Kenny Lucas enjoys retirement parade after 70 years of racing

Sunday the 23rd of May 2021 saw the retirement of a true racing living legend

Kenny (Luke) Lucas OAM decided to hang up his racing boots and trusty Tiger Angel’s calling the end of an extremely long and memorable racing career that spanned seven decades.

Sadly, his 90-year-old body decided that enough was enough and amongst other problems, couldn’t get his feet remotely close to the foot pegs of any of his sizable racing bike collection. As one of his faithful following quite aptly put it ‘when the novelty wears off it’s just plain painful.’ 

Luke was honoured with being the lead rider in the Historic Winton 4×2 Lunchtime Parade astride his old 1948 Triumph road-outfit with a handful of his honoured friends and family. They completed their assigned parade laps to the waves, cheers and applause from the adoring local crowd for a truly miraculous  man accompanied by a handful of his machines.

Kenny led the parade lap on his 1948 Triumph outfit – Image Colin Rosewarne

Luke has been an attraction of his own at racetracks all over Australia, New Zealand, North America and the United Kingdom heralded by his cheeky and sometimes inadvertent, old school irreverent banter leaving nobody safe from a light-hearted verbal spray. 

Kenny led the parade lap on his 1948 Triumph outfit – Image RbMotoLens

Literally thousands of the young and the not so young, the famous and the infamous were all rewarded with a sit on whatever machines Luke had on hand at the time and they were always complemented with a jovial and, of late, fragmented life story.

Ken Lucas Manx Norton
Kenny and his extremely rare 250 Manx Norton racing in 2019

His expansive and expensive collection of two and three wheeled racing machines are a tribute to a man that was and still is, totally dedicated to his sport. He has been awarded life memberships from many of the clubs that matter together with being honoured with races that carry his name Australia wide – old Luke won’t be forgotten easily.

Ken Lucas Rick Begg Craig Longhurst kneeling
Never afraid to hold court Kenny is seen here with Rick Begg left and Craig Longhurst

The legacy given to our sport from his 70 years of racing is nothing less than monumental – one example being that he was The Man that did all the earth works to construct the original Broadford Road Racing track.

Ken Lucas (#371) leading Charlie Palmer on Ken's Dougie (#37) at Winton
Ken Lucas (#371) leading Charlie Palmer on Ken’s Dougie (#37) at Winton in 2017

Luke’s generosity often saw him supplying quality two and three wheeled rides for the famous including the late, great racing legends of Sir John Surtees and Barry Sheene and more recently, catering to the new wave of local ground-breaking lionesses in Chrissie Clancy-Ingpen and Stacey Heaney and lions including Cam Donald, Peter Guest and Garth Francis.

Ken Lucas in 2016 at Mac Park on his 1928 Douglas

Old Luke will still participate riding a few of his historic road outfits and his 1914 JAP Invincible at demonstration events such as the Broadford Bonanza and the International Festival of Speed so if you spot him make sure that you come up and loudly say g’day, thank you and tune in to this living legend’s encyclopaedic memories of yesterday’s racing.

IIC Phillip Island Rob Mott With Douglas Ken Lucas
Kenny with his Douglas at the 2019 Island Classic – Image RbMotoLens


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.