Monday, 21 March 2011

Project Daytona, April 2003 – 1 year to go

Last month I wrote about the project to restore and parade the 1954 Daytona winning BSAs at Daytona speed week in 2004 as part of a 50 th anniversary event. Daytona 2003 has just finished and we now have one year to prepare the bikes and organise the event itself. Let me tell you a bit more about both.

The Bikes The Daytona 200 was the most important race US calendar - equivalent to the TT. At that time the race was run on a large oval circuit that had one straight on sand, one on tarmac. In 1954 BSA sent both Gold Stars and Shooting Stars to Daytona. Both were fitted with rigid frames as it was felt that the reduced weight was of greater benefit on sand than swinging-arm suspension. We are restoring examples of both machines for 2004 - Tommy McDermotts Gold Star and Al Gunters Shooting Star.

Although US regulations of the time required these to be production bikes in a future update Ill tell you about some of the very non-production (!) details we found while working on these and the difficulty we’’ve had researching them before restoration work started.

The Event Our event is intended to celebrate BSAs win in 1954, the original riders and BSA in general. It is actually a series of activities that will be held within the larger Daytona speed week, a motorcycling party that eclipses the TT in both scale and scope. Our smaller ‘party will consist of::-

Friday, Saturday & Sunday - Antique Motorcycle Club of America Concours event spotlight on BSA at Eustis
Monday and Tuesday – Parade lap with restored bikes and riders at Daytona Speedway
Thursday – Concours display and ride-out to Jerry Woods action and swap meet at Deland
Thursday evening – Banquet and ‘meet the riders event at Stetson University.

The project team, the surviving riders and other BSA luminaries such as Jeff Smith, John Gardner and Dick Mann will attend the banquet to talk about the race and answer questions. Others have been approached and are still to be confirmed – watch this space

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