Living the dream
With a collection of more than 22 of his own vintage motorbikes, which he still races occasionally, Craig, a retired commercial attorney, is living his dream in his retirement years.
A true petrol-head at heart, Craig has spent much of his life racing motor bikes at championship level while at the same time practising law. He has fond memories of his racing days. “I must say that being a lawyer racing motocross and off-road certainly put me into a very small minority group,” he laughs.
With a workshop that boasts a large collection of some of the most beautiful American muscle cars (including the infamous Eleanor from the hit movie, Gone in 60 Seconds and other drool-worthy mustangs), Craig says it was a natural progression for him to move from a racing career to opening his own car restoration business.
The motorcycle bug bit Craig in his matric year when he was riding a Yamaha 180 to school every day. It wasn’t long before he got into off-road riding and was persuaded by a friend to go racing at a motocross meeting. Craig came second in his first ever race, which made him think he had a reasonable amount of talent and soon got involved in racing motocross for Yamaha.
A couple of serious accidents and injuries to his leg didn’t stop Craig from getting back onto his bike, winning his first South African Championship race. He went on to try motorcycle off-road racing where he ended up racing for the Honda Castrol Factory Team, competing in top class championships including the Roof of Africa. He became the Motorsport KZN president before retiring from motor sports at the age of 32, after a 10-year career in racing.
During Craig’s racing career he paralleled studying for his legal degree, went onto do his articles and thereafter practiced as an attorney all the while getting on his bikes every chance he could.
His decision to become a lawyer was largely influenced by his mother. “While I was growing up my mother always told me I should be a lawyer because I used to argue so well with her whilst managing to remain respectful. That was expected in our household. So, I kind of followed through with that and went into law. Who knows you better than your mother?” Craig represented high profile clients and businesses in his legal career.
“My love for specialised cars started when I was very young. My dad drove American cars for many years and always had big Chevs. These were the cars I was familiar with and the cars I grew up with.”
Craig says racing will always be in his blood and he still rides his collection of 22 historic bikes at events today.
“I still ride bikes for fun and am very active in the Historic Motorcycle Group. I get onto the racetrack at least four or five times a year on one of my racing bikes and I have an Africa Twin that I ride to work at least three or four times a month.”
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Text: Monique De Villiers-Delport | Photographs: Taryn van Rensburg
Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) September 2017