1976 Loudon AMA National Images
images by Pete Hobday

Loudon: a race where riders sometimes identified corners by the size of the car fire in the background. Reader Pete Hobday took these photos at the 1976 Loudon AMA event. Once the largest and oldest motorcycle race in the country, Loudon had a vibrant club scene which pushed several east coast riders to factory level status. Here, Jay Springsteen--yes he roadraced--tours the infamous Loudon countryside.

Dunlop's Tony Mills stands with Springsteen's Harley-Davidson 250 roadracer, which is wearing a Goodyear on the back. The four-wheeled cruise vessel in the background featured a rear seat area so vast that it seemed like you were in another room.

Mike Baldwin on the Guzzi, a Reno Leoni tuned bike. Yes, the original Superbike class was so production that they raced with tail lights. Loudon's vibrant club racing scene gave us, among others, Five time F1 champion Baldwin, Kevin Cameron, Rich Schlachter and many other top level people. Also: Yes, people willingly dressed this way in 1976.

Baldwin puts Reno's Guzzi into the dirt. Thankfully he didn't have to use the clearly adequate safety measures located later in the corner. Loudon was infamous for 'Animal Hill', which was '70s debauchery and hooliganism at its finest, with 'Ballroom Blitz' cranked on the AM radio.

Judging by the gauge on the second cylinder, it's time to time the ignition on the HD 250. Today, of course, that's accomplished with a few keystrokes on a laptop. Fine, it isn't. Note that the rear shocks on this bike were mounted upside down, which was the 'cause celebre' in '76 for a while with some tuners.


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