Very, very sad news, we lost a true English Gentleman on Wednesday, December 15, 2010. Victor died peacefully in his sleep. He was a great man who achieved much during his full life. There was a gravesite memorial service Sunday, 19 December at 2PM at the Restland Funeral Home. The service was at Veterans 4, lot 61D.
Victor Toogood's donated Norton
On July 14, 2012 Clay Walley and George Tuttle drove out to Garland to pick up one of Victor Toogood's vintage bikes which was donated to the NTNOA. It’s a ’53 Norton Dominator Model 7. It was donated
by Ibrahim Kuzu. Ibrahim was Victor's very good friend and was instrumental in moving Victor's warehouse full of motorcycles and parts to a new storage facility three years ago. We took it to Big D and Jerrett Martin made a list of things missing and things needing to be fixed. Ibrahim
said we could come back and get whatever parts we needed for the bike. He took us to one of his storage facilities which was packed full of Victor's old Brit bike parts.
Click here for
A True English Gentleman
Sir Victor Toogood at the 2007 LOP Rallye - courtesy of Bob Cox
Victor at the 2005 rallye
By Joe Tokarz
The first time
I met Victor "Vic" Toogood at an NTNOA meeting, I was intrigued with his
personality. Over the last few years I was able to pick up bits and pieces of Vics
life history and love of British motorcycles. But connecting the bits was like trying to
sort out the leads and connections in a Lucas wire harness. To put things in proper order,
I had to go to the source. Vic was kind enough to spend a couple of patient hours with me
while I asked more questions than deserved answers. Heres what came out of that
was born in the town of Hackney, an East suburb of London on March 22, 1914. He entered
the world with the help of a mid-wife at the Salvation Army Mothers Home, since the
hospitals were taken over to support the war effort. Vics family consisted of mom,
and dad who was an insurance company manager, two older brothers and a sister. Vic
eventually grows up to become a RAF pilot serving about 6 years, with assignments in
England, Burma and India. But the early years of his life were not easy. Due to a severe
speech impediment, his mother would write notes for him. Vic would be almost 21 years old
before he learned to speak with confidence, and it would be his life long love for
motorcycles that would help him cope.
The caltrap consists of four nails forged together in such a way that one of them is always pointing upward when placed on the ground. It was a weapon used during the Middle Ages to wound horses and the feet of foot soldiers.
On the trip over to England he and 2400 other freshly minted pilots were on a
ship that was built for the Mediterranean, so the Atlantic had its way with the ship and
passengers. To ensure the ship arrived safely with its cargo, it was escorted all the way
back to England.
Vic was assigned to the Hurricane Squadron. One of their tasks was to escort the D-Day gliders. Vic was shipped off to Asia and there he flew out of Burma behind the Japanese lines running what he calls a taxi service for 250 pound bombs. In time the Hurricanes were dispatched to Europe but Vic stayed behind and flew P-47s. After Hiroshima, the Allied Forces had driven the Japanese out of Malaya, Burma, Borneo and Sumatra. What was left of the Japanese army together with the very large number of prisoners had retreated to the island of Java. Only four RAF squadrons were equipped with P-47 aircraft due to the spare parts availability. These were selected to go to Batavia (now Jakarta) Java to take over and rehabilitate the prisoners. These four squadrons had the doubtful honor of being the last RAF operational squadrons in the War. Vic was released from Her Majestys Service in early 1946 and returned to Southampton. He took a civilian job with Marconi EKCO as a materials buyer.
About 1947, Vic returned to the US with the help of a friend who assisted in the Green Card paperwork. Vic found his way to Texas because of another good friend whose folks were here. This pilot friend met an untimely death while flying. In Dallas Vic started to work for the Dallas newspaper then moved on to an oilfield equipment company as an inventory clerk. Opportunity knocked and Vic applied for and was accepted in an accountant position. He stayed with this company until 1971. This company was the largest oilfield company in the world but went bankrupt 10 years later.
Vic always had a love for the open road and Canada. Around 1961 he rode his Vincent to Canada and claimed to be the first person to cross the Canadian Rockies on a motorcycle. During that time Vic kept his 1948 Norton International and made 8 trips to and from Canada on it. Hes proud to say that he had the trip down pat, taking only 2 ½ days each way.
At the ripe old age of 57 he joined Vernon Hardwicks BSA shop as a parts man. However, when his mother passed away he needed to return to England for the services. His employer promised to keep his position open but when he returned to Dallas, he found that he had been replaced. After that he opened a small shop on 10th street in Dallas near Davis street. There he charged his clients $5 per month for bike storage and work shop privileges. This worked out quite well for Vic.
Well, thats about it. By this time I was mentally exhausted. Vic on the other hand seemed to be getting warmed up. I had taken in so much of Vics life, I was concerned that I wouldnt be able to decipher my own chicken scratching and keep the details straight.
Composing this brief essay about Victor Toogood has been a great experience for me and I hope for the NTNOA members as well. We are extremely fortunate to have a member like Vic to tell us first hand about motorcycling in its infancy, how it influenced his life and the resulting memories. So the next time you see Vic, take a few moments to introduce yourself, and shake hands with the NTNOAs one and only English Gentleman. Its a privilege to have Vic as an Honorary Member and one of the very early members of the NTNOA.
The Houston based classic motorcycle enthusiasts, including members of the BMOA, and BRMC will always have fond memories of Victor. For many years he attended the Annual New Ulm
Rally. Victor always camped out and was open to developing new friends while offering his intellect and wisdom for those within his presence. I will remember Victor as a kind man that always offered
inspiration. He will undoubtedly be remembered and missed by the many that were fortunate enough to make his acquaintance.
From: James Ingram
Vics Quotable Quotes
* From racing at Brands Hatch on an AJS R8: If its not
raining, its a good day for racing.
Some Memorable Times with Vic (from Dave Howe a.k.a. Flat 2)
* Vic once worked for Doc Storm, organizing all the bits
in the attic. Vic was a sight blaring down Chalk Hill in his old Hillman with no top. When
it rained, he still blared down the hill, having donned his only proper rain gear - an old
pair of goggles. When the Hillman expired, it was the same drill, rain or shine, on his
Examples of Some of Vics Bikes
Copyright © 1995 NTNOA All rights reserved.
Revised: July 19, 2012.