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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jack Prince

Above is an illustration I made of Jack Prince with the Evilgoods Key.

Pioneers of American Motorcycle Racing

by Daniel K. Statnekov

The foremost promoter of circular, wooden speedways built in the United States was a famous English bicycle racer with the imposing name of John Shillington Prince. Born in the industrial city of Coventry in 1859, Prince grew up in the age of the high-wheel bicycle. From the very beginning "Jack" Prince was fascinated by the two-wheelers, and soon after learning to ride, he began to race. By 1880, the 21 year-old Englishman was considered a world champion.

In 1889, Prince left England to represent British cycle interests in the wildly expanding American marketplace. To establish himself, the 30 year-old English champion resumed bicycle racing in America. At a celebrated race in Omaha, Nebraska, Prince won a match race that was billed as the high-wheel championship of the world. Shortly thereafter, he gave up selling English bicycles and went into business as a promoter of bicycle velodromes.

By 1909, Prince had expanded his endeavors to include board tracks designed for motorcycle racing, such as the Los Angeles Coliseum, as well as larger tracks for automobiles. The larger tracks, such as the one Prince built in 1910 at Playa del Rey, were granted sanctions for a limited number of major car races. Consequently, track operators would also stage motorcycle races to generate additional revenue.

1 comment:

  1. In 1905, Prince promoted a velodrome bicycle race at the Horse Show Building here in Richmond, VA. The track was modeled after Madison Square Garden's velodrome. One of the races was a motorcycle pursuit race.