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1954 BSA Wrecking Crew’s Kenny Eggers

by Richard Backus


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Kenny Eggers Daytona 1954
Kenny Eggers on his BSA Shooting Star at Daytona Beach, 1954. He later constructed an exact replica of this bike. 

Sad news comes from the vintage racing world, where it’s been reported that Kenny Eggers, one of the top riders of the 1950s, has passed away at the age of 80 of natural causes. Eggers shot to national attention in 1954 when he sailed to fifth place in the Grand National Series opener at Daytona, riding a BSA Shooting Star. BSA took the top five spots, and the famed BSA Wrecking Crew was born.

We chronicled Kenny’s 1954 exploits in the January/February issue of Motorcycle Classics in an article penned by Margie Siegal and accompanied by great photography from Stephen Jacobson. The sub-plot of that article was Kenny’s creation of a replica of the BSA Shooting Star he rode to victory in 1954, which Kenny said was “an exact replica” of the bike he rode at Daytona and later at Willow Springs, where he took first place. Kenny built the replica Shooting Star in 2005 after years of building replicas of some of the other bikes he rode in his career.  

Kenny Egger and BSA 2006
Kenny in 2005 with the replica 1954 BSA Shooting Star he built. 

Kenny was a respected and much-admired member of the racing fraternity, and will certainly be missed by all who knew him and appreciated his successes on the track. Our deepest sympathies to the Eggers family. We’ll let readers know if and when a public memorial is planned. It would be great to see someone establish a race fund for novice racers in Kenny’s name. – Richard Backus 

 

tom rose_4
1/8/2010 6:42:58 PM

I had the opportunity to visit with Kenny and the other BSA riders in 2004 at the 50 year reunion of the BSA Daytona Sweep. Unbelievably 4 of the top 5 finishers were there 50 years later (only Al Gunter was deceased at the time). I learned that Kenny's 5th place finish that day may have been one of the great performances in Daytona history. In those days the racers were lined up in rows of 10 and started at 10 second intervals. There were well over 100 entries. Winner Bobby Hill and the other top riders Dick Klamfoth, Tommy McDermott and Al Gunter at stated in the 1st or 2nd row. They battled each other as front runners. However, Kenny Eggers started in the 9th row and had to pass 90 competitors on the treacherous beach/road course for his 5th place finish. Kenny Eggers was a legend from the post war era of motorcycling. He will be missed.