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Grant Leonard stars in Silver Dream Racer

Grant Leonard finds himself in a film with David Essex

12 August, 1979

I was in Silver Dream Racer. Admittedly it was a bit part, but it was the best bike film ever made for, ooh, a couple of months at least - til Mad Max came out. It was a speaking part - my role was to cheer and wave my programme when the bikes came past. Me and 60,000 other punters.

The racers were being filmed from the back of a brown Ford Capri as I remember. And amazingly, it was the actual GP grid that followed the car on a warm-up lap - stranger than fiction. Can you imagine that today? "Wave your programmes!" urged the commentor. We obliged vigorously, immortality beckoning.

It was a grid of gods: Barry Sheene, Kenny Roberts, Steve Parrish, Ron Haslam, Graziano Rossi (Vale's dad), Randy Mamola, Marco Lucchinelli, Franco Uncini, Wil Hartog, Mick Grant - and Roger Marshall, riding the Silver Dream Racer itself (right) and entered by Rank Film Productions.

The bike (and engine) was built by Barton Motors and was a true one-off, as per the film script. Silver Dream carried on racing in the UK after the film was made (despite it apparently exploding at the end of the film - oops sorry, ruined it for you). I know because I saw it at Oliver's Mount.

It's the corniest film you'll ever see but the bike action is brilliant. And you might even spot me.

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