The Start of the Crocker Motorcycle

The story of the Crocker motorbike begins in 1882 with the birth of Albert Crocker. We only know a little about his earlier childhood days, yet the story significantly picks up with his college studies in engineering at the University of Illinois and subsequent recruiting by Aurora Automatic Machine Company in Aurora, Illinois, inside the style and design department of the bike division. They have been making the mighty Thor motorbike back then, and Crocker wasn’t merely employed for his engineering acumen, but also doubled as a competition race player from season’s 1907 to 1908 and earned more than a few competitions on top its V-twin powered machines. It is known that he befriended Oscar Hedstrom and George Hendee, concepts of the Indian Motorcycle Co., throughout his racing endeavors, resulting in a long friendship.

As outlined by “The Iron Redskin”, Crocker resigned from Thor in 1909 and worked fro Indian. He was assigned in San Francisco to take care of the parts department of the manufacturing plant under the direction of “Hop” Hopkins, a noted bike figure of the day. The plant relocated him to Denver ten years after as branch manager; and in 1924 was sent to Kansan City to manage the Indian dealership there. He continued to distribute motorbikes across the State. He married Gertrude Jefford Hasha in 1925, widow of the famous racer Eddie Hasha, and alongside they gone to Los Angeles several years later to take on the old Freed Cycle Company. In combination with servicing and selling motorbikes, he produced an equipment shop within the industry and offered Indian with crankpins and other small machined parts.

A racer and engineer in his own right, Paul Bigsby, become a member of the shop as a foreman. Both men shared an appreciation of design, motorcycles, and bike racing. Flat track racing started to grow, and they both designed a single-cylinder Speedway racer to contend in this category of bike racing. Estimates contrast on the total number of Speedway racer motorcycles made, however the agreed number is apparently somewhere in 30 and 40.

Crocker and Bigsby proceeded to produce the popular Crocker V-twin later on in the 1930s, which gained good popularity from those who owned or operated or competed with them. These days, they are the other Holy Grail of bike collectors. Bigsby also obtained fame away from bike community with non-bike relevant items.

he motorcycle featured here is a 1933 Crocker Speedway Racer owned by Jerry Gendreau of Illinois. This bike and 33 others enhance the Iron Horse Social Club, prominent bar/museum and biker heaven in town. Jerry gotten serious about classic bikes in the past after reading textbooks linked to vintage speed bikes . He currently owns flat trackers, hill climbers, drag racers, whatever. Jerry can locate the owner of this bikes back to Sam Parriott, a noted racer and motorcycle enthusiast. Jerry has a 1948 picture of Sam with this particular motorcycle and a Crocker twin at the Rosemont, California, dry lakes, where the motorcycle set a speed record of 120 mile per hour, and also the twin set a speed record of 129.49 mph. That’s just amazing!

Jerry obtained the bike about fifteen years ago at the AMCA bike meet in Iowa, from Glen Bator, who had renovated it before. The bike is equipped with a 500cc,30-112″, over head valve, single-cylinder engine that puts out approximately 40 hp. Jerry’s racer still keeps some of its original paint, and yes it appears like its moving 100 miles-per-hour simply fixed on its frame. He’s very proud of its historical past, and the fact that it’s a rare motorcycle just adds to its magic.

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