Last time was in 1916
Crazy I know, but after that first year 1916, the motorcycles were not invited back until 1954. The locals made up for it by inventing the Pikes Peak Snow Run that ran on New Years Day. But there wasn’t any official races for the bikes on the Peak until 1954.
(Check back later for information about the “Pikes Peak Snow Run”)
A friend of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb race, Floyd Clymer.
Floyd was the Editor and Publisher of “Cycle” magazine and a big promoter of Pikes Peak. Check out the article form November 1954.
An insider story !!!!!
Another friend of the Hill Climb sent me this letter to the editor from “Motorcyclist” magazine about the 1954 race. ( Thanks Bill B.)
That is a crazy story !!!!!
Where are the photographs ?
I have been fortunate to review thousands of photos from the PPHC in the 1950s, some from private collections and others from formal archives. I wonder if it was the “Outlaw” image of the the bikers, or if it was just harder to capture the motorcycles as they came by. Either way finding pictures from 1954-55 races has been challenging.
A few from winners circle below:
Above is the winner Bill Meier on his Harley with the Princess Power winner Shirley Klinker. ( Dodge was the race sponsor) and to the right is Denver Harley-Davidson dealer Ray Koch. He was a huge sponsor of the race. Even when the bikes did not run, Ray would always sponsor a car in the Championship Division. I like the Mobiloil decal on the tank and the Harley shirt.
Above is another picture of the race winners. Right to left- Shirley Klinker, Mrs Andrews, Keith Andrews car winner, Lloyd Faddis PPHC president and Bill Meier bike winner. On the very far right you can catch Ray Koch. Picture shows a little more of Bill’s bike. Dodge sponsored the race and awarded the car winner an engraved serving platter that Keith is holding. Also notice the leather riding pants on Bill, not sure who is the guy holding his bike. (If you know, message me )
Motorcycle results 1954
A big hurdle for getting results had to do with how the motorcycles ran compared to the cars. The cars always ran first and took off in five minute delay one car at a time. Rarely was there more then one car at a time hitting the finish. The time gap gave the officials at the top the ability to mange the results better then what happened with the bikes. The motorcycle riders started off , in rows of four in mass . At times several bikes could be hitting the finish line at the same time causing chaos, with the scorers timing the event. Many years bike results would not be final until later that night or even the next day. Some years only the top three spots would be published. Newspapers either skipped bike results all together or listed them several days later. Below is what I have found for motorcycle results in 1954.
Did you notice the 15th place finisher? Yep, Marsh Potdorf the fill in rider from Pueblo !
If you have photos from 1954-55 and would like to share them or stories form those years please message me.