Michelangelo of metal
Born in 1957, Evan Wilcox grew up in Whittier, California where he experienced uniquely American "Kustom Kulture" in full bloom. He says, "I loved what I saw on the streets. Nothing was standard. There were no rules about what you could do with your cars and motorcycles. The level of creativity was incredible. One guy had a Ford Anglia with a huge V8 that he drove on the street. I liked especially how people customized their bikes into cafe racers." Decades later, Wilcox would become a Michelangelo of metal, earning a place at the top level of his field by creating the shapes that turn motorcycles into rolling art.
Wilcox's first motorcycle was a Yamaha 80 trail bike that his father purchased to use on family camping trips. Wilcox recalls, "I was in the fourth grade, and I could barely touch the ground." He adds, "Then we got a Hodaka, and then a new DT1. We loaded all three bikes in the camper for trips to the California desert, Mammoth, and Pismo Beach." As a freshman in high school, Wilcox started riding motocross. He worked an entire summer to raise the cost of a 125 Monark (pictured left). He says, "It was expensive, about $900. I remained competitive for one season, then the Honda Elsinore arrived. Everything changed."
In high school, Wilcox also learned metal working. He recalls, "I loved working with metal. I got good enough that they made me an assistant instructor." Later, went to night technical school four hours a week and set up a small business with his friend Don Fenarolli. He states, "We made expansion chambers. Don was really good at the math for figuring out the size and taper of the cones. I would roll the cones and weld up the pipes, the custom fit them to the motorcycles of our customers."
After high school, Wilcox attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, and graduated with a degree in photography. He worked for the Los Angeles Times for fifteen years with postings in L.A., New York, and Portland, and also did portrait photography. "I specialized in top-quality portraiture, working for corporations and doing photography for annual reports," Wilcox relates.
But again, just as the Elsinore had shaken up his motocross career, the arrival of digital photography changed everything. He explains, "Conventional photography is real, a real representative of a real thing. Digital is fake. You go in and bang off some pictures, then change them any way you want at a computer screen." He concludes, "When one company fired their CEO and just Photoshopped the head of the new guy on the body of the guy who had been fired, I knew it was all over for me."
One weekend in 1988, Wilcox went to a club race at Portland International Raceway, and carried with him a replica Norton Manx tank he had built. He recalls, "As I walked through the pits, a lot of riders asked where I got it, and I said I made it." Wilcox continues, "They really took an interest, and a lot of them asked if I could make or repair tanks for them. One guy asked if I could replicate an Aermacchi tank. I said I could do anything because I really needed the work."
Still, with more business coming in for custom metal work for motorcycles, Wilcox could not make ends meet. He found himself with a new home, a new baby, and not able to pay the bills, so he took a job waiting tables, working six evenings a week as a waiter. In 1990, when he wanted to switch his day off to attend a Bible study meeting with his wife, his boss would not agree. Wilcox attended the meeting anyway. "That meeting was important to me," he explains. "I gave my life to Christ that night, and the next day I discovered I was a full-time metal worker because my boss fired me."
Wilcox took this as a sign that what he really should be doing is focusing on his craft, and he bought a small ad in Classic Bike Magazine to try to scare up more business. Wilcox recalls, "I took every job I could get, and each one was such a steep learning curve, I found that every tank I made required a lot of prayer." But the business grew and his work got better, and he began to earn extremely exotic jobs, such as the NSU Rennmax tank and fairing pictured right and above. He recalls, "One collector sent me a gorgeous pannier tank for an AJS, and asked me to build a duplicate. I studied it and called him and said, 'You're going to have to buy me for a full month to complete this job., He about flipped, but finally agreed. When I shipped him the finished tank, he immediately called me and asked me to build another."
By now, clients were asking for complete custom bodywork, fairings, side panels, seats, and all. Eventually, Wilcox found himself with a two-year waiting list. Several times, he tried to bring an apprentice aboard, but it never worked out. He explains, "People see a beautiful final product, all bright and shiny, and they think it is glamorous work. It's not. It is hard, filthy work. You're always covered with grime and polishing compound." He adds, "I've never found young people with enough love for the craft to stick with it. One guy I hired polished metal all day, and just didn't come back."
Wilcox eventually reduced his waiting list to a manageable length by adjusting his prices upward. Still, his customer base has expanded, from the road racing fraternity to custom bike builders (he’s currently working on a custom tank for Billy Joel) to the antique collecting community. Except for his web site, he no longer advertises. He displays one time a year, at the Quail Lodge Motorcycle Gathering at Pebble Beach, because it is the best way to stay in touch with the upscale antique collectors. He says, "I'm getting a lot of jobs to repair or fabricate sheet metal for rare antique motorcycles, and this kind of work cannot be distinguishable from the original."
Although Wilcox's customer list is largely domestic, more requests are coming in from overseas, including Japan. It is clear that those who want and can pay for the best, turn to the Michelangelo of Metal. To see more examples of his stunning work, click here. To read the comments of Wilcox's customers, click here.
Wilcox creations, top to bottom: Norton Manx with built-in oil tank, Ducati Imola, NSU, Rennmax, NSU dustbin fairing, Buell, BSA Clubman five gallon.
Photos provided by Evan Wilcox and Jack Silverman.
Jack Silverman’s GP Ducati:
Body by Wilcox
Evan Wilcox has taken on some challenging jobs, but one of the most challenging was his contribution to the restoration of Jack Silverman’s one-of-a-kind 1955 Ducati GP road racer. When the Ducati was custom-built for two-time German 125cc road racing champion Willi Scheidhauer in 1955 (pictured below left), dustbin fairings were still allowed in competition. Pictured here is Scheidhauer aboard the fully-faired machine on which he won 1959 and 1961 German national championships.
Little is known about the chain of custody of the motorcycle over the subsequent 15 years, but around 1978 it—absent its factory bodywork—ended up in the hands of Douglas Van Tassel of Fresno, California. At that time, Ducati authenticated the motorcycle as the DOHC prototype built for Scheidhauer. One of the details that confirmed that it was built for a dustbin fairing were the air scoops positioned at the very bottom of the brake backing plates, two in the front and one in the rear.
Jack Silverman (pictured above right), of Castle Creek, Colorado bought the motorcycle in 1997, and set out to restore it. After discovering that it contained Honda pistons and other incorrect parts, he spent more than a year having Jonathan White rebuild the engine alone. Hugo Galina did the mechanical and structural work, including the complex sub-frame to carry the fairing. But the real problem was how to recreate the fairing, and Silverman hired Evan Wilcox for that task. Working from hard-to-find photographs of the original machine, they scaled the images and built plywood forms as patterns for the hand-shaped aluminum nose and tail pieces of the fully streamlined motorcycle (pictured right).
Now in final assembly, the rare 1955 GP Ducati, owned by Silverman Museum Racing, is expected to make its debut at the Pebble Beach Concours this coming August. For more information about the Pebble Beach, Concours click here. To learn about the Silverman Museum, click here. To see Hugo Galina riding Silverman's 1958 Ducati 175 Sport moto giro bike in a GEICO commercial, click here.
Photos provided by Jack Silverman.
Finding precious metal
Paul Danik, of Mars, Pennsylvania, rode the International Six Day Trial twice, in the Berkshires of New England in 1973, and at Camerino, Italy in 1974. On both occasions, he rode Pentons, a brand he had been devoted to since he bought his first one in 1968 at the age of 16. Today, he is President of the 400-member Penton Owners Group, an international organization that he helped form in 1998. When you care this much about a particular brand, it is not just a motorcycle. It is precious metal.
When the ISDT was hosted by the United States for the first time in 1973, Danik earned a position on a three-man club team, riding a 125cc Penton with support from Penton Imports. With a perfect score, he earned a gold medal, and after the event was allowed to keep the motorcycle. His good performance, plus good results in qualifying rounds in the summer of 1974, put him at the top tier of Six Day competition as a member of the six-man United States Trophy Team when the event was held in Italy that autumn. Pictured here is the 1974 team, from left to right: Joe Barker, Carl Cranke, Jack Penton, Danik, Dane Leimbach, Tom Penton, and Team Manager Larry Maiers in the foreground.
In Italy, the motorcycles were brought from the KTM factory in Austria, which was the manufacturer of the Penton brand. Danik says, "The motorcycles were prepared from the factory, we had never seen or ridden the bikes before, and had only one day to work on details and get them set up to personal preference." During final inspection before the trial, Danik and Penton team photographer Jerry West took photos of the bike, including close-up shots of details. At the time, Danik could not have known how important those photos would become. Below are photos from the trial: Danik maintaining his Penton, during the motocross special test, and on the trail.
Danik recalls, "It was a very mountainous, fast, and punishing ISDT. There was a lot of high-speed trail over rough and rocky terrain, and it beat the motorcycles to death." He continues, “Day four was nicknamed elimination day as the time schedule, combined with the steep mountain trails, took its toll, especially on the small bore machines; I dropped from gold to silver on day four.” During the motocross special test on the final day, Paul's Sachs-powered 125cc Penton would no longer shift gears, and he lost bonus points, but retained his silver medal. Still, a silver FIM medal in such competition is nothing to be ashamed of. “When my gearbox let go on that Italian mountain, I cried my eyes out thinking I had let my team down. Fortunately, I was only penalized bonus points and still was credited with a finish.” "After the trial," he explains, "the motorcycles were going to be trucked back to the KTM factory. I saw a few of the guys removing their front number plate/headlight for a memento, and I did the same." It would be more than 30 years before Danik would learn that the 1974 ISDT machines were shipped on, back to Penton Imports in America.
Though he remained actively involved in off-road motorcycling, Danik went on to marriage, having children, and building a business. He explains, "When my daughter Sabrina was born in 1978, I was worried about money, and I sold my 1973 ISDT Penton. It didn't take me long to realize I had made a big mistake." Almost a decade later, Paul tracked down the motorcycle, finding it in pieces in the garage of a classic car collector. He bought it back, reassembled it to its post-ISDT competitive condition, and has since ridden it many times in vintage reliability trials events and Six Day Reunions. “I was extremely lucky to find my 1973 machine after I had sold it, but I still wondered at times what ever happened to my 1974 motorcycle," Danik says.
Earlier this year, Danik noted some chatter on the Penton Owners Group web site forum about a bike in Florida with possible ISDT provenance. It was listed on Ebay as a 1973, but Danik knew from its serial number that it had to be a 1974. Only three people on the 1974 US Penton Team had ridden the Sach-powered Pentons. In addition to himself, they were Rod Bush and Dane Leimbach, and each rider's bike had distinguishing details. Danik dug out the old photos of his bike, taken in Italy in 1974. He studied his photos and the photos on Ebay and confirmed that the motorcycle was not the bikes of Bush or Leimbach, but had features like his.
Could it be true? Danik was brimming with excitement. The auction for the bike was counting down, but he could not allow himself to get carried away and buy a disappointment. With only two hours left to bid, Danik called the owner of the bike to ask some specific questions about unique features only found on ISDT machines, and on his bike in particular. These were confirmed and Danik entered a final top bid to buy the motorcycle. Then he called POG member Chris Heeter to secure the motorcycle until he could travel to pick it up in Apopka, Florida. Paul reports, "The bike has had an active post-ISDT life. I has a Southeastern Enduro and Trail Riders Association sticker on it and I am hoping that someone might eventually be able to tell me where the bike has been all of these years.”
After picking the bike up, Danik found an additional detail that confirmed the bike's pedigree once and for all. He explains, "The trial in Italy was so fast and rough that the rear bracket on my exhaust cracked on day four. If the bracket broke completely, the pipe could sag and rest on the air box. If you rode it long enough like that, it could melt through the air box, allowing dirt to get into the engine and destroy it." He reported the problem, and one of the KTM technicians told him, "Look for a KTM guy on the trail tomorrow." Now we all know that American Six Day riders do not conduct major repairs -- which are against the rules -- but sometimes there are circumstances beyond your control. Danik recounts, "I came out of a trail section onto a narrow country road just as it led into a series of tight switchbacks. I noticed a familiar looking gentleman in coveralls who pointed for me to drop off the road over a grassy bank towards an old barn. I did as he indicated, and when I rode into the barn these mechanics grabbed me and practically yanked me off the seat of the motorcycle. They had a little shop there, they went to work, and in minutes stuck me back on the motorcycle and sent me on my way." Indeed, Danik found on his recently purchased motorcycle the rear bracket just as it had been repaired in Italy.
Earlier this month, Paul Danik invited family and friends to his home in Mars for a special ceremony to re-install the headlight and number plate unit that he had brought back as a souvenir from Italy 37 years ago (pictured right). "I have never washed the Italian dirt off of it!," Danik says. He continues, "A few years ago, one of my daughters offered to wash it as they were doing some housekeeping. Fortunately, my wife Judy was there to put a stop to any washing!"
As he did with his 1973 ISDT bike, Danik is going to clean and reassemble the 1974 Penton to the condition it was in on the last day of the ISDT, dirty headlight and all. He says, "I was pretty much a basket case of emotions for a day after the auction, just thinking back to 1974 and all of the folks who helped and supported me, especially my parents and my best friend and mentor Bob Augustine. None of these are still with us. It seems unbelievable that I could have founds something so important from my past.”
But believe it. Paul Danik has been reunited with all of his precious metal, both of the Pentons on which he won gold and silver medals at the ISDT.
To learn more about the Penton Owners Group, click here.
Images provided by Paul Danik.
The 9th Annual Chadds Ford Classic Motorcycle Auction will take place April 10 in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. For more information, click here.
The Hodaka Club is raffling off a 1976 Hodaka 100 Road Toad. Proceeds will go to the historic Gem Theater in Athena, Oregon, once the home of the American Hodaka distributorship. Tickets are only $5. To order yours, click here.
Like photos of old bikes? Check out the Antique Motorcycle Foundation Gallery. Click here.
Vespa USA is sponsoring a contest through Facebook that will give away ten new scooters. To find out how to win, click here.
Recently, we lamented the demise of the print publication Cycle News after 45 years of service to the motorcycle industry (see Motohistory News & Views 9/2/2010 and 11/23/2010). Now, an even more venerable motorsports publication has stopped the presses. After 76 years, the print version of National Speed Sport News is no more. To read about it, click here.
The Toronto International Spring Motorcycle Show will open April 9. For location and more details, click here.
American Iron Harley Magazine, RoadBike Motorcycle Cruising Magazine, the Wheels Through Time Museum, Panhead City, and the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum are teaming up to create the Kickstart Classic Motorcycle Ride this coming October. The ride will depart the Wheels Through Tiime Museum in Maggie Valley, North Carolina on October 6 and travel to Panhead City in Rome, Georgia. The next day, riders will continue on to Birmingham, Alabama where the Barber Vintage Festival will take place over the weekend. The ride is free and all are invited. Kick-start bikes will lead the way. Electric starters will follow. For more information, click here.
To check out LegacyMotorsport, an on-line magazine about classic car and motorcycle restoration, click here.
The annual AMCA National Meet at Oley, Pennsylvania is coming up April 29. Always a lot fun. For details, click here.
The National Motorcycle Museum US will be hosting its first annual Vintage Rally June 3 through 5 in Anamosa, Iowa. For more information, click here.
Veloce Publishing has slashed by almost half the price of "Save the Triumph Bonneville: The Inside Story of the Meriden Workers' Co-op." To order your copy while it is still in print, click here.
Paul Brodie, builder of the OHC Excelsior and other fine replicas, is offering personalized instruction in frame building. To learn more, click here.
You'll enjoy watching and listening to the locomotive-like 1896 Hildebrand & Wolfmüller on YouTube. Click here. Or try the 1897 Leon Bollee and check out the lighting of the hot tube ignition. Click here.
The 24th Annual Eyes On Design Automotive Exhibition will be held on Sunday, June 19 at the historic Edsel B. and Eleanor Ford Estate on the shores of lake St.Clair in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. The event is a high end concours d' elegance style show and will feature approximately 200 cars, 25 motorcycles and 12 scooters in a truly special setting. It is an invitation only event and will feature significant and interesting machines from the turn of the century to the present day. Individuals who have motorcycles and scooters they would like to have considered for the show should contact Andrew Sirvio at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Eyes On Design, click here.
To read about Jon Amo in Rocky Robinson's "Salt Addiction" column, click here.
At the Daytona auction earlier this month, a Bultaco TSS road racer went for more than $18,000, and a Triumph Hurricane topped $24,000. For full results, click here.
It's a fantastic story. It's an extraordinary work of art. But is it really America's first chopper, built in 1919? You decide. Click here.
A new Harley will be included with your new Plymouth Prowler in this year's Antique Automobile Club of America Museum raffle. To download a raffle form, click here.
The Captain America and Billy Bike replica choppers once owned by Otis Chandler and used in the Guggenheim's "The Art of the Motorcycle Exhibition" will be auctioned by Bonham's on May 14 at Quail Lodge in Carmel, California. Proceeds will benefit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. To access the Bonham's web site, click here.
Check out the Pashnit Motorcycle Forum for great photos from the 2006 Legend of the Motorcycle Concours. Click here.
Graham Frasher and Jim Henry's Speedway Researcher web site contains a lot of history, a lot of statistics. Click here.
For Thor history, click here.
We've linked to it before, but I never get tired of looking at Daniel Peirce's engine images. Click here.
The Reading Eagle reports that a recent classic bike show in Boyertown was a big hit. Pretty nervy to bring out your classic old iron in Pennsylvania in early March! To read the story, click here.
Eric Johnson's 2 Wheel Thunder web site has a new URL. click here.
How many American Motohistory readers are AMA Life Members? Most? Undoubtedly many. To read Dean Adams' comments on recent changes in the program that the AMA describes as a "plus," click here.
Watch Adam Cramer restore old motorcycles and talk about the changing American spirit. Click here.
Remember how the American motocrossers of the 1970s were always pulling wild and crazy stunts and getting away with it? Seems these new kids just don't have the same skills. Click here.
Michael Lichter's 2011 Sturgis art exhibit will celebrate the work of sculptor Jeff Decker. To read the full story on the cyril Huze blog, click here. To read our prior feature about Decker, go to Motohistory News & Views 3/16/2004.
The Sturgis Hall of Fame has announced its inductees for 2011. To read about them, click here.
Dean Adams has put together on his Superbikeplanet web site a worthy tribute to Mike Hailwood on the 20th anniversary of his death. Kel Carruthers, Don Emde, Freddie Spencer, and others contribute. Click here and here.
To enjoy your motorcycle photo of the day, click and bookmark here.
Also, if you are not checking out Bikeexif on a regular basis, you should be. Interesting stories and always excellent photography. Click here.
A new exhibit called The Early Days has just opened at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum. To read more at the Cyril Huze Blog, click here.
AMA Grand National Champion Gary Nixon has had his share of broken bones. Now he's done it again, but no aboard a motorcycle. Nixon recently broke his femur in a tree felling accident. Click here.
Hailwood image from Superbikeplanet.com.
In September, 2009 Motohistory presented a feature about Matt Olsen, who had just become the youngest person in history to be elected to the board of directors of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America (see Motohistory News & Views 9/29/2009). Since that time, Olsen joined the pre-1916 Cannonball Rally and had some exciting adventures my might have preferred to avoid.
Matt’s story has just been updated and republished on the web site of the Antique Motorcycle Foundation. To check it out, click here.
Motorcyclepedia to host
grand opening on April 16
Motorcyclepedia, the official host museum to the Antique Motorcycle Foundation, is opening to the public for the first time on April 16. Located at 250 Lake Street in Newburgh, New York, Motorcyclepedia is a project of Edward and Gerald Doering through the Gerald A. Doering Foundation. The 85,000-square-foot facility will display more than 300 motorcycles dating from 1897, plus memorabilia, parts, and a large collection of magazines, technical books and catalogs, videos, posters, and movies.
The museum’s grand-opening exhibits include the “Indian Motorcycle Timeline,” with examples of Springfield Indians for every year from 1902 to 1953; “American Racer,” highlighting early American competition machines; “Chopper City,” displaying examples of the American styling trend that started in the 1960s; plus displays focusing on military and police motorcycles, the manufacturing process, Harley-Davidson, scooters, and even a functional Wall of Death that doubles as a theater for movies and educational programs. Motorcyclepedia also houses the most-recent exhibit of the Antique Motorcycle Foundation, “Fast from the Past: The Competition Motorcycles of Yesteryear,” a collection of 35 machines showing the evolution of racing.
It is the mission of the Gerald A. Doering Foundation to develop, further, and encourage history, safety, and tradition in connection with motorcycles, motorcycle development, motorcycle riding, repair, design, and fabrication, primarily through educational materials, events, programs, historic, and other exhibits, training courses, seminars, lectures, and gatherings.
The Antique Motorcycle Foundation is an autonomous, non-profit organization created to tell the story of antique motorcycling so that the role and influence of two-wheeled transportation in our history and technological development can be better understood and appreciated by the public at large.
Motorcyclepedia will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. For more info, visit here. To access the web site of the Antique Motorcycle Foundation, click here.
The October 2010 issue of BMW VMCA News, the official publication of the BMW Veteran Motorcycle Club of America, contains event stories about Airheads at the Aerodrome, a long-standing annual event at Wilcox Park near Milan, New York, and the 10th Annual Mods versus Rockers Ride in San Diego. Technical features include a story about the R73, how to salvage an R69 clutch perch, measuring valve travel, and various tech tips. There are also tributes to recently deceased members Karl Duffner and Harry Buck. The magazine also includes classified ads and a list of coming events. This issue's cover is from the Mods vs. Rockers Ride. For more info about BMW VMCA, click here.
Issue No. 45 of VMX has arrived, featuring on its cover the Can-Am Qualifier 4, which appeared in 1982 and was the marque's final offering before motorcycle production ceased. Other bikes covered in depth are the FMF Penda 125, an Elsinore-powered Penton hybrid; the 1981 Montesa 414 VG, the 1977 Moto Villa CR380, the 1980 KTM 420, and the Flink, an experimental Swedish brand from the late 1960s that had many advanced or unusual features, including an aluminum monocoque chassis. There's also a story about Ake Jonsson's long career during which he successfully competed on several brands, but was popularly associated with Maico. Event coverage include returns to Camerino 1974 and Catalina Island. There are columns by Super Hunky, Ken Smith, and Brad Lackey, and stories about the German vinduro scene and French Honda collector Michel Albie. As always, paper quality and photography are superb, making VMX and instant collectible. To subscribe, click here.
Classic BMW Motorräder is a new magazine just launched by the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners, Inc. Edited by club founder and president Jeff Yost, it replaces The Vintage BMW Bulletin. A news release from the club states about the new quarterly magazine, "It promises to infuse its members’ passions with all things BMW, Pre-War, Post-War, and Classics, while encompassing all BMW motorcycles twenty-five years and older. The Classic BMW Motorräder will contain new and exciting informative articles from several new authors from all over the world." About the need for the new publication, Yost said, "The Vintage BMW Bulletin faithfully served our readers since 1972, but it is time for a fresh, new change in order to continue to meet our existing subscribers' and younger potential members' needs. During the course of this year, you will see additional exciting improvements bringing further value to our members." For more information about the Vintage BMW Motorcycle Owners, Inc. click here. To view Classic BMW Motorräder's new companion web site, click here.
Concerning our story about Marcus Dairy (Motohistory News & Views 1/24/2011), Super Sunday Motorcycle Shows owner Don Clady, pictured below with Indian Larry and journalist Terri Vitale, writes:
I would like to offer a clarification to your Marcus Dairy story. I worked at Marcus Dairy from 1972 through 1998. In 1987, I began an event called Super Sunday (which is my trade mark), which was two years prior to the Kawasaki ad campaign. This is the event you mention in the article about Marcus meeting with Kawasaki. I was a part of that meeting and that is how Super Sunday was incorporated into the Kawasaki ad campaign.
I worked just about every Sunday morning for most of those years. You mention there were three special events a year, but actually there were four. I ran them at the Marcus location through 1998, then they were moved to Middletown, New York. A trade mark battle began around that time, and after ten years of legal action, I was awarded the Federal Trade Mark. Marcus, which used my term “Super Sunday” without my permission for years after I moved the event to Middletown was ordered to no longer use the mark. In the early years, Sean Marcus had absolutely nothing to do with the events, he was in college. In 1998, his father decided he would take the event away from me and Sean would run it. This is why the event moved to New York and the legal battle began.
Prior to the first Super Sunday in 1987, there would be perhaps a hundred bikes on a good Sunday morning. The first Super Sunday broke the 1,000 bike mark, and after being written up in just about every magazine and newspaper around, the numbers continued to grow. It helped that the New York Times ran an article, but the real credit goes to people link Bob Frink, the original owner of The Motorcyclist Post, our friends at Easyriders Magazine, Outlaw Biker Magazine, Iron Horse Magazine, and Asphalt Angels, just to name a few.
I have an extensive collection of documents, articles, and artifacts, including the check from Malcolm Forbes for his registration in 1989. Forbes was only at Marcus Dairy once, in 1989, and he died seven months later. Many facts have been left out of the Marcus version of the history, including the role of Hall’s Cycle Ranch, the Honda dealership that bordered the Marcus property. Your article says by 1995 it was appearing the end was coming, while in fact the Super Sundays were maxing out with well over 10,000 motorcycles and going strong. More can be found at www.ctcruisenews.com, in addition to my Facebook page.
You have a great web site about the history of motorcycles, and it should not be tarnished with an article like this. I think you reported correctly the information you were given, but it was not entirely correct. I love your other stories. Keep up the good work and thank for your time.
Thanks, Don, we strive for accuracy, and we appreciate your filling in the errors and omissions. But let me make just one clarification. My statement about the end being in site by 1995 was a reference to the Marcus family realizing they could not continue to run the whole dairy operation from the location, including processing and distribution. I did not state that the Sunday gatherings were declining by that time.
Also in response to the Marcus Dairy story, motojournalist Ken Weingart sent us a copy of the December 2007 issue of “Accelerate,” the official magazine of the Riders of Kawasaki, containing the story pictured above.
This web site and others have reported the claim from Bonhams that it will auction the Steve McQueen Husqvarna pictured on the cover of Sports Illustrated at the Quail Lodge Motorcycle Auction on May 14 (see Motohistory News & Views 1/16/2011). Husky expert Rob Phillips reports that the bike on sale, owned by Tony Holden, is a McQueen Husky, but adds:
It was not even built at the time of the cover photo shoot. The real SI cover bike is owned by Steve Bonner.
Thanks, Rob, for clarifying the pedigree of the McQueen Husquvarna that Bonhams will sell