Here's and interesting bike photo taken at Columbus in 1984. The bike was originally the Teson and Bernard TF that almost single handedly brought an end to the multiple engine bikes. The bike was sold to Chris Hand and then to Larry Hayes. The paint scheme had changed (from white) and the frame lengthened. If you look closely to the guy on the far right you'll notice it is Chris Hand, who is still racing today and was most recently inducted into the MTC 5 second club.
Here are some pictures of Russ Collin's Sorcerer TF dragbike taken at Dragway 42 in the late seventies. Russ was debuting the bike in the Midwest and was "The Show." The bike started out with its fully enclosed body work for the test runs (burnout, 1/8 and 1/4), but soon shed it to look like what is shown in the pictures. I never seen the bike run again with all the body work. Wished I got a picture of that!
I got out the original picture and a magnifying glass to give it a close-up look. Based on Mike's web sight pictures, I don't think it is him. Did you recognize the guy standing next to Elmer with his double engine TF bike that I posted a while back? It was Ray Price. They pitted next to each other at that meet. You can barely see the back end of Ray's FB to the left in the picture. He put on quite a show as well, carrying his front wheel way down the track.
Vance and Hines Racing (VHR) also raced Top Fuel briefly in the eighties. Attached are two pictures taken at the US Nationals (Indy) in 1980 (left)and 1981 (right). They won the 1981 race. The following is a list of US National TF motorcycle race winners:
1970 - Larry Welch
1972 - Boris Murray
1973 - Bob Mauriello
1974 - Joe Smith
1975 - Joe Smith
1976 - TC Christensen
1977 - Joe Thronson
1978 - Marion Owens
1979 - Roy "Frog" Thacker
1980 - Bo O'Brochta
1981 - Terry Vance
1982 - Roland Stewart
1983 - Elmer Trett
1984 - Sam Wills
I was there Sat and Sun as well. I asked Larry about some help with my project. I must have looked pretty hot, as he told me I could go up to his box (204) to cool off. I took him up on it. Sam ended up running a 6.06 against Larry's 5.96. Was a great race right to the end when I saw a small white poof of smoke from Sam's bike after the 1000' mark. It was Sam's personal best (so far). Larry won the meet with a 5.84 solo run. I too enjoyed Larry's multiple wheel stand run. Only he could pull off such a thing.
Roland Stewart with his top fuel bike "Sayronara". Roland won the 1982 US Nationals with this bike. Roland and his son Chuck current crew for Larry McBride's top fuel team. The picture was taken at the ManCup finals at SGMP held last weekend.
Here are a couple newsprint pictures/articles that I received from Norman Hyde. He ran single and double engine trident based dragbikes back in the seventies. His engines were 970 cc. The double started carbureted and eventually went to supercharged. The bike has since been dismantled and sold off. Norman has a website that still sells speed parts for Meridian and Hinckley Triumphs.
Thanks Keith. I checked the eurodragster webpage today and they are broadcasting each day from 0700 to 2200 (UK time). I think you guys are four hours ahead of us. Any idea what time(s) the bikes will run? Thanks.
This picture was taken at the Valdosta Mancup race held Nov 13 - 15. It shows some of our veteran TF racers still in the mix. From L to R: Ian King, Larry McBride, Ryan Cherry, Korry Hogan, Chris Hand, Dave Vantine and Sam Wills. Ryan Cherry is a junior dragbike racer. Sam ran a 5.88 during qualifications and Dave won the race with a 5.77! Photo Credit: Giantkiller Mini Funnycar.
I watched the live feed of most of the race. It was terrifying to watch that crash. It was also a miracle that Korry came through it relatively unharmed. He must have had angels on both shoulders riding with him. I have also heard that the Alwine team was retiring, but have not heard it from the Team itself, all second hand accounts. I did see that John shared a link on his FB page for a go fund me account set up by someone else. I don't think we'll see Korry return to TF racing even if the team continues. He has had some serious high speed "get-offs", so I wouldn't blame him for not returning.
John Alwine announced a couple days ago on FB that the team would not be rebuilding. He doesn't want the go fund me account money and suggested that it be used for Korry's medical needs. It also sounds like he has six new ATF engines underway, so maybe his engine program will continue. The loss on any of the TFB teams is a loss for the whole sport.
The 1980 Teson/Bernard article was very informative. I didn't realize that a TF burnout was done in high gear. That prompted me to ask Bill Whisenant how I get from high gear back to low? Just push the shift button a second time, it goes from high back to low and the green hi shift light goes out. I'm going to be on a steep learning curve. Thanks for remembering and posting the article. I've been reading motorcycle magazines since the mid sixties and did not remember the article!
Thanks Frank for that very personal story and powerful read. Raised a lump in my throat. Especially after watching Korry come off his bike at SGMP. Those horrible first few minutes until I saw him sitting upright in the back of an ambulance. I know it doesn't always end up like that.
On another sad note, I read that Roy Strawn (AMDRA founder) passed away yesterday. Never met him, but realized he was a wealth of dragbike knowledge based on his occasional posts in JJ and FB.
Frank, have you ever shared any pictures of your Kawasaki fuel bike? I don't remember seeing it here, but I may have missed them. Who built the bike and what did you run with it? Thanks again.