PHOTO TIM’S EARLY DAYS | I WAS A KID ENTHRALLED WITH MOTORSPORTS…

Early Days — image by Photo Tim

“I was a kid that was enthralled with motorsports.  When I was 11 yrs old or so, a friend from schools parents took me to Ascot Park.  I started sneaking into the pits to be closer to the racers by going around the back where they had a 20m pile of gravel to shield it from the passing cars on the freeway.”

“One issue with sneaking in to the pits is you don’t have anything to do, so I would stand around and talk to one of the guys taking photographs, Dan Mahoney.  One night he handed me a camera and placed a little white pebble on the track.  He said, ‘when the bikes get there push this button.’  I did and the result is the photo below.  I was 12 yrs old at the time.  The next week Dan said I had a natural talent and would I like a job shooting the races.  I was a part of racing!!!  Ok, not on the track, but still…”

–Photo Tim

Early Days — image by Photo Tim

Early Days — image by Photo Tim

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POWER OF CONTEXT AND EXCLUSION | THE PHOTOGRAPHY OF HOLLIS BENNETT

“The only things that I would say about the week were that no matter who you are, you need to experience it at least once.  There is something surreal about having all your senses that you normally rely on shattered from not being able to gauge distance on the salt flats or hearing a car that is not where it should be because it is going so fast or watching a little black streak pass you and not being able to fathom that a car could go that fast.  All in all an amazing place and an amazing time.”

–Hollis Bennett, on Bonneville Speed Week

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Bonneville Speed Week — Photograph by © Hollis Bennett

Bonneville Speed Week — Photograph by © Hollis Bennett

Bonneville Speed Week — Photograph by © Hollis Bennett

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“BIG JOHN” SURTEES | THE LONE RACER MOTORCYCLE & F1 WORLD CHAMPION

In all of history it has happened only once. Only one man has ever won the World Championship in both motorcycle and auto racing– John Surtees. In 1956, at the wee age of 22 yrs old, he became the 500cc motorcycle World Champion. Then in 1960, he switched full-time to auto racing, and was crowned Formula One World Champion in 1964. At 26 yrs of age, he’d become the only man ever to win a World Championship on two wheels and four. There has been no one since, and perhaps nevermore.

Grand Prix motorcycle racing career
Active years 1952 – 1960
Teams Norton, MV Agusta
Grands Prix 49
Championships 350cc – 1958, 1959, 1960
500cc- 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960
Wins 38
Podium finishes 45
Pole positions N/A
Fastest laps 34
First Grand Prix 1952 500cc Ulster Grand Prix
First win 1955 250cc Ulster Grand Prix
Last win 1960 500cc Nations Grand Prix
Last Grand Prix 1960 500cc Nations Grand Prix

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May 10, 1964 — Ferrari designer Mauro Forghieri (ITA) manages a yawn as driver John Surtees (GBR) prepares for practice to begin in the pits. Monaco Grand Prix, Monte Carlo — Image by © Phipps/Sutton Images/Corbis

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Formula One World Championship career
Active years 1960 – 1972
Teams Lotus, Cooper, Lola, Ferrari,Honda, BRM, McLaren, Surtees
Races 113 (111 starts)
Championships 1 (1964)
Wins 6
Podiums 24
Career points 180
Pole positions 8
Fastest laps 10
First race 1960 Monaco Grand Prix
First win 1963 German Grand Prix
Last win 1967 Italian Grand Prix
Last race 1972 Italian Grand Prix

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“FOUR WHEELS MOVE THE BODY — BUT TWO WHEELS MOVE THE SOUL.”

GILDA TEXTER VANISHING POINT HONDA MOTORCYCLE

 

Gilda Texter on a Honda Scrambler in the epic film “Vanishing Point”, 1971.

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Woman riding a motorcycle

That’s a woman on that gnarly chopper!

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1982, Sturgis, South Dakota — Hells Angels at Sturgis — Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

June 17th, 1977, Cleveland, Ohio — Plumber Sam Green drives his customized Harley-Davidson motorcycle on a tree lined street in Cleveland.  Green added hundreds of lights, horns, and chrome balls, as well as a television, canopy, CB radio, and tape deck. — Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

April 17th, 1974, Daytona Beach — They’ve got all kinds of names for members of the younger generation. At Daytona Beach, at least, it might be termed the relaxed generation. Some youngsters from Ohio rest on their motorcycles after arriving in the area recently. Daytona Beach is one of the few resorts in Florida where vehicles can be used on the beach. — Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

March 9th, 1968 — Cyclists are Sought in Murder Case.  Cleveland, Ohio:  Their bikes are their most prized possessions, say the Animals.  Shown working on their motorcycles are (from left):  V.C.; Gabby; and Tom (only nicknames given).  In foreground is an unusual three-wheeler.  Local authorities are looking for the motorcycle riders who killed two men in a cafe on February 28th.  Three suspects in the case are former members of the Animals. — Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

Dec 3rd, 1966, Las Vegas — Hordes of teenagers cruise the Las Vegas Strip on motorcycles and in cars at night. Traffic along the strip is bumper-to-bumper every weekend as youngsters arrive to observe and be observed. — Image by © Bettmann/Corbis

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“THE DUKE” GOES COMMANDO | GEOFF DUKE DOMINATOR & SNORTIN’ NORTON

One of motorcycle racing’s first true superstars– Geoff Duke, known simply as The Duke” by his circuit peers and fans, was a six-time World Champion (racking up 33 Grand Prix victories along the way), who dominated the ’50s racing scene, winning three of his titles on Snortin’ Norton bikes.  After bringing home the championship three years in a row for Norton (’50, ’51 & ’52), in ’53 he moved on to race for Italy’s Gilera– not exactly an endearing move with the British fans and press, but nonetheless ‘The Duke” continued his winning streak, and would eventually find himself racing Nortons again down the road.

Duke’s racing prowess was a boost for Norton, who struggled to regain their racing foothold against the evolving postwar technology as their single cylinder machine was up against the advanced, more powerful multi-cylinder engines being cranked out by the Italians and AJS on home soil.  What Norton did get right was their legendary shock-absorbing “featherbed” racing frame.  The name was coined when Isle of Man TT racer Harold Daniell was quoted as saying that it was like “riding on a featherbed” as compared to riding on a “garden gate” when compared to conventional racing frames.  Their featherbed frame technology, with a lower center of gravity and shorter wheelbase, combined with finessed engine placement to further maximize bike handling, were crucial in keeping the Norton Manx competitive– the mother of all badass cafe racers that are still loved today.

Ultimately, Norton frames were paired with Triumph engines by motorheads looking to create hybrid bikes that became known as Tritons” — effectively combining their respective strengths to create fierce racing machines.

1952– The legendary Geoff Duke astride a 500cc Norton bike at the Dutch TT, Assen, the Netherlands. via

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1951, Northern Ireland, UK– The line-up for the start of the Senior World Championship motorcycle race in Ulster.  The winner was British motorcyclist Geoff Duke (No. 55) on a Norton bike. –Image by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis

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HUSQVARNA | THE SCREAMIN’ SWEDE THAT STARTED A RACING REVOLUTION

The bike that got American motocross off the ground-- the 1963 Husqvarna (Husky) Racer.

The bike that got American motocross off the ground– the 1963 Husqvarna (Husky) Racer. This unrestored bike is No. 59 of just 100 250cc race machines Husqvarna built in ’63.

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With its signature red and chrome glistening gas tank, the Husqvarna (or “Husky” as it’s affectionately known) was a stunning beauty of a bike, and a mud-slinging beast on the American motocross circuit. Back in the 1960s, the increasingly popular sport of American motocross was bogged down by clumsily modified (not to mention heavy) Harley-Davidson, Triumph & BSA road bikes.  It was lumbering in antiquity and in dire need of innovation.  Enter Edison Dye.

While on a motorcycle tour of Europe, Dye took particular note of European motocross and the lighter-weight, nimble, two-stroke bikes that were in stark contrast to the American scene.  Swedish maker Husqvarna particulary stood out with their alloy engine components, and distinctive exhaust.  He asked motorcycling legend Malcolm Smith (Steve McQueen’s riding chum in “On Any Sunday”) to take a Husky and put it through its paces for him.  Upon Smith’s glowing review, Edison Dye decided to sign on as Husqvarna’s U.S. importer.  The Screamin’ Swede was about to take American motocross by storm.

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Heikki Mikkola, the “Flyin’ Finn” was one of the most popular and feared motocross racers of the 1970s. During his illustrious career, Mikkola collected four World Grand Prix Motocross Championship titles.  Mikkola won the 1974 World Grand Prix 500cc Championship on a Husqvarna.

Heikki Mikkola, the “Flyin’ Finn” was one of the most popular and feared motocross racers of the 1970s. During his illustrious career, Mikkola collected four World Grand Prix Motocross Championship titles. In 1974 he won the World Grand Prix 500cc Championship on a Husqvarna.

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