The early to mid 1980s were a battlefield in a horsepower war between the Japanese manufacturers.
Most of those manufacturers found racer Jay “Pee Wee” Gleason to be a big help when they needed to set the absolute fastest time at a drag racing track (and because Terry Vance refused to do it). Gleason was very small and very fast.
He cranked out fast times for nearly all of the manufacturers, but the marketing campaign that started it all was Honda’s incredible V65 Magna TV ad. Filmed at Orange County International Raceway, it remains a iconic and touchstone TV ad for the motorcycle industry today.
Gleason passed away last weekend.