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 Remembering Hall of Famer Leroy Winters
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

2794 Posts

Posted - 09/14/2018 :  04:22:56 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

What a nice surprise it was to see the piece in the October issue of American Motorcyclist on Hall of Famer Leroy Winters. It is nice that each month American Motorcyclist does a piece on one of the Hall of Fame members.

I always have to laugh at the story one of Leroy's daughters told me many years ago. Not long after the Penton came about Leroy and his family were at an event and she saw John riding on his Penton. After she observed John riding his Penton she said she walked up to her dad and asked him why his name wasn't on his motorcycle We were at a reunion ride many years ago when she told me that story and we both laughed quite a while when she shared that memory.

The piece in American Motorcyclist refers to Leroy as the "Arkansas Traveler" from an April of 1955 article, never knew of that nickname for Leroy.

Al Born told me a cool Leroy story as well. Seems Leroy had bought a pretty hot car and drove it to Amherst, I think Al said it was a Shelby GT500. Leroy tucked a $ 100.00 bill on the top of the dash and told Al that if he could grab the $ 100.00 bill as he ran the car thru the gears he could have it.....Al said Leroy had nothing to worry about as he was pinned to his seat till Leroy let off the gas.

I have to think that when Leroy and Al were together it must have been quite a time.

Paul

Edited by - Paul Danik on 09/14/2018 04:36:38 AM

Tom Penton
Advanced Member

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 09/16/2018 :  2:39:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit Tom Penton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Yes, Shelby GT500. Leroy gave me a ride also (in Ft. Smith). He didn't offer me the same challenge, although me being a wiry youth, he may have deemed it too risky! In Leroy's favor: the 5 point seatbelt harness pinning the passenger back....

Restless as he was, Leroy traded the Shelby for a Lamborghini, which I also rode in. He was remorseful, and I agreed: The Shelby was much cooler!

Tom Penton
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skiracer
Advanced Member

USA
1098 Posts

Posted - 09/17/2018 :  11:24:36 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great story Paul! I had to laugh reading it, because I too had a similar experience; my cousin's husband was a real motor head, and he came to our house in a 66 Vet, 327, 350HP and gave me, then 10 years old, that same challenge, to which I failed to grab the cash. I was never into fast cars, but that ride is one I will never forget......

1976 MC 5 Original Owner
1976 Penton 175 XC
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t20sl
Advanced Member

USA
744 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  08:13:04 AM  Show Profile  Send t20sl a Yahoo! Message  Reply with Quote
I remember somewhere back around 1964*1966 Leroy rode a Honda s-90 in the Little Burr 250 mile national enduro in Ohio. It started at a clubgrounds just south of Columbus, OH. There was usually about 20-25 miles of road at start and finish because it was that far to the good trails in the hills of southern OH. If I remember correctly it was a white Honda. Anyway when scores were posted he had WON against all the big bikes. Well almost. He was disqualified because he hit the last check over 15 minutes early. He told dad that with the large sporcket on the rear he thought he would never get that early.
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johnborn
Advanced Member

USA
171 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  12:40:54 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
My dad also raced a modified s90 from 66 until March of 68 when the Penton was introduced. He did quite well on his Honda also.i have his Honda now and when I look at it ,I cannot imagine racing it in the woods.

Edited by - johnborn on 09/18/2018 12:41:47 PM
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firstturn
Advanced Member

4246 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  2:48:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John Born your Father and I discussed many times his S90 and the days when he raced it. He was a Great Racer and a wonderful Person.

Ron Carbaugh

Edited by - firstturn on 09/18/2018 2:48:46 PM
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skiracer
Advanced Member

USA
1098 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2018 :  6:49:40 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The S90 was my first bike! It came with a high pipe, and it gave me many hours of fun!!!

1976 MC 5 Original Owner
1976 Penton 175 XC
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wfopete
Advanced Member

533 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  07:33:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
1960's in Arkansas; not exactly the ideal wealth capital in the country. Can anyone tell me what Leroy did for a living to allow him GT500s and Lamborghinis and a pocket with $100 bills in it?

Pete Petrick
175 Jackpiner
Slow but Good
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Boyd Riggs
Senior Member

USA
35 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  10:46:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I watched the Leroy Winters 30th Anniversary ISDT 1973 reunion ride last night. It can be found on You Tube television.
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fischercycle
Advanced Member

158 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2018 :  11:34:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
TO, MR. WOLF, LEROY SOLD PORSCHE LAMBORGHINI AND BENTLEY AS A SIDE LINE , BESIDE HIS REGULAR JOB AS INVESTMENT BROKER FOR J.P.
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wfopete
Advanced Member

533 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2018 :  06:43:01 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
^^^ Fascinating ^^^

Pete Petrick
175 Jackpiner
Slow but Good
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

2794 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2018 :  08:12:49 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

The link below will hopefully take you to Leroy's AMA Hall of Fame bio. I do believe that Leroy's shop was called Leroy's Cycle Shack and that he was a Honda dealer, and possibly more brands as well. If my memory is correct, I have heard tales of how Leroy's work stands in his service department were chromed, possibly my mind is playing tricks on me....if so please correct me.

I also remember the story of how Leroy would stop in a creek near the end of the day at the ISDT to give his bike a wash before impounding, surely only if he was on time or early... Al Born used to tell of how at the end of an event Leroy would usually look cleaner than most guys did when they started.

http://www.motorcyclemuseum.org/halloffame/detail.aspx?RacerID=294

Paul
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Kevin Grimes
Advanced Member

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2018 :  12:58:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Paul asked if I could add anything to the Leroy GT500 story so I'm looking back 50 years hoping to be accurate.
I remember Leroy had long line of really neat cars, there was a custom Studebaker pickup, Shelby GT500, Lamborghini Miura, Pantera, and a NSX.

The 1967 Shelby was dark blue in color and had a special Arkansas license number GT500. "Leroy's Cycle Shack" was painted across the rear spoiler in Asian font. Under the hood was a set of musical air horns that played La Cucaracha. I remember Leroy doing a massive burn out in front of his house one day to impress all of the neighborhood kids
.
Gunnar Lindstrom has a great story about a wild ride in the GT500.
Leroy took Gunnar on a high speed run through the Arkansas back roads at night. When they hit a pot hole the headlights went out which caused Gunnar to panic, Leroy calmly assured him not to worry the next pot hole they hit the lights will come back on and they did. He went on to explain a loose fuse was a very familiar problem.

Leroy gave the Shelby away to his head mechanic as a Christmas present. Later, much to Leroy's chagrin the car was traded in on a small economy car either a Honda or Volkswagen.

Kevin

Edited by - Kevin Grimes on 09/20/2018 1:00:47 PM
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Tom Penton
Advanced Member

USA
57 Posts

Posted - 09/20/2018 :  1:56:47 PM  Show Profile  Visit Tom Penton's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Paul, Re: Leroy's Cycle Shack. You can ask brother Jack about the .22 caliber hole in the floor (or was it ceiling?)

Tom Penton
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

2794 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2018 :  06:29:23 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Kevin, thanks for the additional information. In thinking back to all of the stories and information that you have provided over the years about Leroy and his accomplishments and escapades, I am sure you could write a book about him, and if you ever do....I would certainly like a copy The "Leroy tribute Penton" that you built is a beautiful machine and it speaks volumes of your respect and admiration of him, as well as to your incredible workmanship and attention to detail.

The link below will hopefully take you to a photo of the Leroy tribute Penton that Kevin built. The photo is from the 2005 VMD POG display. Be sure to click on the arrow on the top right to see more photos of this incredible machine as there are about 20....if you have any questions about it just ask as I am sure Kevin will be honored and pleased to answer any and all questions.

http://www.pentonusa.org/GalleryServerPro/default.aspx?moid=4133&hr=1


Tom, I will certainly have to ask Jack about the bullet hole...possibly during the "ask the experts" segment of the next POG meeting. I would think asking that question would surely lead to a 15 minute Leroy Winters focused story telling time...

John has said at different times that he and Leroy were as close as brothers, and in some of the photos I have seen from "back in the
day" with the two of them together, they always seemed to be having a good time. I guess if there was a photo of Leroy "customizing" the insides of the airbox of his Penton during the first outing of those machines as John looked on, it may have looked differently !! John always has a good laugh when ever that story comes up, as it did once again at the last POG meeting.

I would like to once again thank Bill Smith for all of the absolutely wonderful photos that he has taken over the years that have captured many special POG moments and items of interest, including the Leroy tribute machine photos... THANK YOU Bill Smith....

Paul

Edited by - Paul Danik on 09/23/2018 9:08:57 PM
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Kevin Grimes
Advanced Member

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 09/23/2018 :  11:15:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Paul, thanks for the kind words. I have built several Leroy replicas, my favorite is the 69 ISDT Penton that was on display during the 2008 Vintage Days. There is several pictures on the photo page.

I'll try to add to the Leroy saga by telling the Lamborghini story, stay tuned.
Kevin
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