“PENTON: THE JOHN PENTON STORY” | FROM THE WOODS TO THE WORLD

“After losing his wife (and mother of their 3 boys) in 1958, John Penton went on an absolute tear on the enduro circuit trying to outrun his grief. Family members cared for his boys while Penton dismissed the winter cold and rode off for Daytona on his 175cc NSU motorcycle. Stopping in Atlanta, Penton won the Stone Mountain Enduro, then rode the NSU to Florida winning the Alligator Enduro, and racked up  a few more wins across the Midwest– including his first victory at the Jack Pine.

Penton closed out 1958 with a road trip to Mexico. Upon hitting California on the way up the Pacific Coast, he decided it was time to return home to Ohio and did so non-stop– inspiring his brother Ted to challenge him to break the New York to Los Angeles transcontinental record.”

John Penton_June 10 1959_Trascontinental record

“On June 8th, 1959 John Penton recorded his time and location with Western Union in New York City and set off for California on a BMW R69S outfitted with an oversized gas tank. On June 10th, just Fifty-two hours and eleven minutes later, Penton rolled into Los Angeles. His record was heavily advertised by BMW, and newspapers all over the world covered the record run. Penton was now a legend in motorcycling.” via

But the story of John Penton’s awe-inspiring career does not end there. Find a screening of “Penton: The John Penton Story” near you by going to http://pentonmovie.com/see-the-film/  and reserving your tickets. I’m also proud to announce that the film will be entered in the 2nd Annual Motorcycle Film Festival in Brooklyn, NY held Sept. 24th – 27th.

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2ND ANNUAL MOTORCYCLE FILM FESTIVAL | SEPT 24TH-27TH, THE GUTTER, WILLIAMSBURG

 

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Do not miss The Motorcycle Film Festival Sept. 24th – 27th at The Gutter in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s going to be a blast! The final due date for all film submissions is July 1st, 2014: www.motorcyclefilmfestival.com/submit-your-film/

This year’s returning judges include: Paul d’Orleans (The Vintagent), JP (The Selvedge Yard), and Stacie B. London (ESMB &Triple Nickel 555 Racing). And we are very excited to announce an all-star roster of new judges: Paul Cox, Roland Sands, Shinya Kimura, Hayden Roberts, Eric Ristua, Peter Starr, Ultan Guilfoyle, Amos Poe, and Chris Logsdon. Find out more here.

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THE CATALINA GRAND PRIX 1950S HEYDAY | AMERICA’S VERSION OF THE ISLE OF MAN

“The Catalina Grand Prix was one of the biggest races In the country at the time. It was a 100-mile event held on Santa Catalina Island of the coast of Los Angeles. The 10-mile course was a mixture of road, dirt fire trails, singletrack, and even went through a golf course. Cycle Magazine noted that many of the big AMA national riders skipped Catalina so as not to suffer embarrassment at the hands of Southern California scrambles riders who dominated the event.” –AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame

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It was a time and energy completely unrivaled in all of motorcycle racing history. Many of the AMA’s best motorcycle racers, local SoCal riders, shop owners, and colorful MC’s (The Checkers, Shamrocks, Rough Riders, Dirt Diggers, and more) mixing with Hollywood actors, stunt riders, and thrill-seekers– all converging on the tiny vacation island from 1951 – 1958 for an event like no other. Actors Keenan Wynn avidly raced, Steve McQueen famously attended, and Lee Marvin infamously raised holy hell. In fact, Dave Ekins went so far as crediting Lee Marvin for being partially responible for the Catalina GP’s demise in 1958–

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SPLIT’N LANES & DODGIN’ GUTTERS BIKE SHOW AT THE BROOKLYN BOWL | MAY 18, 2014

In case you missed it (like me, drats!) — “Split’n Lanes and Dodgin’ Gutters” featured 50 hand-picked classic motorcycles ranging from the 1910s era through the early ’70s. These bikes were displayed throughout the spacious interior of Brooklyn Bowl’s music venue space, basking in the glow of the state-of-the-art concert lighting. Check out the video, it was a hoot! Corinna Mantlo from the Motorcycle Film Festival had her beauty of a BSA in the show.

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MARILYN MONROE, THE TALK OF HOLLYWOOD | 1952 PHOTOGRAPHY OF PHILIPPE HALSMAN

In 1952, LIFE magazine assigned photographer Philippe Halsman to shoot Marilyn Monroe in her tiny Hollywood studio apartment. The resulting cover photo (at the end of this post) pushed her over the top, giving her immediate superstar status, and 20th Century Fox jumped to sweeten her existing multi-year contract to keep their starlet happy.

Marilyn Monroe LIFE Magazine Philippe Halsman photo shoot 1952 crop 900

“I drove to the outskirts of Los Angeles where Marilyn lived in a cheap two-room apartment. What impressed me in its shabby living room was the obvious striving for self-improvement. I saw a photograph of Eleanora Duse and a multitude of books that I did not expect to find there, like the works of Dostoyevsky, of Freud, the History of Fabian Socialism, etc. On the floor were two dumbbells.

I took hundreds of pictures. Finally I asked her to stand in the corner of the room. I was facing her with my camera, the LIFE reporter and my assistant at my sides. Marilyn was cornered and she flirted with all three of us. And such was her talent that each one of us felt that if only the other two would leave, something incredible would happen. Her sex-appeal was not a put-on– it was her weapon and her defense.” –Philippe Halsman

Marilyn Monroe LIFE Magazine Philippe Halsman Photo 1952 900

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CRY BABY | JOHNNY DEPP IN JOHN WATERS’ ’50S HIGH SCHOOL HELLCATS CULT CLASSIC

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“John Waters’ musical ode to the teen rebel genre is infectious and gleefully camp, providing star Johnny Depp with the perfect vehicle in which to lampoon his pin-up image.” –Roger Ebert. Well said. Depp has always deftly embraced ironic roles to deflect the trappings of his undeniable handsome-as-hell looks. 21 Jump Street definitely had the potential to pigeon-hole his career, had he been a lesser actor.

Cry Baby would go on to become a cult classic, due largely to the pouty lipped, chiseled face of a young Johnny Depp in his physical prime, and on a Harley to boot. (They used a Sportster and K model, both red, that they swapped a few times in the film apparently with the thought that it would go mostly unnoticed.) For me the enduring 1950s aesthetic is always a draw, and Waters’ witty one-liners are priceless. And let’s not forget the interest that was stirred up back then by the young and sultry Traci Lords. It was her first non-nude screen role following her controversial (not to mention highly illegal) underage porn career that was still hot on everyone’s tongues and minds.

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MAMA TRIED | THE HARDCORE & HEADSTRONG MIDWEST MOTORCYCLE SHOW IN MILWAUKEE

Milwaukee is the heart & soul of American Iron, and the builders there are often overshadowed by the big dogs on the East and West coasts. There’s a different edge to the Midwest scene. These guys don’t have the advantage of being in the lap of the media, and don’t seem to be the type to give a shit, actually. These guys are shop rats, toiling away in the dark, cold, solitude of winter with the will to out-design, out-build, and out-perform all comers. Now there’s a show to highlight the hardcore & headstrong talent of the Midwest–

MAMA TRIED MOTORCYCLE SHOW | FEB. 22 | 408 W. FLORIDA ST. | MILWAUKEE, WI 53204

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“The Midwest guys, all winter they’ve been coming up with their own deal– and they’re kinda outside the loop a little bit. So that downtime that you have– it’s a chance that you can get pretty creative…You created something, and you’re riding it, and it might not be perfect– but it just really doesn’t get much better than that.”  ~Noot (Charles City, IA)

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Josh Kurpius

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OILER’S CAR CLUB THE RACE OF GENTLEMAN, 24 HRS OF NEW JERSEY | SCOTT TOEPFER

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Scott Toepfer, a guy I’m humbled to call my friend, came to the Jersey Shore to shoot the second annual The Race of the Gentlemen organized by Mel Stultz (OCC) and put on by the legendary Oiler’s Car Club. It’s an event that can only be adequately described by someone who was actually there in the thick of it– and Toepfer was kind enough to share his personal thoughts with TSY on the sights, sounds, and experiences had by a California boy in Wildwood, Jersey. Great stuff, Scott!

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