12th September 2014

Mind that bump…

The phrase ‘Balls of Steel’ is bandied about too much, we think, but this chap…

His name was Rollie Free, and he was an American motorbike racer. This picture was taken on the Bonneville Salt Flats in 1948. Rollie was trying to break the American motorbike speed record, and thought that his leather racing suit was too bulky and slowing him down. So he stripped off to his Speedos, a shower cap and a pair of sneakers and laid horizontal on the bike, and he DID IT. He broke the record with a top speed of 150.313 mph.

The bike was a beautiful machine – a Vincent Lightning (a tuned Vincent Black Shadow), but its definitely Rollie who’s the hero of this shot.