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agosto 29, 2018 - Porsche

The Flying Corkman

Comunicato Stampa disponibile solo in lingua originale. 

Mel Nolan is smiling. Dressed in a neatly ironed shirt with the outline of a #Porsche embroidered on the chest, he rises from his seat and extends his hand, the smile turning to a laugh.

“Another drink over here,” he calls to a barman, before gesturing to the stool opposite him. Even beside the window the light in this southern Irish pub is low, but the spotlight is about to shine on white-haired Mel, as he heaves a heavy box up beside him, layers of newspaper cuttings, old photographs and programmes inside.

Memories spill onto the table, scattering like a dropped pack of cards, and his eyes dance as his fingers reach for a black and white photo of a man sitting astride a motorbike.

Clad in leathers, his face partly hidden by a helmet, is a much younger Mel. A Mel who was better known at the time as The Flying Corkman.

The Flying Corkman: Mel Nolan

In the early Eighties, #melnolan was one of the quickest men on earth. Aboard his “crazy, home-built motorcycle”, the industrial chemist set two world records and, after registering 207mph on the speedometer, has kept a tight hold of the Irish Land Speed Record for nearly 40 years since.

“For the past seven years I’ve been a total #Porsche fanatic but before it wasn’t like that,” says the 73-year-old. “Before that, I was a biker – and not an ordinary biker but one who loved to race, build new engines, do new things and develop new engineering and new products.”

Having entered – and won – his first motorbike race at the age of 25, Mel filled his home with dozens of hillclimbing and sprint trophies before a powerful mix of mechanical curiosity and ambition propelled him into the record books. 

“The bike started off as a road bike – a Honda 750 with a top speed of 118mph – but my friend, Dennis Collins, and I started to work on it. Bit-by-bit the speeds built up to 207mph an hour.