Monday, March 15, 2010


By Martina Rua

"Ignacio Acebedo Sigrand (31), never imagined that the curiosity which led him to type the name of his maternal grandfather on his computer, would plunge him into the greatest adventure of his life.

In May 2008, bored in bed from a knee operation, Ignacio reflected how little he knew of the life of his grandfather, Roberto Sigrand, whose history belonged to a family past silenced from a bad relationship with his grandfather one of his sons.  He wrote Sigrand's name into a search engine. To the surprise of Ignacio, the name appeared on several sites, but one especially caught his attention.
"I found a blog from an American collector of motorcycles [The Vintagent] and saw my grandfather Roberto mounted to a motorcycle. I felt the urgent need to move towards that history, with the help of my aunt and my mother, who knew this bike, the Zenith SUPER KIM.   My grandfather had reached 250 km per hour resulting in the 30 South American speed records",  enthused Acebedo. But the powerful machine was lost after the death of Sigrand in1974 when the factory where the bike was displayed was sold, and the trail was lost.
Acebedo began a regular exchange of emails with Paul d'Orleans, American collector and the blog owner, who suggested the information about the history of the SUPER KIM was very valuable. "I immediately rejected that idea because the motivations were never profitable, but sought to give birth to the family history and know the bike," he says. This surprised d'Orleans and gave him the confidence to reveal that he had sold in 2002 to one of the largest collections of motorcycles in Germany and acted as intermediary to generate a match.

During these months of research he discovered that Roberto Ignacio Sigrand was anything but an ordinary man, "Born at sea in 1908, he grew up in Argentina, Bolivia and Paris, fell in love with an athlete who he saw in a magazine and chased her to France and married her, faced down PerĂ³n, went into exile in Chile and made history in national and global motorcycling, " he says, pointing to an old photo album with clippings from the 30s and 40 in Argentina. Months of emails back and forth with photos, videos and documents, then Ignacio decided to take a trip to Austria. The new owner of 'Super Kim', a German billionaire (who asked to remain anonymous for security), agreed to restore it to running condition and display it, in exchange for having the incredible story behind the motorcycle. "I met with the bike and first met my grandfather. It was an indescribable feeling, very intense and moving, not only the sound of an engine after 75 years standing,  it was a relief, a powerful cry."

The intervention of technology in family history Acebedo was so basic and essential. "The Internet, blogs, information exchanges with Europe and North America were the key to this reunion, the technology was vital and today we are all very happy," Acebedo closes.

A family's past and a history as fascinating as the most amazing novels, could have been veiled for ever, but the SUPER KIM insisted on living to roar again, 75 years later. "

[Thanks to Jorge Pullin for sending the  link!   Check out the original, with video, here.

If you want to read more about the amazing saga of 'Super Kim' and the Sigrand family, follow these posts.

The story of 'Super Kim' will continue on the Vintagent.  Ignacio has sent a mountain of information, which I am in the process of sorting, and will be shared here.  Stay tuned!]