Monday, March 8, 2010

A Lost Opp

The year, 1993. I was at the El Camino Vintage MC Show checking out the bikes when a quiet elderly gentleman near a restored Harley VL For Sale, commented to me, "I didn't know they were so valuable now... I guess I better go home and put a lock on the garage."

The bike he was commenting on. I believe the price was about $10k.

He went on to say that he use to race VL's, still had a few plus a garage full of VL parts. He then said there was a picture of him taking a jump in Harry Sucher's The Milwaukee Marvel book. I told him I had the book and knew the photo he spoke of. We talked briefly and he handed me a card with his contact info.

Of course I knew this photo... It's so cool. The year stated is likely incorrect. There are some other similar jump photos in the book on the same course and by the same photographer, but dated 1948. Also, the rear wheel is a 16" and they weren't available until the '40s.

I should have struck when the iron was hot. As time passed, I felt more uncomfortable about contacting an elderly man that I really didn't know.

I'd guess he has long since passed and I blew a unique opportunity to learn some M/C history first hand. Still, it was nice to have met and chat with one of M/C's old timers.

Anybody out there who knew Don Fera, know what happened to him, or his bikes?