worth a look– really the work was done by Ivar de Gier using photos from his father and grandfather’s back catalogue. So I asked Ivar to pick a few photos he thought were hidden gems and write a brief backstory. This one was in Benzina 7, available from the shop and bio link: The short and twisty circuit of Montjuic, set in Barcelona’s city park of the same name, was the scene of many Spanish Grand Prix races and also home to the prestigious Spanish 24 hour races. This image was shot in 1972 during the eighteenth “24 Horas Motociclistas De Montjuic”. No less then five Laverda 750 SFCs were entered: shown is the number two machine, being ridden by Swiss rider Philippe Schreyer. He was teamed with Roberto Gallina, both excellent riders who really knew their way around Montjuic on the mighty SFC. Nevertheless they had to take on local Spanish riders who always seemed to be favourites, no matter what machine they rode. For this 1972 edition a total of 55 riders started, yet only 25 completed the race. Schreyer and Gallina finished in second place with a total of 672 laps ridden. This meant riding a total of 2,549.167 km (1,583.98 miles). Track specialist (and occasional Ducati NCR 900 rider) Benjamin Grau had joined forces with another local expert, Juan Bordons: however, their weapon of choice was a Bultaco 360 two-stroke! They managed 689 laps and 2,615.165 km (1,624.99 m) so they won the race! These photography trips to Montjuic hold many exciting memories. The long trip south was often delayed, as it always seemed some forgotten parts needed collecting for friendly Dutch and Belgian teams that were racing “down south”. Happy reunions with befriended Spanish photographers always made sure late night parties were mixed with the roar of the racers in the background. Montjuic was (and is) unique. Interestingly, this particular SFC is still in existence today, owned and treasured by a Swiss Laverda enthusiast.
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