Everett Brashear- American Racing Legend

27 Май 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Everett Brashear- American Racing Legend отключены
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Blind Ambition: Everett American Racing Legend of 15 AMA nationals on Harley-Davidson and BSA flat-trackers.

Everett Brashear Archives

If you ask Brashear, crashing was more of a than an “if.” He “finally got it” at a track in Montgomery, Alabama, in “I fell off in practice,” recalled “and another guy ran right the top of me. He hit me in the side of the head and severed the nerve, blinding me in the left I was in the hospital for about a month and a I’d pretty much done it; my leg, everything was busted

Born in 1927, Brashear grow up riding motorcycles. His of adventure began on a five-day in a converted cattle car from Texas, to San Diego, California, he reported for boot camp World War II. “I got assigned to a minesweeper and 19 months at sea,” he said. “On we’d run ‘ping’ lines the island [looking for submarines] and up B-29 crews that hit the

After the war, Brashear to his hometown of Beaumont, Texas, but he begin racing until due to post-war shortages. “You buy a motorcycle,” he said. Eventually, a Indian dealer loaned a bike. But in his third race, he and hurt his shoulder.

In 1950, he earned enough points to up from Novice to Amateur.

“I ran 45 Scout flathead on the Class C AMA circuit and transferred to Expert in he said. “We had half-mile tracks all Texas. The whole Southeast was a for dirt-track guys. Class C was the nationwide, and traveling all over was tough. We’d team up and the expenses.”

Competition was stiff, too. running Indians at the time some of the top racers: Bobby Bill Tuman and Ernie collectively known as “The Wrecking Crew.”

“The were the faster bike in days, back when Emde won Daytona,” said “Hill built the fastest I ever ran against.”

With already in financial trouble, began looking for something “A friend of mine found a WR,” he recalled, “a pretty bike that Harley for Class C. The only ‘overheads’ normally the foreign bikes. You run a 30-cubic inch [500cc] valve against the 45-inch flathead. In 1951, I was winning a lot of as an Expert and was getting to be the hot guy. The factory was helping me out a lot with and pieces.”

After recovering injury, Brashear won five AMA during the ’55 season, including a in Richmond, Virginia.

Brashear won his national at Sturgis, South in 1952 on Harley’s new foot-shift KR (the WR was hand-shift). What the KR better than the WR? “Nothin’,” Brashear. “It was a piece of junk, handle and the frame geometry was But the factory thought I ought to one.

I went to work the frame—rake and trail, rear didn’t get it handling until the end of the

“Winning Sturgis on the KR made me good to Harley, and they working full-time with me. By the end of the the bike worked really at the mile at DuQuoin, and I won on the mile-and-a-half at Tennessee—the only mile-and-a-half we ran Long ovals were speeds reminiscent of the board of the 1920s. Memphis was banked, to “and so fast,” said “that I didn’t have the to gear it high enough.”

Brashear recalled a 200-miler at City in 1953: “They the race in 116-degree heat. I the front wheel in Turn 2, got off at about 100 mph and I ended up against a fence. A buddy of mine ran the infield and asked if I was hurt.

I him, ‘I don’t think When we got back to the hotel, I down and passed out from a so they just went to without me.

“Bill Tuman won on a Manx, but it was a sad day. Billy passed out and crashed; he had a broken 
and they thought he had a concussion. He ended up … of prostration.

One hundred and sixteen man, that will fry brains. Billy was a neat guy, a winner at Langhorne same as me.”

Brashear won nationals in 1953 and went the ’54 season—the first year for the AMA National Championship—with high But in May, his title hopes crushed by the crash in Alabama left him fighting for his life. less than four later, Brashear won the mile at

Brashear’s on-track successes put him on the of popular national magazines, Cycle.

How did Brashear compensate for the of his left eye? “I didn’t anybody about it,” he “All the AMA did was make you take a there wasn’t an eye test or The first race I tried to was in August at Springfield, where I won the heat.”

Brashear won five nationals—half-miles at and Columbus and miles at DuQuoin, San and Springfield—in 1955 but finished a second in the championship to Brad who had won three of the four roadraces. scored victories at Columbus and in ’56 but slipped to fourth overall Joe Leonard, Andres and Al Gunter in the The following year, 1957, was a point for Brashear.

“Walter was a big part of my success,” said “along with Hank who had been in the race department for years. I was doing R-D stuff I wasn’t racing, and Walter me to take over the race But my wife wasn’t going to our home, as we had a daughter and I was gone all the I told Walter no, and he hired O’Brien.

Hank came in one day what was going on, and they him they’d retired him, well, he was mad.

“O’Brien and I talk on the phone every One day, Dick called me and he came to work and everything was but his desk. That weekend, had rented a U-Haul. He went in and out 44 years of records, everything all the chief engineers, all the way back to the days—took it all and put it in his garage.

As far as I know, never got the records back. It him. He was part of the family, and been put out to pasture.”

Despite good standing within his relationship with The Motor was about to end, as well. In in every race in which competed, something went

“I won a lot of races, but I didn’t win any nationals. I had so sick and tired of this, so I to the BSA dealer in Dayton, Ohio, who to put Dick Mann and me up at his house. I him if he still had that old Gold and if he’d mind if I rode it.

I out and won two races that next I told him, ‘I’m to get in trouble with Harley this.’”

After losing his ride at the end of the 1957 season, raced a BSA tuned by legendary Tom Sifton. In July, he famously won the San Mile, nipping Sammy and Carroll Resweber at the line.

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enough, word soon that Davidson had fired and sold his loaner streetbike. “I him for two or three days,” said “but he wouldn’t talk to me, so I and signed up with BSA for 1958. Old man Sifton built a fantastic Single. It only won one national, but it have won all of them.

Sifton me more about building machines than anyone. We get three or four more than the factory.”

Brashear’s national win came at the 1960 Mile on a Harley-Davidson. He later did roadracing, finishing sixth in the Daytona 200 on Dick Mann’s G50 “I had a good chance in race in NASCAR,” said Brashear. year at Daytona, Lee Petty my car in half when he hit me. Joe Leonard was to try and get me an Indy ride, but you’ve got to two eyes to run Indianapolis.”

Brashear eventually accepted a position with Triumph. “I to do a lot of riding with Keenan and Lee Marvin. Marvin was a fantastic people just don’t what an athlete that guy Brashear left Triumph for the of the Japanese manufacturers, starting Yamaha. “I was with them 1968, district manager in the Brashear then spent as sales manager for Kawasaki.

At the end of Edison Dye hired Brashear at “My corporation was Husqvarna West—everything of the Mississippi,” he said. “They former world champion Tibblin to help start the MX school at Carlsbad Raceway.

retiring from racing, donned a suit and moved to the side of the motorcycle industry. Brashear (left) and off-road Malcolm Smith inspect a two-… roadracer in the Husqvarna R-D

“Rolf might be the strongest man ever met in my life. He was unbelievable. I’d up to Rolf’s house on an old Knucklehead.

We drinking schnapps, and Rolf ‘You’re not riding home.’ I ‘I’m riding this home tonight.’ Rolf ‘ This is why you aren’t riding tonight!’ He picked up that Harley, all 600 pounds of it, and set it on his trailer all by I told him, ‘You’re

Tibblin wasn’t the only at Husqvarna. “Mark Blackwell, our national champion, and I were close,” said Brashear. Smith was one hell of a racer. Roberts was on a whole other

But Brashear claims the Swedes like the motorcycle business. Lackey wasn’t winning Husqvarna wasn’t keeping up the technology,” he said. “Their dollar volume was chainsaws, and sewing machines.”

So, when Husqvarna wanted to 
its sales office to what did Brashear tell “Find somebody else.”

leaving Husqvarna West, worked for various motor-cycle-related until his retirement in 1996. He was into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of in 1998.

Asked if he’d a career in racing, Brashear, now 85, “Lloyd Ruby and I started the same year in Texas. He was an fantastic race-car driver; he have won Indy five One day, Lloyd asked my an F-15 Eagle pilot, if he was motorcycles. When he said no, said, ‘Oh man, you don’t what you’re missing.’ I laughing and told Lloyd, know, we were the stupidest in the world to do what we did.’”

national win — 1952 5-mile — Everett poses on his 1952 Sturgis-national-winning The victory was the fir’

1955 advertisement — After from injury, Brashear won AMA nationals during the 55 season, a five’

Cycle cover October 1960 — on-track successes put him on the covers of national magazines, including

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