Thursday, November 27, 2014

Simonson And More

As some may recall I spent a little time a few years ago trying to document some of the motorcycle dealer history in Albuquerque New Mexico. Given my slight Triumph bias, Simonson Cycles received its fair share of focus. I was stoked to see a former Simonson employee leave a comment on an old post:

I worked for Al Simonson for a little over a year in 1961-1962. I can still hear him answer the phone (with his signature stutter) "Siiiiiimonsons Cycles". He made a huge difference in my life by not giving me a raise and encouraging me to go to college. Lots of memories of this man and his gentle wife. - Steve Hawkins San Francisco

Steve's comment resulted in several back and forth email exchanges. It didn't take long for a conversation of Triumph's to surface.

By the time I arrived in ABQ in 1961, Simonson Cycles was located on San Pedro and the other big dealerships were Bobby J's and the dreaded Harley  The most successful racer around there during that time was Bill Canfield, who rode a Sportster.  Of course, the most famous racers in town were the Unsers on the 1/2 mile sprint car track out east of town.

Below is my pride and joy in those years.  It had two personalities, one being a bit more street legal than the other.  Unfortunately, I never had the vision toward the future enough to take a picture of the latter, but I do have the hand-sketched version I did while being bored in a UNM German class.  Finally, my original TR a Cub, when I was 16 in Colorado Springs.

These photos are so cool! I immediately identified with the sketch, I spent so much time engaged in this sort of thought as a kid (hell, I still do). It's so awesome Steve saved that drawing.

 That is an incredibly timeless bike. My buddy Vorhese is discussing a very similar approach with his '55 Triumph. I knew the second I saw that sketch I had to share it. Thanks for taking the time to talk motorcycles with me Steve and agreeing to let me post this stuff. Good times.

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