Seeley Konig 500
In the winter of 1973 Dave and good friend Allen Blasdell decided to join forces and build the ultimate GP racer. Using Dave’s mechanical and fabrication skills and Allen’s technical and machining knowledge they decided to convert Allen’s Seeley MK4 frame that then housed a Norton Commando engine, to take the Konig engine. They believed by using the superb Seeley frame, that was at the time the ultimate in frame development and the powerful but light konig engine, it would make the perfect power to weight ratio race machine!!
As the 1974 season began, so did the Seeley Konig’s test sessions, with a few teething problems. Once these niggles where overcome success came with Allen cleaning up many wins at club meetings in the 500 and open capacity classes.
As the season went on Allen moved up the ranks, from club meetings to high profile events whilst gaining his international licence. Unfortunatly they hit problems every time they entered a large prize money event.
One such event was the John Player Grand Prix at Silverstone when Allen qualified 11th, but when a gearbox leak lubricated the rear tyre, the Seeley and Allen went down at Abby curve travelling at a estimated 140 mph.
At the end of the season Dave and Allen decided to venture into building there own frame, and by doing this they believed that they could overcome some of the issues they encountered with the Seeley Konig. The Seeley Konig was layed to rest and the Daval was born!!!
In the early nineties Pop Blasdell contacted Dave to tell him of the whereabouts of the Seeley (unbeknown to Dave, Pop had been keeping track of the old girl) and Dave followed it up. After a few calls he discovered that Pop was right and the Seeley had a new owner.
The rebuild did’nt start straight away as Dave had no engines, until 1994 when the opportunity arose to purchase three complete engines, but it was not plain sailing from then on either.
The frame had been modified slightly for a Suzuki T500 at some point, so the frame had to put back to standard, for then Dave to repeat the conversion once again some 35 years later.
At last the rebuild was underway!
The bike today has been rebuilt back to as it was when they raced it in 1974 with a few minor improvemtents which with todays technology allows the private individual to gain.
Such improvements are electronic ignition, TT industries gear box, more efficient lightweight alloy radiator and a ascetically improved fuel tank. All of which make this a stunning piece of racing motorcycle history.
For further information please read March/April ’12 edition of Classic Racer magazine.
And here it is running at the Stafford Bike Show in October 2011.