An Audience with Stan Dibben

on the Donald Campbell World Land Speed Record


Issued: 13 May 2016


On Thursday 2nd June 2016, Manx National Heritage will host ‘An Audience with Stan Dibben’, who will provide visitors to the Manx Museum with an entertaining look back at his career in motorsport including his work on Donald Campbell’s World Land Speed Record in ‘Bluebird’.

Stan is a well-known visitor to the Isle of Man TT races, a former world sidecar champion, solo motorcycle racer and TT enthusiast.  He was also a professional trumpet player, engineer, electrician and sailor!  He has worked with some of the best-known names at both BSA and Norton, rode the first Dommie Racer and was the man who pioneered NGK Spark Plugs in the UK. 

Stan’s talk will include his insights and stories from one of the most famous motorsport projects in the world: Donald Campbell’s World Land Speed Record success.  Stan was recruited for the project by Andrew Mustard, Project Manager for the attempts and a Clubman’s TT Bronze Replica winner.

Stan will speak about the 1964 record on Lake Eyre in South Australia, how the lake’s salt surface is formed, the problems this caused, and the many other challenges of the harsh conditions of the Australian desert, including 12 hour working days in temperatures consistently in the mid-40s Celsius. He will tell the story of the successful record attempt from the inside, and explain the difference between Donald Campbell as the public perceived him and as ‘the man in the car.’

This special event will include a screening of ‘No Ordinary Passenger’, a short film telling the story of Stan Dibben’s career in sidecar racing and about the perils of being the ‘passenger’ in such a dangerous sport. 

 Alan Kinvig, Museums and Sites Manager for Manx National Heritage said:

 “Manx National Heritage is delighted to welcome Stan Dibben to the Manx Museum.  Stan is a regular visitor to the TT, visiting first as a spectator, then as a rider and passenger and also several times as a technical rep for both Perry and NGK. His talk promises to be fascinating and includes personal recollections of how Stan helped secure Donald Campbell’s World Land Speed Record of 403.1 mph in Australia on 17th July 1964”. 

Admission to the talk will be free of charge, with donations welcome to the TT Riders Association (TTRA), an Isle of Man registered charity that helps riders and their families who face real hardship.