Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner,1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer

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Lot 243
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner
1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer

US$ 30,000 - 40,000
£ 22,000 - 29,000
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner
1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer

This Gold Star racer, with a works-prepared engine installed in a Clubmans roadracing chassis, was special-ordered by Hap Alzina, BSA's West Coast distributor, the goal being to win the biggest event of the day, the Daytona 200, still run on the old Beach Course. The pilot was Al Gunter, a top national- number rider, who promptly qualified on the pole, setting fastest time ahead of the factory Harley-Davidson team bikes. He came home second in the race owing to a slow pit stop, beaten only by defending national champion Joe Leonard.

Gunter's BSA had been selectively tweaked for Daytona. Its gas tank, at 5½gal., was slightly larger than stock issue to allow 100 miles of range so the race could be accomplished on just one pit stop. A set of heavy-duty Girling shocks originally intended for sidecar use dealt with the track's sandy, rutted corners. An RRT2 close-ratio gearbox meant the engine could be kept on the boil into and out of turns. Most important addition was a special Daytona air-intake system that placed the filter near the right rear shock, shielded from damaging sand spray by the rider's leg.

After the race the Gold Star was sold to prominent Los Angeles dealer Sir Kegian Motorcycles, so the owner's young son, Bobby Sirkegian, a successful teenage drag racer, could try his hand at AMA racing. The bike was entered in the 1958 Daytona 100-mile amateur race, where Bobby finished a very successful fourth place. The Gold Star's last race would come at the 1960 Ascot TT. Soon after, Sirkegian's father passed away and Bobby, just 20, hung up his leathers and took on day-to-day operations at the family's motorcycle dealerships. In storage for decades, the BSA was restored by Sirkegian himself in 2010, and was purchased by Harris soon after.

The Gold Star has an outstanding paper trail documenting its history. It runs beautifully, having recently been serviced by the Harris team, at which time a fresh set of period-looking tires was mounted, though the original Avon roadracing tires from Daytona will accompany the bike.

Footnotes

  • Offered on a Bill of Sale.
Contacts
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner,1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner,1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner,1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner,1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner,1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner,1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner,1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer
Ex-Al Gunter, the 1957 Daytona 200 pole winner,1957 BSA Gold Star Works Racer
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