Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ed Kretz Sr

I stumbled across this great photo of Ed "Ironman" Kretz taken when he was still racing Indians. I knew he jumped to Triumph in around 1949/1950 but I didn't realize he raced for JOMO the whole time.

Bellow is another great photo of Ed Sr. on the beach in Daytona in 1951. I've no doubt that's my '51 Tiger he's sitting on... JK. I still just love that jersey.

I read somewhere Ed Jr. switched to Triumph in 1949 to support his Dad's new dealership. For a minute it seemed odd to me that the Kretz' would continue to race for Johnson Motors while Sr. owned a dealership. It soon occurred to me that every bike Ed sold would come through JOMO as the exclusive west coast distributor. Prior to Tri-Cor opening in 1951 I'm not sure Johnson had gobs of resources to support retail sales as they were relatively swamped as a distributor.

Incidentally, I remember hearing Ed Kretz was one of the earlier dealerships to talk on Honda and Triumph was way less than thrilled about it. I'm pretty confident that happened sometime after Bill Johnson passed away in 1962.

Ed Sr. was well recognized for his abilities to market, promote and his general business sensibilities. Word is Ed Sr. turned to racing out of necessity as a young man in the middle of the Depression. While born in 1911 he didn't officially retire from the dealership until 1986. He passed away in 1996.


Flathead45 said...

How can you resist a colorized version of the Ed Kretz dealership sticker on your Tiger?

BitMonkey said...

It is pretty stylish, huh?