Rare Races - Volume #1 - Vintage Motorcycle Races
Here it is folks…some of the rarest motorcycle race film footage available! Here on DVD format is COLOR vintage film footage of some of the most historic races held in 1947. Here is your chance to see the awesome motorcycles of the past racing! Still photographs from these races are rare…now you have a chance to see these men and machines in action and in color which is almost unheard of from the late 1940’s. You will get to see this never before seen historic film footage of the actual 1947 Daytona 200 Beach Races, the 1947 AMA National Laconia Road Race, the 1947 AMA National Muskegon Hillclimb Championships as well as watch some of the fastest bikes of the time flattracking at the Allentown (PA) 1/2 Mile Track. Other bonus footage of guys doing donuts on their Knuckleheads and bunch of guys on a swampy Motorcycle Club Scramble Event riding Harley 45’s and some British bikes. Amazingly, you can also see a rider riding well on his bright red painted 1928 or 1929 Harley JDH !! You can see the distinctive twin-cam cam cover on this “H” model as the guy rides by. This would have been a very old bike at the time. The DVD also includes a race movie information which has some of the racer’s names, race numbers and finishing place for certain races. The 1947 Daytona section is amazing. Watch great footage of a a group of guys on a road trip in their sidecar equipped Harleys to Daytona to watch the races. They guys start out in the snowy north and ride to sunny Florida. Then watch Harley WR ’s and WLDR ’s dual with Indian Scouts, Big Base Indians and Norton Manx ’s. The February 23, 1947 Daytona 200 was just the 6th running of this race, which is now considered to be one of the most important races in the USA. There was record 176 riders in this running of the race. Johnny Spieglehoff won the Daytona this year and you can see him go by a few times on his #2 Indian! Watching the riders come off the sandy Beach into the slippery first corner onto the paved straight-away section looks scary! More than a few riders go down. At one point a bike crashes and you can also see a small brush fire burning which keeps burning throughout the race! If you are careful watching # plates or riders jerseys you can spot #38 Ed Kretz, #71 Bobby Hill, #7 Billy Huber, #55 Floyd Emde among others in action! Imagine that!! With the DVD you can easily slow-motion or freeze frame to get a great look at the riders and their amazing race bikes. If you are lucky enough to own a vintage race machine this is invaluable archival/ historic footage. Some of you may even own or know the whereabouts of these bikes now!
The Muskegon AMA National Hillclimb film footage is a great sight. Watch a number of riders attempt the 328 foot hill known as Mt. Garfield. At this 1947 race Roy Burke and Willard “Red” Bryan tied for fastest time in the 74" Class A Hillclimb and actually had to have a run-off to determine the winner….Roy Burke won! Roy Burke was a westcoast kid and had done quite well at a number of hillclimbs in Oregon, Washington and California and was encouraged by friends to attend this AMA National meet by friends. Roy did well to say the least! You can see him riding his unusually painted blue Indian clearly.
The 1947 Laconia Classic Race in New Hampshire was held on June 21 and 22 of that year. There is quite a bit of film footage of this race and this film features lots of track racing and some shots of the guys at the starting line. Alli Quattrocchi won the race this year on his Harley. This race track featured both paved and dirt section so made for a wild ride and great spectating. This was a 10 mile track. Racers that I spotted that are clearly visible with their #plates are #38 Ed Kretz (in his classic dark blue jersey) , #7 Billy Huber, # 4D Joe Weatherly (seen on the white Harley in the photo above), #20C George Sabine, # 6A Colemar Mitchell, #41C Joe Burrough, #36 George Delong among many others! 1947 was rookie Joe Weatherlys first time racing the Laconia Classic and he placed a very respectable 6th place. This was just a warm up for Joes back to back wins at Laconia in 1948 and 1949!
Fans of vintage flattrack/dirttrack racing will like the Allentown, PA race also from 1947….this fast 1/2 mile let the bikes get going. This race in 1947 was promoted by the Blue Pistons Motorcycle Club who started to promote races a the Allentown 1/2 mile track when the had problems using the former Hatfield track. The Blue Pistons Motorcycle Club was formed in 1937 in Skippack, PA and still exists today.
That is it, have a look at some of the still photos below from this great movie. You won’t be dissapointed. The DVD is just over 1/2 hour in running time. When is the next time you are going to see your favorite bikes racing in color??!! OK back to the garage for me! All images and film footage are copyright Disaster Productions with all rights reserved.