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Back when I was 11 or 12 years old I used to call the local magazine store every month to find out if the latest issue of Cycle World magazine had arrived. It was my dream to become a professional motorcycle racer and as such I intently followed the exploits of men like Mert Lawill, Cal Rayborn, Gene Romero, Bart Markel and others. One guy who stood out and often on top was Gary Nixon. He could do things with Triumph motorcycles that no one else could, beating the factory H-D teams and others. Flat track, road racing, TT he could do it all. It's with great sadness that I post this and I hope somewhere he knows that at least one little kid who followed his exploits will never forget him.

http://www.motorcyclenews.com/MCN/N...ary-nixon-american-racing-legend-passes-away/
 

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When I ws younger and read CYCLE magazine I read a lot of his adventures racing the Waterbuffalo with Erv as his partner/engineer for Suzuki. Talk about making a silk purse out of a sows ear with that bike. Because of all of that my first big bike was a 74 GT750 waterbuffalo.
 

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Back in 1968 when I bought my first Bell Star helmet I had his trademark blue diamond painted on the top of it. Did not make me ride like Nixon, but at least I could pretend to be him. I don't think that I fooled anyone with my Hodaka Ace 90 however.
 

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I met Gary here in Daytona back in the 60's at my Buddy Lig Birch's Triumph-BSA dealership. Damn that man could ride! To get the #1 plate in AMA racing you had to ride short track, 1/2 mile dirt, mile dirt, TT and road race! He could do it all!! Gonna miss #9!!
 

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Gary Nixon

I am very sadened to learn of the passing of one of the truly great flat track and road racing legends of our time. I have fond memories of seeing Gary Nixon race at the Orange County Fair grounds in upstate New York back in the sixties. My Dad who rode a Triumph Bonnieville use to take us kids to the fair grounds to watch the flat track races. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, I watched Mr. Nixon dominate the field and win the 1/2 mile expert class beating Denny and Larry Palmgren and The Flying Farmer,George Roader. Mr. Nixon won by the length of the front straight that afternoon. When Al Knapp ( The starter ) handed Mr. Nixon the checkered flag,he tucked it under this right arm and proceeded to ride a wheelie around the entire length of the track !. The crowd went wild.. I was in awe.That day has been forever etched into my mind.. His white and blue Triumph and matching helmet reflected in the sunlight .I can still see him sliding sideways through the corners, the dirt flying as his steal shoe slid along the track, tucked in across the tank his left hand holding on the front fork tube,his right hand holding the throttle wide open, running flat out ! He was the best !
Thank you Mr Nixon.It was an honor to watch you race... Rest in peace...
 
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