Parilla Days at the 2005 Sandia Classic

Parilla owners get unleashed at Sandia Motor Speedway

| January/February 2006

  • James Britton speeds toward a third-place finish in the 200GP at the 2005 Sandia Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.
    James Britton speeds toward a third-place finish in the 200GP at the 2005 Sandia Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.
    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • P.J. Johnson's Killa Parilla with the Sandia Mountains in the background.
    P.J. Johnson's "Killa Parilla" with the Sandia Mountains in the background.
    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • A close-up of a high-cam 250cc.
    A close-up of a high-cam 250cc.
    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • A peek inside the Parilla Days tent.
    A peek inside the Parilla Days tent.
    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • Sandia Motor Speedway is reflected in the chrome sides of a 200GS' tank.
    Sandia Motor Speedway is reflected in the chrome sides of a 200GS' tank.
    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • The power plant of P.J. Johnson's 1954 Bialbero twin cam racer, the lone survivor among four built by Parilla.
    The power plant of P.J. Johnson's 1954 Bialbero twin cam racer, the lone survivor among four built by Parilla.
    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • Parilla collector Jim Dillard takes a leisurely lap at Sandia Motor Speedway aboard his rare two-cylinder 350.
    Parilla collector Jim Dillard takes a leisurely lap at Sandia Motor Speedway aboard his rare two-cylinder 350.
    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • Craig Murray, Sandia Classic organizer
    Craig Murray, Sandia Classic organizer
    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • Parilla took its break-in instructions seriously, printing them below the gas caps on some models.
    Parilla took its break-in instructions seriously, printing them below the gas caps on some models.
    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • Mert Lawwill Concepts

    Photo by Ric Anderson
  • Dreadlocks flying, Ennis King rides P.J. Johnson's Parilla racer to a second-place finish in the 200GP.
    Dreadlocks flying, Ennis King rides P.J. Johnson's Parilla racer to a second-place finish in the 200GP.
    Photo by Ric Anderson

  • James Britton speeds toward a third-place finish in the 200GP at the 2005 Sandia Classic in Albuquerque, N.M.
  • P.J. Johnson's Killa Parilla with the Sandia Mountains in the background.
  • A close-up of a high-cam 250cc.
  • A peek inside the Parilla Days tent.
  • Sandia Motor Speedway is reflected in the chrome sides of a 200GS' tank.
  • The power plant of P.J. Johnson's 1954 Bialbero twin cam racer, the lone survivor among four built by Parilla.
  • Parilla collector Jim Dillard takes a leisurely lap at Sandia Motor Speedway aboard his rare two-cylinder 350.
  • Craig Murray, Sandia Classic organizer
  • Parilla took its break-in instructions seriously, printing them below the gas caps on some models.
  • Mert Lawwill Concepts
  • Dreadlocks flying, Ennis King rides P.J. Johnson's Parilla racer to a second-place finish in the 200GP.

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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