This (almost) one hour long documentary offers a look back at the incredible life of Isle of Man TT legend Stanley Woods – the man who famously talked his way into a deal to ride in the Isle of Man TT and then went on to win the race 10 times in the following years.

The most common (true) story told about Woods is how he got his first TT ride, this story is included in the film and it’s better when you hear it from him directly, so stop reading now if you plan to watch it.

In 1922 Stanley Woods wrote to manufacturers of motorcycles that would compete in the Junior TT and told them he already had a ride in the Senior TT, and would they like to provide him with a bike to compete in the Junior. He then did the same with the manufacturers of Senior TT eligible motorcycles.

Amazingly the scheme worked, motorcycle manufacturer Cotton agreed to provide a Junior TT bike if Woods could provide references. Woods provided some references, who Cotton then contacted by post. Little did they know it was Woods writing back under a series of assumed names. The references he wrote for himself must have made an impact, as Cotton provided him with a motorcycle for the Junior TT for 1923.

Stanley Woods Cotton Motorcycle

Above Image: Stanley Woods aboard his Cotton in 1923.

Even though the Cotton was a slower machine his riding would impress many including the Norton team, from 1924 onwards he would ride with Norton, securing them many victories well into the 1930s.

Although Stanley Woods isn’t as famous as many more modern riders like Mike Hailwood, Giacomo Agostini, Joey Dunlop, Bruce Anstey, and Michael Dunlop, it was the record setting feats of Woods that set the stage for them all.

This film was made just a year before Woods passed away, it includes a lot of footage of him telling his story in his own words, and on a more sentimental note it also shows that he recognised how valued he was, and how significant his life had been.

If you’d like to read more about Stanley Woods you can click here.

Stanley Woods Isle of Man TT

Stanley Woods

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Ben Branch has had his work featured on CNN, Popular Mechanics, the official Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, and many more.

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