Friday, August 15, 2014

Did You Know? The AFM... [Part II]

Was considered an “outlaw” club by the AMA in the 1950s and AMA riders were barred from competing with the AFM.

In 1960, John McLaughlin threatened to sue the AMA in California for anti-trust practices because they were banning racers who participated in AFM events. The AMA stopped their restrictions. Forty-one years later John was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Was an AMA affiliate from 1972-1975. All AFM racers had to show both AFM and AMA licenses at each event.

Until 1963 or so, often held races as part of sports car events. The bikes would have one race during intermission, with everything from 50cc to 500cc on the track at the same time. Santa Barbara races would have over 20,000 spectators!

Had Wes Cooley (Sr.) as President from 1960-1964. He left the AFM after a dispute and formed the ACA, which led to the ARRA and the present WSMC.

Had a special year in 1965. In California, the AFM incorporated as a non-profit, held its first Scrambles, its first Enduro, and its first “Moto-cross”. (Well, the moto-cross was on January 1, 1966 but that’s close enough.)

Starting in 1964, limited female competitors to 50cc-125cc.

Had a street race around the Sacramento fairgrounds in 1968.

Had a race, the Tastee GP, sponsored by Tastee Freeze in 1972. It was at Riverside.

Used push-starts until the early 70s. For a while after that, bikes would line up in their grid position but facing backwards. Just before the race start, the bikes would be fired up, ridden in the reverse track direction for a short distance, then turned around and gridded as usual.

Member Art Baumann won the National Championship road race held at Sears Point in 1969 during the filming of “Little Fauss and Big Halsey”. Riding a Suzuki 500 in the 125-mile race, he lapped up to 4th place while suffering from hepatitis. It was the first time a two-stroke won a National Championship road race.

Former member Don Emde won the Daytona 200 in 1972 on a Yamaha 350. It was the first 200 victory for Yamaha; it was the smallest engine ever to win; and it was the first time a two-stroke-powered machine had won the race. It was also the only time a father and son have won at Daytona. (Don’s father, Floyd, won Daytona in 1948.)

Former member Steve Baker became America’s first roadracing World Champion in 1977 (World Formula 750).

1 comment:

  1. RE: "Had a race, the Tastee GP, sponsored by Tastee Freeze in 1972. It was at Riverside." If I'm not mistaken the Tasty Pro-Am was actually held at OCIR in 1972. We convinced Les Richter let us (the AFM) race at RIR (for the 1st time in ???) in late 73.