Run in a time-trial format on public roads closed for racing, the first Isle of Man TT race was held on Tuesday 28 May 1907 and was then called the International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy. That initial race consisted of 10 laps of the St John’s Short Course, 15 miles and 1,470 yards of excellent roadway across some of the most beautiful scenery imaginable.
Daredevil Charlie Collier took the title on a Matchless in a time of 4 hours, 8 minutes and 8 seconds. though it works out to an average speed of 38.2 mph, the speed was stunning for the times. During the same year, the winner of the twin-cylinder class, Rem Fowler, piloted his Norton with a Peugeot engine and clocked a time of 4 hours 21 minutes and 52 seconds for an average speed of 36.2 mph.
For his efforts, Collier took home a trophy donated by the Marquis de Mouzilly St. Mars which featured a silver figurine astride a winged wheel, and since that time, the trophy has become the hallmark of pure, unadulterated road speed. The Marquis de Mouzilly St. Mars Trophy is now presented annually to the winner of the Isle of Man Senior TT Motorcycle Race, but my how times have changed.
Collier would be completely blown away were he given a chance to see the bullet-like trajectory the bikes now follow, and equally taken aback to see the kinds of speeds the riders are willing to achieve in the race to take over the trophy he once held.
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