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Sturgis Museum, Antique of the Month--The Malcolm Gold Medal Husqvarna

From Swedish Arms to On Any Sunday

By Christine Paige Diers, with photos from the Sturgis Museum and the Bob T. collection
12/13/2011


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While he might be best known for his co-starring role in a 40 year-old movie, Malcolm Smith has an amazing history of racing and riding.
 

One of the world’s premier off-road motorcycle racers, Malcolm has participated in races all over the world – mostly off-road and endurance races. He won eight gold medals between 1966 and 1976 in the International Six Day Trials, the European cross-country event considered the Olympics of motorcycling. This motorcycle is the one that carried Malcolm to the gold medal in 1967. It’s a 1967 Husqvarna 250 that was built for Malcolm to ride in that race.

 


Husqvarna was originally a Swedish arms manufacturer that also built bicycles. The company started building motorcycles using NSU and FN engines in 1903, then began designing and building its own engines in 1920. Following World War II, Husqvarna concentrated on making small displacement off-road motorcycles using a two-stroke engine it developed in the 1930s. Husqvarna is now a division of BMW.




Malcolm Smith’s talent on two-wheels earned him a co-starring role in Bruce Brown’s 1970’s classic motorcycle epic, On Any Sunday with Steve McQueen. The movie showed people just how fun motorcycling could be and helped launch an explosion in the popularity of off-road motorcycling in America.

 
 


Malcolm now splits his time between Malcolm Smith Motorsports, a large motorcycle dealership and off-road accessory store in his hometown of Riverside, California, and his Sunshine Ranch high in the mountains of Colorado near St. Elmo.

 



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Reader Comments


I loved it, brought back lots of memories. I got my Motorcycling start in the dirt, and I loved this movie when it came out. My favorite scene in the movie is where Malcolm rides up an embankment and coasts back down backwards and takes off again without ever putting his feet down.

There were several Motorcycle Movies in the '70s that I liked, my favorite I can't remember the title but it was about a Viet Nam Vet riding his war buddies (Lenny) chopper named "Baby" across country to try to find Lenny's friend Red to get him to come to his memorial service.

The chopper was stretched out with 3 headlights (cool Bike) in the end the guy gets killed and the memorial service is for both of them. I would like to build a modern version of that same chop. There was also a series "Then Came Bronson" that I had to watch every episode.

Thanks for the memories!!!

Doug Davenport
Fridley, MN
Friday, December 16, 2011
Editor Response You bet, we'll keep 'em coming.
--Wilburn Roach

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