December 15 2016.

Malcolm Wheeler has retired from his role of Classic Racer magazine editor, bringing to an end a near 25-year career at the forefront of Mortons Media Group.

At one time or another, Malcolm has been involved in nearly all of the UK’s major motorcycling magazines whether it be acquisition, development or editorship. He’s also played a pivotal part in the emergence of the two Stafford classic shows as the biggest of their kind in the world, along with the launch or purchase of several other two-wheel events under the Mortons banner.

Mortons of Horncastle chairman Philip Sharpe has paid tribute to Malcolm’s efforts at the organisation, and said: “Few people have more knowledge of motorcycles and the motorcycling world than Malc Wheeler. It was a great stroke of fortune that our former publishing director Terry Clark knew Malc when we were given the opportunity of acquiring our first two-wheel title – Old Bike Mart. The success of our publications and events portfolios since that first acquisition owes much to Malc’s motorcycling expertise and enthusiasm, not to mention his insider insight.”

At his official leaving presentation, yesterday Wednesday the 14th of December, Mortons’ staff gathered to wish Malcolm well and present him with a series of gifts including a wood carving of his final Classic Racer cover.

Despite his official retirement, Malcolm will continue to be involved with Classic Racer as a columnist and will be advising on entertainment and attractions at Mortons’ motorcycle events.

Malcolm was brought to Mortons in 1994 to head up Old Bike Mart, having previously been a competitor in the Isle of Man TT races where he secured three podium finishes in his career. He also held multiple jobs in UK dealerships including at Freddie Frith’s in Grimsby and RA Wilson in Louth, and immediately before joining Mortons he was dealer development manager at Ducati importer Moto Cinelli.

It wouldn’t take long for his impact to be felt once he was at the helm of Old Bike Mart, and the monthly newspaper quickly grew under his stewardship driven by a strategy of going out to motorcycle events, autojumbles and rallies across the country to make sales ‘in the field’ – often literally.

Sensing the opportunity, Malcolm took on the role of industry expert as Mortons embarked on significant expansion in the motorcycle market with the acquisition of such titles as The Classic MotorCycle, Classic Motorcycle Mechanics, Classic Racer and Classic Bike Guide, along with the two Stafford classic shows, the Bristol classic motorcycle event and the Netley Marsh autojumble.

Among his many achievements has been his ability to attract numerous star guests to Mortons’ shows, most notably the Stafford duo which has seen the likes of John Surtees, Wayne Rainey, Christian Sarron, Steve Parrish and Eddie Lawson appear in recent years.

Despite these impressive names, Malc would probably say himself that his biggest coup was at the October 2016 event when he organised for two of the stars from iconic motorcycle documentary On Any Sunday to travel from America for guest of honour duties.

In his later Mortons life, Malcolm combined his extensive publishing experience with his former life as a professional racer to become editor of Classic Racer – and it was a match made in heaven. With a constant eye on lucrative opportunities, it was during this time that Malcolm also devised the hugely popular Island Racer series – an annual edition which previews and details the Isle of Man TT races.

Pictured: Mortons Media Group chairman Ian Fisher (left) presents Malcolm with his leaving present; a wood carving of his final Classic Racer cover.