Parilla Days at the 2005 Sandia Classic

Parilla owners get unleashed at Sandia Motor Speedway

| January/February 2006

There were plenty of times when Craig Congleton was ready to put James Britton’s old Dog to sleep.

In 2000, Britton’s Parilla 200GS began rattling during a practice lap at the Sandia Motor Speedway outside Albuquerque, N.M. After Britton nursed it back to the pits, he discovered that the crankshaft had spun loose and caused what looked like a bomb blast in the case.

"Definitely a disappointment," Britton says. "I hadn’t even raced it yet."

Enter Congleton, a machinist who had built a Benelli race bike for himself and agreed to resurrect the GS. At first glance, Congleton was dazzled with the design of the engine, with its shapely side cover and unique high-cam layout. But behind the pretty face, he says, lurked a nightmare.

"It’s beautiful. They’re works of art," Congleton says. "But they’re just horribly fragile. I find them to be under-engineered and designed from the outside in."

He then imagines the Parilla engine designer’s pitch to the Italian motorcycle company’s ownership, pointing out that parts of the engine seem to resemble female anatomy — especially a camshaft cover that looks like one of Pamela Anderson’s more, um, prominent features. "I’m-a gonna draw a real pretty woman. It’s-a beautiful. We’re-a gonna sell the crap outta these. Now all we gotta do is-a figure out how to-a make it work."

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