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Last weekend I went to the 3rd Annual Thunder on the Smokey Rally (aka Marquette Rally) and saw several pristine antique bikes. But first a little bit about Stan Engdahl...

Stan Engdahl is the retired motorcycle racer who with his wife LaVona, are curators of the Kansas Motorcycle Museum in Marquette, Kansas. Stan grew up at Marquette. He says that after World War II was over, he was looking for some excitement. He went to a motorcycle race and thought it looked like fun. He said, "I could do that. They´re not going all that fast." Then he raced in the next one, and he says, "I found out they were going really fast!"



But he loved racing motorcycles - or motor-sickles, as he pronounces the word - and it got into his blood. That was the beginning of what might be the most dominant record over the longest time period of any sports figure other than a coach in Kansas. He has won more than 600 trophies, including numerous state and national titles, in races spanning every decade from the 1940s to the 1990s.




Stan operated a combination TV repair and motorcycle shop in downtown Marquette. He has a Panhead in the museum window that he told me he traded a TV for! When he retired, he sold the building to the city for a dollar. Some city leaders had the idea to turn the building into a museum to display vintage motorcycles.

Stan says, "I told `em they were nuts. We wouldn´t get one row of motorcycles in here in a year." Wrong. Stan says, "Within 45 days after opening, we had this big room full of donated motorcycles."

Labor Day weekend of 2003 marked the opening of the Kansas Motorcycle Museum in Marquette. Stan and LaVona agreed to be curators. Stan has all 600 of his trophies on display plus two championship motorcycles, the steel shoe he wore to make the turns, and countless items of history and memorabilia.



For example, there’s a black and white photo of Stan racing on his motorcycle with some funny looking thing attached to his leg. Stan explains, "I had broken my leg in a race and showed up at the next one on crutches. They weren’t about to let me race. But I told `em I was the two-time defending champion and deserved a chance to defend my title. Besides, this was a benefit for the Institute of Logopedics and they showed up with two busloads of crippled children, so I had to race for them."

Finally the race organizers had Stan sign a long legal release form and let him enter the race. The picture shows a piece of wood that Stan duct-taped to his cast. He not only made it through the race, he won first place!

Stan Engdahl won the Nation Scrambles Championship 5 times: '68, '69, '70, '72, and '74.



Heres a few pictures I took at the rally...
Vincent Black Shadow



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Kainam, Great story and images. He appears to be a very special person, more than ways than one.

One doesn't see a Vincent Black Shadow in person very often... if ever.

Thanks for sharing.
 
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