Motorcycle Classics

BSA Goldstar Racer

This photo comes to us by way of Brian Milthorp of Quesnel, British Columbia, Canada. That’s Brian’s uncle, Joseph Ward, astride his BSA Goldstar 350, next to Joseph’s father, Leonard Ward. The photo was taken in 1952 at the old Abbotsford Airport racetrack near Vancouver, where Joe’s early efforts at racing a basket case 350 Velocette MAC proved, in his words, to be a “disaster.”

He retired the Velo and “subsequently purchased a pukka 250 BSA Gold Star road racer.” He raced it with some success for a couple of seasons, eventually winning the B.C. road racing championship. In due course he purchased a short stroke Norton Manx, the first one in western Canada.

Joe spent 10 years with Harley dealer Fred Deeley in Vancouver, then five years, beginning in late 1959, with BSA dealer Hap Alzina in Oakland, Calif., as a field representative, calling on BSA dealers across the western half of the U.S. After that he moved to Los Angeles and managed the Norm Reeves Honda dealership. It was during this time that he became associated with Gavin Trippe and Bruce Cox and the newspaper Motorcycle Weekly.

In 1971 he became the sales and marketing manager of Percy Coleman Suzuki in Wanganui, New Zealand. He remained active during his retirement until he died from a stroke on June 3, 2009.

  • Published on Dec 2, 2009
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