Evel Knievel and a Norton P-11


 Ducati Bronco 

Reader Al Tellis and his 1967 Ducati Bronco 125, which he restored himself about 2 years ago. 

In the mid 1960s, I worked as a mechanic at Salem’s Motorcycle Headquarters in Phoenix, Ariz. We were a Zundapp, Ducati, Sachs and Norton dealer and were supplied by ZDS Motors’ Bob Blair. I knew Mr. Blair through our shop and I talked with him several times, both at our shop in Phoenix and at his business in California. 

Our shop had built and raced a very fast 250 Ducati, dubbed the “Peppermint Stick.” It was very successful on the race tracks in Phoenix and Tucson, even beating Jim Hunter on his BSA Gold Star at a Sweepstakes race in Tucson. Bob helped and encouraged us with that endeavor. He saw our work and professionalism and asked us to build a mini-bike for his son, Steve. He sent us a new Ducati Bronco as a starting place. We modified it to fit Steve and it turned out really cool.

When the P-11 first came out, I bought one immediately and enjoyed the ride all the time I had it. In 1966/1967, Mr. Blair sent us a new Norton P-11 to prepare for an up-and-coming daredevil named Evel Knievel. One evening after working on Evel’s bike we were just getting ready to head to the local pub, the Red Door, and I asked Evel if he wanted to join us for a drink. He asked me directions on how to get there, and I told him to go west on Indian School Road to Seventh Avenue, then turn right and cross the bridge over the canal, and the pub would be on the left. All he said was, “How wide is the canal?” He never showed up that night.

Mary Long
5/23/2013 3:55:41 PM

Is that it? Where's page 2?

The sound and the fury: celebrate the machines that changed the world!

Motorcycle Classics JulAug 16Motorcycle Classics is America's premier magazine for collectors and enthusiasts, dreamers and restorers, newcomers and life long motorheads who love the sound and the beauty of classic bikes. Every issue  delivers exciting and evocative articles and photographs of the most brilliant, unusual and popular motorcycles ever made!

Save Even More Money with our RALLY-RATE plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our RALLY-RATE automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $5.00 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $29.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $34.95 for a one year subscription!

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter