On the line
have spent what seemed like every spare waking moment this month
preparing the OW27 that will be displayed at the White Brothers
Vet Nationals in Southern California on November 4th, where Bob
Hannah will receive the "Edison Dye Lifetime Achievement Award".
When Tom White called me and asked if I would loan him one of
Bob's bikes for the award, to me the only choice was the OW27.
It is Bob's favorite works bike and it only seemed right to have
it there when he receives the award. I think Bob's 1976 season
really laid down the foundation for his unparalleled motocross
career. Even as he matured as a rider and also at the end of his
career, he never lost that spectacular Bob "Hurricane" Hannah
drive that had all of us on the edge of our seats. Every single
time, without exception, I saw him race there was always a
remnant of 1976 in his style. It had to be the OW27.
To get the
bike done in time meant that there would have to be 100%
cooperation from all parties involved in the restoration. Mark
Maier made a brilliant set of polypropylene side panels from the
fiberglass ones that were with the bike when I got it. He had to
make molds from the fiberglass panels and then find the correct
material that was originally used in 1976 for the plastic ones.
Bruce Hollingshead did a fantastic job repairing the silencer
that was almost beyond repair and did some fabrication on the
radiator. My wife Cindy and my son Terry worked many hours along
side me to put the bike together and coordinate with the vendors
doing the work. Hours upon hours were spent on the phone with Bill Buchka getting advise as to how everything should go together
and how he prepped it for the Nationals. I won't bore you with
all the details but everybody involved was really determined to
get it right and get it done on time. The final result
was....Well, when Bill saw the photos of the finished bike, he
said, "It looks exactly like it did when I prepared it for a
National". It's exactly how I remember it too. Even though Bob
knows it will be there, his wife Terri has kept all of the
progress info and photos from him. Should be a great moment when
he see's it.
If you have never
been to the White Brothers Vet Nationals, you should really try
to make it. Tom White does a fantastic job hosting this event
and paying homage to these past champions. More needs to be done
on preserving motocross history. Last year the event honored
Joel Robert and after the event, Joel told me that was one of
the best times of his life and was surprised to see so many
people that remembered him. It wouldn't have happened without
Tom White and this year should be great too.
Hope to see you
October 29 2007