November 23, 2009

Joe Petrali’s Harley Davidson CAC Classic Racer


Photo: American Motorcyclist Assoc

Motorcycle racer Joe Petrali, also known as “Smokin’ Joe” to others, left a huge mark in the world of motorcycles.  His career in motorcycles spanned from the mid 20’s on into the mid to late 30’s riding in everything from board track races, dirt track races, land speed records to hillclimbs. Joe is part of the AMA motorcycle Hall of Fame and a full account of his successes are available to read.

One of Joe’s motorcycles is on display at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Museum.  Below are a few pictures of one of his CAC racers.  In showing these photos to Matt Walksler of Wheels Through Time museum, he noticed something and pointed it out to me.  Most of the old photos show a double down tube and the one on display has a single down tube.  Were there 2 racing Harley motorcycles? Or maybe just 2 different chassis?

Click on the photos below for the full size photos – They’re kind of big but good quality pictures!!

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Comments on Joe Petrali’s Harley Davidson CAC Classic Racer

[…] was just reading an article in Classic American Iron from a year ago posing a question about one of Joe Petrali’s flat track race bikes. […]