~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Elsinore Grand Prix 1971

A long time ago when dinosaurs roamed the earth was when I first got mixed up in dirt bike racing. My racing career was brief and not very spectacular except maybe for a couple of crashes. However, I did drag my Super-8mm camera around with me and shoot home movies.
Years ago I had the old movies copied to video tape and now I've begun copying them to digital format. The quality isn't real great but memories are fun. In fact the memories are more vivid that the colors remaining in 39 year old home movies.
I've posted the first footage on YouTube of some stuff I shot at the Elsinore Grand Prix in 1971. Sadly, I wasn't in the race but it was still grand to be there. It was every bit the event that Bruce Brown recorded in the single greatest movie of all time "On Any Sunday."
Here's the first of my home movies via YouTube:

More to come as I get them processed. If you happen to have raced AMA District 38 off road stuff in the early '70s you might see some familiar bikes, people, and racing sites now long gone.


Mr. Motorcycle said...

Very cool! Thank you for doing the video on YouTube. I've got to know whey there was a side car racer mixed amongst solo racers. Please do tell if you know the answer. I thought it was really cool the way he stood up and leaned with the rider/driver.

Funny, in 1970, the only racing I was doing was laying down a brown racing stripe in the inside of my diaper. That was the year I was born!

Thanks again Doug! Great post!

FLHX_Dave said...

Dude...that just simply kicked ass. Awesome! Thanks for that.

The story of the girl scoring the autograph was great. That was indeed just class. Don't see too much of that anymore now do you.

1970...I was 3. You are the old school Doug, lol! I meant that is a good way. I'm still trying to get through your other posts. That dude at the end of the vid looks like quite the ladies man. Life is pretty damn cool ain't it! Enjoyed this and thanks.

Jac Brown said...

Very good! Don't worry about the color, that's part of patina that makes it seem real.

I really like the sidecar guys too.

By the way, how are you converting your video tape to YouTube? Some program you are using yourself or sending it out?

Doug Klassen said...

Thanks for the comments, guys.

Mr. MC,

The course for the Elsinore GP was fairly long, several miles around so they'd put everyone on the track at once but staging the starts by rows, supposedly 10 seconds apart (See "On Any Sunday" for how well that worked). I believe the sidecar guys started from the back so by the time the bikes caught and lapped them everyone was well spaced out. Plenty of wide spots in the course too so passing wasn't a bit issue. Anyone who remembers this different from me is more than welcome to toss in their memories. After 39 years the details get a bit fuzzy for me. I always wanted to try the sidecar racing thing but never got it to happen. That hanging off the side and going fast looked like great fun.

Dave, the poor schmuck at the end was already married at 19 years old. No ladies man. Being a wild, lawless biker might have been a better choice at that point in my life.


I may re-edit the footage as I'm learning a bit about Adobe Premier Elements and what it can do including improve the colors slightly. The original super 8 movies were copied to VHS in the 1990s and now I'm using a combo VHS/DVD player to copy the VHS stuff to DVD. I'm then ripping the DVD onto my computer with some software called Magic DVD Ripper and then editing that file in Premiere Elements.

If I wasn't so lazy I'd "re-master" the old 8mm stuff again or pay 39 cents a foot to have it scanned into HiDef but that seems a bit much at this point although I may do just the Elsinore GP film because it's probably the most interesting of the stuff I shot.

I'm sorting through my other old racing stuff from my desert and MX days down in Sandy Eggo. I'm trying to figure out how to edit the footage to make me look faster than I really was. :-)


Mr. Motorcycle said...

Thanks for explaining the side car mixed up with the single rider thing. I was really confused as to how this could be a fair race. Now it makes perfect sense.

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