Monday, 16 April 2012

Bad Bart Markel - UPDATE

Don't know where this photo came from originally, but Roger sent me it. Bart Markel styling in 1971. I can't tell properly from the photos, but the bars look asymmetrical. The throttle hand looks like a wheelbarrow-style bar, while the clutch side looks straighter. Or is it my wonky eyes? G

UPDATE: From Roger
The Bart Markel picture was taken at the 1971 Charity Newsies Columbus, Ohio half mile, I'm pretty sure. When the race stopped running it's place was taken by the Lima, Ohio National. Bart finished 32nd in the points chase in 1970, hence the #32 for 1971. Otherwise, he was #8 in the early 60s and #4 for the rest of his career, not counting his Grand National Championships of course. This link shows Bart in the same leathers in an AC spark plug ad from 1972. (scroll down a bit for a bigger picture). The bike and handlebars look to be the same, and may have been taken in 1971 for all we know. AC Delco is a big General Motors (GM) parts supplier and he worked and lived in that same Michigan area, so he would have been a natural for them too.


Harley said...

Being Bart I wouldn't be surprised if he'd dropped it, kicked it (vaguely) straight and just got back out there.

Can't think of any obvious advantage in having the bars deliberately bent that way, on opposite lock the right hand bar end would be right where a chap wouldn't want it to be.

Nick said...

Big Bad Mart, an absolute LEGEND as Harley says 'kicked it' could just as likely been with his bare hands, or his head

Anonymous said...

Chuck Norris was there stepping in as his mechanic, he just looked at the bars and apparently they just bent themselves in terror.

Nick said...

Don't think Bart would've needed help from Chuck, sure he could done all on his own

Hot Shoe said...

Many Speedway riders favoured asymmetric handlebars in the 1960s/70s. I'm sure they weren't made that way just bent by the rider to a shape that suited them. Oh dear, i just realised how old i feel writing that!!!