Saturday, November 7, 2015


I've done a good bit of digging on Simonson Cycle over the last several years. I've found ads, been contacted by customers and employees as a result. I was contacted the the daughter of a former Simonson employee last week. I resulted in perhaps the single coolest Albuquerque motorcycle artifact I've ever found.

Here are the photos and correspondance that weere shared with me:

Here's the blurred photo of my father, Frank Sutherland, aka "Crazy Frank" (4th from the right) given to me by his friend, Nick Madrid (5th from the right). Nick told me that he didn't have a bike, but Frank would give him rides. Frank would also race anyone who came to town. Apparently, during one famous race, he slide the bike on its side and had road rash from top to bottom. My grandmother had to come pick him up and nurse him back to health. 

Frank worked for Al Simonson, and felt like Al was his second father. I believe he started when he attended Albuquerque High (that would have been around 1944-45? - the bikes in the support that estimate too). He told me the story of driving the first Harley into New Mexico. He picked up the bike in Los Angeles, and apparently, there were no shocks. When Frank got back to NM, he got off and declared he never wanted to see that bike again.

He moved out to California in the mid-50's, but stayed in touch with Al (I'm attaching his letter to Al when I was born). He brought the family back to Santa Fe in the late '70's. We were able to meet Al Simonson when he lived a couple blocks away from the bike shop (off San Mateo?). (This was likely the 315 San Pedro N.E. location that was across from the State Fairgrounds).

 My parents have both passed away (Frank 1927-1999 buried at the Veteran's cemetery in Santa Fe). I believe Nick is still alive (his wife's name is Loretta and she was friends with my mother, Pilgrim). He would be an amazing resource if you can interview him.

So cool!  I may have to see if I can look Nick up.
Albuquerque Dealer

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