Tom Phillis…

Posted: April 18, 2016 in Fotos, Obscurities
Tags: ,


Phillis takes his Honda 350/4 for a practice lap at The Isle Of Man on June 4 1962…

Sadly, the young Australian World Champion and GP winner was killed on lap 2 of the 350cc event on 6 June aged 28.

Born in Marrickville in Sydney’s inner west on April 9, 1934, Phillis was a trend-setting international motorcycle racer as the first rider to win a World Championship Grand Prix on a Japanese machine. Aboard a Honda 125 he won the 1961 Spanish 125GP at Montjuic Park, Barcelona on 23 April.

He was the first Aussie to achieve a ‘Grand Prix Double’, (Clermont Ferrand France 21 May 1961 aboard Honda’s 125 and 500cc) the first man to lap the Isle of Man at 100mph on a push-rod bike and was Australia’s second World Motorcycle Champion. (Keith Campbell, the first, won the 1957 350 World Championship aboard a Moto Guzzi) His record of six GP wins in the ’61 season wasn’t improved upon by another Australian rider until Gregg Hansford did so in 1978).

Phillis clinched a drama-filled World 1961 125 Championship in the last round on October 15 in Argentina, whilst Mike Hailwood won the World 250 Championship on a machine supplied by the British Honda agent.


Phillis aboard a Norton on the Fishermans Bend, Melbourne grid in February 1959 (Charles Rice)

Tom Phillis’ daughter Debra has created an interesting website about her fathers racing exploits, click here for an interesting read and array of photographs of this great rider;


Central Press,

Tailpiece: Tom Phillis takes Honda’s first ever championship GP win at Montjuic Park, Barcelona, Spanish 125cc GP on 23 April 1961…




  1. Peter tomlinson says:

    I was there in 62, so very sad memories

    • markbisset says:

      No doubt Peter,
      I’ve been at circuits twice on days guys were killed- never something any of us want to see or be close to. Nor ever forgotten.
      I’ve not been to the Isle of Man, I’m not particularly a motor-cycle racing fan but no enthusiasts CV is complete without a visit there during race weekend. One day!

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