Manx Norton at Daytona, 1948

Parting Shots

| March/April 2010

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, it seems. Carefully draining fuel into a gas can is Clarence Czysz, a top Norton tuner in the years following World War II. The location is Daytona and the Daytona Beach Course, and the year is 1948.

Clarence was also the grandfather of Michael Czysz, who made waves a few years back as the creator of the MotoCzysz C1 990, which he’d hoped to campaign in MotoGP. With its unorthodox, counter-rotating dual-crankshaft inline four, it was a radical departure from convention. Unfortunately, a rules change limiting engine capacity to 800cc rendered the 990cc C1 inegligible to race. 

Leaning over Clarence’s Manx Norton is rider Don Evans, who went on to win the Amateur 100-miler aboard the Norton that day, even after taking out the race’s starter, AMA official Jim Davis. Davis was hit by Evans’ crashing bike just as Evans was taking the checkered flag. Ironically, that was Davis’ only serious injury from racing. Davis had retired from racing in the mid-1930s after a highly successful career, including six national titles in 1928. Davis was instrumental in forming the motorcycle division of the Ohio State Highway Patrol.

Michael is still pioneering, and will race his latest creation, the electric-powered E1pc, in the first-ever  TTXGP zero emission race at California’s Infineon Raceway in May.

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