Classic Motorcycle Racing on a BSA Gold Star


| 7/16/2012 4:34:33 PM


Bored at the grocery store, I ventured to the magazine rack. I noticed the BSA Gold Star on your cover, which sparked memories of my father, who raced flat track in the late Forties and mid to late Fifties.  

Awesome article! My father never spoke much about his motorcycle racing days, so when he did I listened. One quote I remember: “If I would have been able to ride better, nobody would have touched me. That was the fastest bike in America!” Here’s a picture of the real deal, Bill Lane at Daytona Beach 1957 aboard his BSA Gold Star. 

Bill Lane racer  
Bill Lane at Daytona Beach in 1957 aboard his BSA Gold Star 

Bill Laner racer 2 
Flat track racing in 1954/55 at Pecatonica, Ill. Fairgrounds 

A story from my mother’s uncle, who introduced the two: 
Daytona Beach 1957. Back then the track was half on the beach and half on the road. The wind had blown sand on the paved corner. As usual my father came flying into the turn. The front wheel inverted, sending him head first over the handlebars. Don said he hit so hard it split his helmet in two, driving his chin into his chest. Damage: Broken thumb, broken wrist, broken chest plate and all his top teeth were driven up into his gums. At the hospital the doctors said they would pull his teeth out and stitch up his gums and that was about all they could do. A dentist was needed and they had to head back to Wisconsin anyhow. A quote from my mother’s uncle Don: “Your dad was tough as nails, but he was a hurtin’ soldier that night in the gin mil, drinking beer through a straw and holding his head with his hand in a cast.” His sponsor and pit man, Francis “Shack” Shackelford, once said to me, “You dad’s a real tiger. That spill he took in Daytona would have killed a normal man.”  



Bill Lane racer 3
1956 Daytona beach. "Shacks", #37 and Bill Lane. Notice the fancy trailer and toolbox. Only the best back in the good old days. 



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 $4.95 and get 6 issues of Motorcycle Classics for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $29.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds