Thursday, November 06, 2008


Once again, Dave Martin has sourced an amazing collection of photographs, this time from a scrapbook of riders on the East Coast of the US, around 1967, at their homes, garages, and a trip to the motorcycle races at Laconia, New Hampshire. The motorcycles are not especially exotic, nor are the people famous, but the whole collection looks like the set of 'The Loveless' (see the trailer for the 1982 film at the bottom of this post. Willem Dafoe's first movie, with rockabilly star Robert Gordon acting and performing the soundtrack. I saw the film so many times I could recite the whole thing...).
The 'look' of these outfits has been strip-mined by every contemporary clothing designer in the past 20 years. Some people still consider these outfits the epitome of American Style, and I have to say, they all look Real Cool.

Top photo shows a young gent by his 1954 BMW R51/3. Turned-up jeans, black bomber jacket, engineer's boots, blue chambray shirt.

I love this pair; a ca. '55 Norton Dominator rolling chassis, which is actually in very nice and totally stock condition, waiting for its power plant. I see guys dressed exactly like this down on Haight Street... and Castro Street!

The second fellow on the rolling Norton has his plaid shirt knotted at
the waist and a popped collar, rolled up sleeves. Black jeans, greasy hair.

This '66 Triumph Bonneville would have been a year old when this pic was taken. A black Norton Atlas or 650SS sits across the street.

There's the black Norton again, with a slightly bobbed rear fender (surprisingly, these bikes are almost all bone stock). The rarest machine of the bunch is the BSA A65 Hornet Scrambler, a heavyweight Desert Racer which was a short-production model for '67/8 - the mufflers have been changed for short megaphones. The gent's quilted nylon hunting jacket is featured in this year's Prada catalog...

Somebody went and got married... with the inevitable result! The station wagon Ford is crowding out the '67 Norton Manxman 650cc model - a US-only job with a distinctive small tank. Did the child grow up to ride? That could have been me.. mom has a nice pair of Ray-Bans.

Yes, Americans rode Harleys too in the 60's. This fellow has a full-dress 'garbage wagon' Panhead Hydra-Glide, with a lot of extras adding weight to the whole rig...although he was the most comfortable on the big road trip to Laconia that year.

Especially if he's packing double. I like the matching outfits, but I don't think she's actually riding today though, with those cute sneakers and no socks. Nobody is wearing helmets either, just scarves and hats (gotta keep the hairdo in place).

Another Hydra-Glide, this time in black and white. Same taste in headgear as his buddy; love the American Optical eyeglasses... these guys could be from an ad in 2008!

But this fellow would be from a music video... just too cool.

Okay, so they wear helmets, at least when it's cold oustide, and gloves. The BMW has progressed to a mid-60's R60/2, with our Atlas and Hornet.

Here's a shot of the neighborhood - these fellows were all connected by motorcycles, clearly. Dig the cars...all American iron. The bikes would have offered a lot more performance than these heavy and ill-handling old slugs!

And finally, at the motorcycle races at Laconia. The 'parking lot' is full of Harley cruisers, with a few other bikes in the background.


david said...

Thanks,Paul for all your hard work @thevintagent.
You've been outdoing yourself lately.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul, another great post on your blog, but should this not read Laconia N.H. This takes me back in time , as a kid ( 17-18) I started attending these races every year. Jim

Charles said...

wow wow wow

Mksim said...

What a post !