Monday, 21 March 2011

Project Daytona, February 2003

This was originally posted as a blog style entry on a website, documenting the progress of Project Daytona through research and restoration of two BSA Daytona racers in 2004 as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations of BSA's historic win in 1954.

In March 1954 BSA won the 200 mile expert race at Daytona Beach, Florida. Bobby Hill won on a Shooting Star, heading a field of 107 riders to complete the 200 mile race in 2 hours, 7 minutes and 22.70 seconds at an average speed of 94.24mph.

The next 4 places were also BSAs, with the nearest American bike being Don Hutchinson's Harley in 10th place.This was the most important event in the US racing calendar, comparable with the TT.

Although this was one of BSA's greatest sporting achievements the event passed largely uncelebrated at the time and has been barely mentioned in books and magazines since.In March 2004 a multinational group of BSA restorers hope to rectify this injustice by celebrating the 50th anniversary of the win at Daytona 2004. Restored bikes - a Gold Star and Shooting Star - will be paraded by the original BSA riders, Bobby Hill, Kenny Eggers, Dick Klamfoth, Gene Thiessen and Tommy McDermott.

The event will be supported by the American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association, will be attended by various luminaries in the classic bike scene and the intention is to make this a big event with lots of press! While I'm sure this news will interest the BSA nuts, club members might also be interested to know that the Scottish member of the restoration team is club member Myles Raymond.

Myles and his buddies in the US have been working on this project for the last 2 years on an epic journey that has at times been more like archaeology than restoration but is now.Myles will be posting progress reports in the newsletter as the project moves into the last 12 months before the big event in March 2004

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