Friday, August 18, 2017
WRECKING CREW: THE TRIO OF TERROR
In 1932, the American Motorcyclist Association created Class C for Flat Track motorcycle racing, and in doing so, the prestigious AMA Grand National Championship was fought out in a one day race called the Springfield Mile, and was held on a frighteningly fast, 130-mile-per-hour circuit based at the Illinois State Fairgrounds. During that period, two American motorcycle manufacturers – Harley-Davidson of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Indian of Springfield, Massachusetts – went to war, throwing everything they had at winning the Springfield Mile. From 1947 through 1950, Harley-Davidson held sway, but beginning in 1951, a trio of factory-backed Indian racers got the better of their bitter rivals from Milwaukee. Dubbed the Wrecking Crew, Indian riders Bobby Hill (far right in this photo), Bill Tuman and Ernie Beckman ruled the sport with an American iron fist, Ohioan Hill and his 44.72 cubic inch V-twin Indian Scout winning the title in both 1951 and 1952.