Luís Cardoso's Fan Club
Updated: Nov 18
Text and photos: Alberto Pires (www.motox.pt)
Luis Cardoso is responsible for my taste for motorcycles, for my evolution and involvement in motorcycling. In fact, in this field, I owe him everything.
I belonged to a group of fans, in my late teens, during the years I lived in Vila Real. I realize now that I was a “groupie” without knowing it. I met Luis Cardoso when I was 15 years old when he still didn't have a motorcycle, but he was already racing in the European and World Road Race Championships. He did it whenever he read the French Moto Revue and Moto Journal magazines. He was surely the one who knew the most about motorcycles in a city that liked to hear the engines screaming. A dreamer, he imagined going to work for the harvest in France, buying an RDLC 350 with the difficulty, participating in the Yamaha Gauloises Trophy and the following year participating in the European Championship riding a TZ 250, with everything paid for, the prize stipulated by Yamaha for the trophy winner. I thought the plan made perfect sense!
Talking about me is not the purpose of this website. I don't consider myself worthy of prominence that might be interesting to my readers. However, I thought it appropriate to reproduce this article that my friend "Tinho" (Alberto Pires) was kind enough to publish on www.motox.pt For the record, we were dream keepers, optimists and daredevils but, in this specific case, Guisande at the end of 1982, it would be quite expected that I or Tó Costa Paulo would have managed to earn some money for the return trip! At Racing Teixeira, where, since August 1982, I raced, Tó Costa Paulo only occasionally raced in this formation, it was a rule that the rider had to bear his own expenses and the registration in the races, the team had to bear all the expenses and logistics related to to the motorcycles! The cash prize, if any, had to be split in half and the trophies were alternately for the rider or the team! When we embarked on this adventure, Tó Costa Paulo had just become National Champion of 50cc Racing Juniors and I had won the previous non-championship event, Valpaços! So it was not completely unreasonable to expect results, at least one of the two, that would allow us the capital for the return... (Luis Cardoso)
In the photos, save the mistake that 40 years away I think is justicable, I identify: photo 1: me (on the bike), Zé Mé (Zé Carneiro, my teammate Marco de Canaveses, who at that time already raced in the Seniors) on the back and Pedro Correia (Racing Dimitrius); photo 2 (in this box): me, in the pits of the Vila Real circuit, photo taken by Tinho, I think in 1981 photo 3: as a federate, the first time I went to participate in a race, April 25, 1981. The race was going to be held in Stª Isabel (Carvalhos) and was canceled because it was raining and the floor was all in parallel! I never got to race with the bike as it is presented here! The photo is by Pedro Santelmo or João Moreira, the car and trailer (usually used for hunting) were from the late Mr. Palheiros. The friends who accompanied me paid their share of the trip to have the privilege of belonging to such a remarkable team! photo 4: pre-grid view of the 50cc Racing Juniors. photo 5: from left to right, Pedro Correia, me and Jó photos 6, 7 and 8: me photos 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 (gallery): 50cc Racing Juniors, I can only identify Manuel Duarte in photos 12 and 13. photo 14: José Pereira (1) and Tózé Monteiro (5) photos 15, 16 and 17: Tó Costa Paulo photos 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 (gallery): 50cc Racing Seniors, José Pereira (1), Tózé Monteiro (5), José Ferreira (7 ), José Pinto (9), António Ferreira (15) and, I think, with a white/red helmet without an identifiable number, Fernando Leite Ribeiro.
Inevitably, Luis Cardoso would end up racing on a motorcycle. As with all premieres, especially when financially limited, it is almost embarrassing to understand under what conditions. I know it's been more than 40 years, but it's strange how I thought at the time that, not being top-of-the-line, that was a track bike! He was even proud of the rear cantilever, triggering a shock absorber found in a scrap yard, the ingenious solution to overcome the fact that there was no money to buy two shocks, not necessarily good ones. We look around and it is difficult to establish a hierarchy between the bad, the terrible and the terrible. The correct thing is to use a filter that only on
'80s existed, and then we see a fabulous machine! Despite the means, and everything invariably going wrong, Cardoso managed to attract attention and would end up being invited in 1982 to race in one of the Sachs of “Racing Teixeira”. Taking the starting point as a reference, it was like being on a factory team! He no longer needed to carry the bike on the back, either on top of the “trailer” or dismantled in the trunk of a Citroen GS, all he had to do was arrive with his “Lewis Leathers” suit and load the cartridge! Still, he had to rely on his fan club to get there.
With Jó, on the right in the image, endowed with an undisturbed calm!
For the race at Guisande, a village close to Vila da Feira, transport was guaranteed by Jó, in his Volkswagen Beetle. It had cost him two contos (10 €), but as he didn't have an engine he bought another Beetle, also for two contos, to solve the problem. Unfortunately none of them worked well. Before each turn, JóI had to press the pedal three times to inject, and only then did I slow down. It was quite exciting to go down the Serra do Marão to Amarante along the old road. To finish off beautifully, I remember that down at Rua de Fernandes Tomás, in Porto, without stopping at any of the red traffic lights, with Jó injecting with all his might! We live to tell, but I think that even Tó Costa Paulo, who had gone with us as the latest addition to “Racing Teixeira”, felt a shiver down his spine!
Arriving in Guisande, the outlook was not encouraging, as the drizzling rain magnified the usual imponderables.
Luis Cardoso lined up in the juniors' competition and Costa Paulo in seniors. The starting grid was based on the result of a five-lap mini-race, in a kind of “superpole” where you started without knowing exactly what position. Cardoso did not complete a lap, since in the first real braking, in the fourth full, as soon as he touched the brakes he went through the floor. He only stopped on the threshold of a door, leaving the little old lady who was there, scared, screaming! In the race, the misfortune continued, perhaps because of the mallet water got in where it shouldn't, it was only with difficulty that he got back up, but as he wasn't moving at all, it forced him to give up.
Costa Paulo, in the seniors' competition, was showing what he was worth. He managed to set the best time in practice and would certainly fight for victory in the race, but after the second lap he began to experience difficulties in cornering, especially in the tightest corners, dropping to fourth position. The frame could not withstand the effort it was subjected to under braking and broke close to the steering column. The steering ended up getting stuck in an area in fourth deep, and it was only with great difficulty that it managed to control it until it stopped. Another problem now arose: the Beetle didn't have gas to make the 160 km return to Vila Real! The reason was simple. They were counting on the arrival bonuses to cover that expense, and as they both dropped out... There was no other alternative but to borrow some money from Mr. Teixeira who, as if the two withdrawals weren't enough, still had to make some progress. To top it off, already stunned with hunger, we stopped at a cafe halfway between Penafiel and Amarante to get something to eat. With our pockets squeezed, we counted 10 escudos (2 cents), which was just enough to buy a pastel. We split it into four and move on! Dreamer, rider (50 cc, 125 cc), journalist (MotoSport, MotoJornal), federative leader at FNM, responsible for Aprilia communication, creator of a brand (Cose da Moto), team manager (125 promotion, Honda CBR Trophy, 125 Racing, 250cc World Championship), event organizer, official motorcycle dealer (Honda, Yamaha, Aprilia…), publisher of publications, importer of clothing and accessories, commercial and marketing CEO of Mugen Race. As a dreamer it's still halfway through, fortunately!