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Dennis DeGonia
Advanced Member

USA
53 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2020 :  6:30:30 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John Cobb/Cobb engineering
Found the name in an old service
manual that came with a Piner parts
bike I picked up today. D

Paul Danik
Advanced Member

2987 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2020 :  6:42:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Dennis,

John Cobb was the service manager for Penton Research & Development ( R & D ) before he left that position to open his own shop, Cobb Engineering.

If you open the link below and scroll down to the forth page, John is in the photo of Penton Research & Development employees, back row far right.

John is also shown in another photo with the caption stating that he is inspecting a cylinder.

http://www.pentonusa.org/publications/keepingtrack/No.%201%20December1972.pdf

Sadly John passed away a number of years ago. The last time I saw him was at VMD when he came to the POG tent to check on John and say hi to all of his old friends. One can not say enough good things about Johnny Cobb, he was one heck of a mechanic and an even better person.

You found a great link to Johnny Cobb / Penton history, glad you asked the question

Paul


Edited by - Paul Danik on 03/25/2020 6:48:08 PM
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Dennis DeGonia
Advanced Member

USA
53 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2020 :  7:38:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Paul. I don't know what the guy that owned the bike had done to it, or if the work was done by John. There is just the phone number and the name jotted down in the manual. There is a page in the manual that shows some work done in Feb. of '74. Also shows the bike bought new in June of '73. Frame indicates it's a Nov. '72 bike. Looks like there was some port work and the head was machined at that time. He also installed some Koni's at that time. Guy I got it from said it was left in a building that his parents bought and the guy that owned the building told them they could have anything he left there. They believe that he passed some time ago in Fla. Nothing in the manual that indicated where the bike came from. Looks like it was used to MX as there is no indication of lights ever being on it. The person I got it from said there were several trophies in the building but they didn't keep them. It has a AMA sticker on it and some numbers on the plate. Wonder if a person could chase down the rider with that info? Guess I enjoy the history as much as I do the bikes. D
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Mike Rosso
Advanced Member

USA
100 Posts

Posted - 03/25/2020 :  8:27:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
It has a AMA sticker on it and some numbers on the plate. Wonder if a person could chase down the rider with that info? Guess I enjoy the history as much as I do the bikes. D


This may be possible but a long stretch and will take some research of old pro racing results. If the AMA sticker is a small square or similar that was something AMA Pro Racing would put on a number plated (usually the front # plate) once a bike passed pre-race tech inspection. Also AMA rules specified certain size and font numbers so if they look professional then it's worth searching and should be a lot of fun. I love the hunt too it is more fun than anything with vintage bikes, cars etc., Good luck and why not post a photo or two and have the POG members help...we all love to research and hunt too.
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Carl Hill
Advanced Member

USA
264 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2020 :  06:18:59 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I recall as a kid back in the 70s Cobb had a reputation for building some fast Pentons .
Some years later I met a Mr. Cobb, folks called him “Turp” I believe (a brother maybe?). A nice guy who shared a lot of stories about Penton in the early days, and racing. Said that after an Inter-AM event in Ohio he invited the European riders to his house for dinner. He said there was some drinking involved and watching drunk Czech riders playing pool on a warped table was hilarious. I can only imagine...
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Al Martin
Advanced Member

USA
71 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2020 :  10:04:54 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I always thought Dane had the neatest/cleanest shop until my dad & I went to Johns shop to get some used truck wheels my dad had bought from him. The place was spotless & John was wearing a white lab coat like a doctor would wear. And yes he did build some fast bikes....
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Dennis DeGonia
Advanced Member

USA
53 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2020 :  10:59:32 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Will have to look closely at the porting of the cyl. when the motor comes apart. D
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paul a. busick
Advanced Member

USA
252 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2020 :  8:01:03 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
John Cobb was a top machinist, this ability helped greatly with his tuning. About his clean shop. It was said, that if you brought a bike to his shop, it had better be clean. If not, John would tell the customer in no uncertain terms-to get that filthy thing off his property. As to Turp Cobb, he was his brother. Turp has or had (have not stop there lately) a small shop shop in Lorain, Ohio. He offered service on just about anything that was internal combustion as well as machine work and welding. John closed his shop and went south, the last I knew is was working in a marina. The last time I saw John was at Midohio during the vintage days. Those of us that knew him, really miss him. Rest easy John. Amherst Paul
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rob w
Advanced Member

USA
3053 Posts

Posted - 03/26/2020 :  9:45:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Unstuck stickie 1 3/4 x 2 1/2" - picture-> https://photos.app.goo.gl/pPU5CNincW7ep8F19

Edited by - rob w on 03/27/2020 04:18:57 AM
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metalkfab
Advanced Member

USA
317 Posts

Posted - 03/27/2020 :  11:01:47 AM  Show Profile  Visit metalkfab's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Bought a 1974 Berkshire in the spring of '74.Raced & Rode that Berk every weekend and decided to HOP IT UP.Took the cylinder and head to Cobb with a first over piston.Cobb Machined the head,Ported the cylinder,but REFUSED to Bore to first oversize.Made me take back the first over Piston to Penton Bros. Honda and just get new rings for the original piston.Said it didn't need to be bored.I listened to the Man and assembled the Berk with he'shandy work, Bored Carb. and Modified Pipe,(per Penton Specs). BEAT my brothers New 1975 Suzuki RM125 in drag races and top end speed runs. Damm !
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Paul Danik
Advanced Member

2987 Posts

Posted - 03/28/2020 :  10:43:26 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Greetings,

John Cobb had a column in the Penton owners newsletter " Keeping Track", titled " Lets do it right". If you click on the link below and scroll down you will see his column.

http://www.pentonusa.org/publications/keepingtrack/No.%202%20January%201973.pdf

It is interesting to note that the issue of Keeping Track that was scanned for this website's publication library was initially sent to McClelland Cycle Center in Grove City, Pa.

The first time I visited his shop with Augie it was just a little Hodaka dealership in a converted 1 car garage next to his home. As the years went on he became a Penton / Husky dealership and built a state of the art building to house it. Don passed away at a young age and the dealership is long gone, but whenever I travel past the building
fond memories of Don and his wonderful wife are still fresh in my mind.

Paul

Edited by - Paul Danik on 03/28/2020 10:45:12 AM
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