Who is that ukulele-playing Brit on the Shuttleworth Snap motorcycle?
Graeme Hardy is a British motorcycle guy who impersonates a British actor/entertainer/comedian who once pretended to be a British motorcycle guy. How’s that? Don’t worry, it’ll all makes sense according to its own weird logic.
Hardy, decked out in period motorcycle gear and standing next to an unusual 1926 Triumph Model P near the motorcycle paddock at the UK’s Goodwood Revival, is constantly mingling with attendees and mugging for the camera. Above him are wooden signs that read, “George Shuttleworth, Shuttleworth Snap, 1935 TT Winner.”
The truth is, there is no George Shuttleworth, but one look at Hardy and it’s difficult to walk past without stopping and asking what’s going on here? Hardy is happy to explain.
“I saw a movie called No Limit when I was on the Isle of Man,” Hardy says, referring to the home of the famously dangerous TT motorcycle race. “It was a 1935 British musical comedy starring George Formby, and he played George Shuttleworth, who wins the TT. I thought if I could build that motorcycle and bring it to Goodwood, maybe it would add some entertainment to the paddock.”
Hardy, who has also been part of a Laurel & Hardy act—no, he didn’t play Hardy, he played Laurel—has raced bikes at both the club and national level, and he served as a mechanic for the Isle of Man TT race. In 2006, he came up with the idea to transform a non-running 500-cc Triumph into the Shuttleworth Snap.
Hardy made the Snap’s famous checkered wheel coverings out of cardboard at first but eventually built fiberglass versions. He says enjoys adding little touches like a bird’s nest, and he learned to play the ukulele, which was part of Formby’s schtick.
Goodwood liked the idea and built the display area that Hardy calls home during the Revival. “People seem to have a bit of fun with it,” Hardy says.
We’re guessing no one has more fun with it than he does.