Full name: Joe Weichlbauer
Career Record with Cradley
from the Cradley Speedway Database
Joe Weichlbauer rode for Cradley Heath in 1966, remaining in the history books as the only rider from Austria to have ever ridden for the club.
Although born in 1942 in Graz, Austria, Joe moved to Australia
in the 1960s along with fellow countryman Gunther Haslinger. He
rode speedway in Sydney and Perth and became an Australian
citizen. When Cradley signed Chum Taylor in 1966, Joe also
accompanied him to the UK for a crack at the British League.
Initially riding in Cradley’s second half events and junior
races, he competed for a place in the Heathens first team. He
earned his chance, eventually making 14 official appearances.
One of the highlights was in September when he was handed the
number 1 race-jacket, partnered at number 2 by Dudley Wood
legend Ivor Brown. His only point of the match came in the
last-heat decider, a 4-2 to clinch the match against Glasgow,
after the Tigers’ number 1 suffered an engine failure. On
another occasion, he achieved third place in the Midland Junior
Riders Championship at Brafield in August.
Never a prolific scorer, Joe only notched around a dozen points for Cradley across his appearances. Nevertheless, he toiled away throughout the year, continuing to try his luck regularly in the second halves and on occasions for a Cradley Heath ‘B’ side. He made an additional appearance in 1967, along with more second half racing, before joining Reading in the newly formed Division 2 for 1968.
was his last season of British racing despite finding more success and
steady progress with the Racers in the lower tier. As well as a few
double figure scores, he was a recipient of the Reading number 1
race-jacket. However, his season and indeed racing career came to an end
after a crash on 9th
September. England had endeared itself to him though. Joe met his wife
Barbara at speedway and they were married in 1969. They lived in
Telford, Shropshire for 40 years from 1978 and Joe worked in the
Midlands as a gas fitter for several decades, continuing until well into
in 2018 after being diagnosed with a brain tumour and passed away on
24th July in Shrewsbury hospice, only eight weeks after being diagnosed.
As well as his wife, he left two children Jason and Heidi, along with
two grandchildren, Matthias and Eva.
Joe passed away on 24th July 2018 near to his home in Shrewsbury hospice.
Thanks for the memories Joe - RIP