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"The Pope Special"
A watery wonder, the Pope Special, was one of the fastest machines in 1962. It was built by the Pope brothers, who were motorcycle engineers based in Dartford, Kent, but for some reason did not bring its rider, A. E. Dawson, deserved renown though he put up some excellent performances.
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The Pope Special was based on a 50cc Demm Dik Dik of circa 1958 and offered a performance equal in comparison with other off the shelf sports mopeds of that period.
It was raced on many of the UK circuits and was often a podium finisher. It also competed in the Isle of Man 50cc TTs with its rider A . E. Dawson. Due to the fragility of the DEMM engine, this  was changed through its life to the water-cooled ITOM unit that is now in the bike. The cooling works on the Thermo-Syphon approach as there is no pump fitted to the engine.
The Early Days.
This is a photograph of the Pope racer in 1959. The rider with it is Alan E. Dawson who rode for the Pope brothers on the 125cc Montesa and the 50cc racers. This shot was taken at Brands Hatch during an early spring meeting. In the program the bike  was only recorded as being a DEMM as it had not been christened "The Pope Special" at that time. It's also interesting to note that Alan's leathers were for someone a lot larger than him, but they passed scrutineering.
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The DEMM Page
In 1962 Alan Dawson was entered in the 50cc class of the Isle of Man T.T. and programmed to be riding either the Pope Special or a Kreidler. There is no information at the present time on which bike came to the line but it was a non starter. 
The second 50cc Chiltern Enduro, organised by the Racing 50 Club, took place on Sunday 7 May 1961. Here you can see No. 33 on the mass start line as the flag drops. The chequered helmet identifies pushing away, mounted on the Pope Special.
Those around him are: Bill Ivy No.27, of the W.D. Ivy and M. Thomas/Chisholm-Itom pairing, No. 48 the J. Avery and W.J. Stocker/Victoria SS pairing along with No. 53 the P. Wright and T. Lake pairing on a MOTOM.
Program Entry.
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Some of the races that the Pope Special had been involved in, mainly at Brands Hatch. 
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Alan Dawson with the Pope Special waiting at Scrutineering for the 1963 Isle of Man T.T.
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Editor:  These images are from the article in Classic Racer concerning The Pope Special. If you wish to read the full article please click on the image to open the .pdf file. If you wish to go to the Classic Racer page then click on the magazine image.  Our thanks to Alan Turner and Classic Racer for allowing the use of this article.
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Return to Mount up-The Bikes
In the 1963 Alan was again entered into the Isle of Man 50cc TT riding the Pope Special: the only mention of Alan in the race was the commentator announcing that "H. L. Fruin coasts in and re­tires at the pits. A. E. Dawson (Pope Special) has retired at Cronk-y-voddy and the riders are OK".
An excellent article by Alan Turner on The Pope Special, for Classic Racer.
This is a slightly later picture of the "Pope" than the 1959 shot at the top of the page. Here it has its suit of cloths and is running the DEMM, air-cooled engine, pre the gearbox oiling system. The Pope brothers also spent many hours on the frame and running gear as can be seen from the front brake and the "laid down approach" to the rear shock absorbers on the earlier model. 
This is a later version of the DEMM engine. Still air-cooled but here you can see the oil feed tubes going into the gearbox improving the oiling system over a wet sump approach. The Petrol/Oil mix approach was used for the cylinder and crankcase. Both approaches being used at the same time gave a very reliable engine. 
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Alan Dawson on the Pope Special
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The Pope Special, with the ITOM engine, on show at Crystal Palace in 2014. It was displayed by the current owner, Ray Palmer, of Maidstone Motoliner Ltd.
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This hub was a standard DEMM supplied unit, but with the need to stop this fast racer it was modified by John Pope to twin leading shoe.
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An exhaust system, based on the DEMM Cowhorn, was designed to maximise the power capabilities of the engine. There are as few bends in the pipe as possible. As it worked well on the DEMM engine it was kept for the ITOM
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This picture shows the reverse cylinder approach that the Popes used on this ITOM engine. Note the carburettor pointing to the front wheel. The gear change was modified from twist grip handlebar change to a foot change mechanism.
A closer picture of the Barrel and head assembly. Although not obvious, the head, which was sunk into the Barrel could be removed and if necessary another fitted with a different squish band.
The cylinder head skull and squish band could be changed without disturbing the water-jacket
Early days with the air-cooled Demm, no pumped gearbox oil and un-damped suspension units. Believed to be taken at Brands Hatch, at BottomBend with Alan Dawson in the sadle.
Mortons Motorcycle Media
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Note the very steep angle of the Dell'orto Carburettor.
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