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Muddiest MX ever?? - Can you spot Hannah??

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Edited Note: Original print scans were replaced with the negative scans.

I attended the TransAMA race in St. Peters MO in 1977. I was also at Unadilla in 1987 at the MXDN. Both were very wet but there was no comparison as to which was the biggest mudder. Can you name the riders and their brand of bike? I had enough trouble while I was standing there although these should be fairly easy, except for one. Good Luck!!

BTW I was a photographer for a local midwest racing newspaper at the time. We used a monobath process to quickly print B&W photos. Using a monobath process meant the prints were not fixed and therefore were not permanent. Most of the pictures I have left from this era are fading away and are very brown looking. Thank God I have the negatives but my scanner doesn't have the ability to scan negatives so what you see has been heavily processed by Picture It!.

St.jpg

StPeters772.jpg

StPeters773.jpg

StPeters774.jpg

StPeters775.jpg

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Hmmm,,, :cry:

I go with

1) Marty Tripes, team honda OOps- tripes is on his "Built to Go". that means the other picture probalby isn't Pomroy either? Help!

2) Jimmy Ellis, team Can-Am

3) This is the one I don't know about, how about Jim Pomroy on the left and Danny Laporte main photo? :cry:

4) Bob Hannah, Team Yamaha

5) Buck Murphy, Team Can-Am

Cool picks, unreal deep mud, you should take your negetives to a wolf photo shop and save 'em before its too late. Awsome. :cry:

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The old newspaper was printed on cheap paper with a high acid content. The issues I have left are about as brown and low contrast as the prints and starting to crumble. I will have to see if I have the issue concerning this race. I am at work right now and will do a search later. I will post the real idenities later today and the results if I can find them. I do know the winner but if I tell you the winner now it will give away one of the riders pictured, which you are incorrect on. :cry:

So far:

1) Incorrect, this is not Marty Tripes.

2) Correct - Jimmy Ellis, team Can-Am - This was during practice before they completely eliminated the hills.

3) Incorrect - I am only sure on one of the riders.

4) Correct - Bob Hannah, Team Yamaha - The way I remembered the scene for this picture; One of the Japanese Yamaha riders was stuck up to his knees in practice. Hannah came to his rescue and rode/pushed the bike out of the muck.

5) Incorrect - right bike wrong rider. This is the tough one. I can tell you he did have a factory ride at the time.

My negatives were fixed and still look perfect. Properly processed film will last more than a lifetime. At some point I will have to make some scans from the negatives. I have quite a few good ones as I attended at least 7 or 8 big time MX races during this era with press pass in hand. :cry:

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Okay, I'll give it a go:

1. Jim Pomeroy

2. Ellis

3. Tony D

4. Hannah

5. Tough one. The only Can-Am rider I remember from the era is Ellis, but I know that's not him...Mosier maybe?

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Oh you are abusing us well. For a self profesed "expert" I am failing miserably.

O.K., first off yes I must concede I blew it on #1, yes I would have to agree with Pomroy. '77 would seem to be his last year on a Bull.

But that last Can-Am rider,,,,,,, although he was listed as having been a factory rider in '78 it could only be Rich Eirstedt or the very slim outside possiblity it could be Mike Runyard, but I doubt that, I'll stick with Rich. (looking at the picture again, that is Rich's riding style. If it's not him, wow, then I got no clue and I'm an old Can-Am guy (Used to have a '79 175cc Q2 and worked at a CA shop for a few months.)

Tony D.? Yeah could be, but it doesn't look like him, maybe cause of his mud gear? Just doesnt' look like his style. Maybe it's Stackable, looks kinda tall from the back. And I'm going to place my bet on him for the win. He has a lot of forward momentum compared to anyone else.

Could that be Marty Smith left on #3?

Good trivia, cant' wait to get the answers. You have given me an idea. i'm going to dig out the old National photo box and start a readers best national picture set. I'll bet we get some good ones never seen before. :cry:

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That had to be the coolest frikin race in the world to see. My buddy was at Unadilla '87, I think this was way worse. I've never seen a magazine write up on this race as it was the fringe of when I was getting into MX and didn't really understand it yet. Love to see anything else ya got. Thanks!!! :cry:

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I was at St. Peters in '77 where these pics came from and I was also at Unadilla in '87. St. Peters was far worse. At least at Unadilla they could still ride the whole track! :cry::cry:

Trivia_01.jpg

The reason for this was the layout and location of the St. Peters track. It was built on the edge of the bluff that emptied onto the Missouri River flood plain. Most of the track including the starting line was at the bottom of the bluff so water had no where to go but down onto the flood plain which meant the majority of the track. Your earlier post of Kenny Zarht from above was proof of how wet it was. On top of this the soil was normally a rich black loam. Once this stuff was saturated with water and blended by knobbies there was a 6" to a knee deep glop of mud to try and ride thru all the way around the track and there were mini lakes between the whoops.

I remember during practice seeing riders trying to wallow up the bluff with the extra weight of all the mud and poor traction. It was impossible, guys were flopping all over the place. The picture of Ellis is taken as he is walking his bike down one of the hills. You can see how tired and muddy he was and this was only practice. Most of the riders skipped practice and I swore there was no way they were going to race. After a riders meeting they changed the track and eliminated all but the majority of the flat parts. This left the wettest part of the track in play.

Even with all the rain there was quite a large crowd in attendance. I remember at the start of the first moto I positioned myself in the first turn which then bent 90 degrees away from me and then snaked off to my right and out of sight behind the crowd. It was quite a sight to see 40 of the fastest riders in the world coming right at you with a furious roar only they were going in slow motion as their rear tires found near zeto traction. I had to take cover as they went out of the turn from the wall of mud being thrown around. See picture 3. After the pack cleared and I came out from my hiding place I was amazed to see rooster tails of mud being thrown up 10 feet in the air above the crowd on the far side of the track. This was a race of endurance and it was crazy but something I will always remember.

The correct answers will be posted soon.

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Your unidentified rider in #3 must either by Smith or Karsmaker, who else was on a fire engine then? (that is definately a factory Honda) Oh,,,, how bout Tommy Croft, yeah, could be him too, but by posture and silouette I would have to go with Marty. Peirrie was thin, that guy looks thick.

Man a picture tells a 1000 words. The look on Ellis's face in pic #2 is priceless. I raced a Lorretta's qualifier at Casey IL in 1983 that was muddy just like that. I know how he felt. :cry:

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It is answer time and you have good eyes regarding the #3 photo. At least if I remember right you are correct, the Honda rider who was stuck at the time sure looks like Marty Smith. I sort of remember leaning close to take a picture of Smith's struggle toward the end of practice. As I did all of a sudden this rider appeared in white and remarkably clean coveralls on a Suzuki and he was going fast and smooth. I got blasted by his muck but it was kind of an honor. I am surprised there was no correct guess as the winner for that wet day was none other than ........the man, Roger DeCoster.

The real tough one to guess was #5. He was a little obscure, a former Ossa factory rider and to my knowledge only a brief CanAm rider. This was Robert "Bob" Harris. I know most of you will say "who?" which is a fair question. But for some odd reason after all these years and no fixer that picture I took of him from that day has probably held up the best after 25 years. It had barely yellowed so I included it in my scans.

Now if I can find all the negatives I remember Bill Grossi riding like it was dry and flying off the jumps like no other in practice. That was until the actual race when he went flying off and disappeared in one the whoop lakes but that is another post. :cry::cry:

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What the heck is the mater with me :cry: :cry: :cry:

DOH, I can't even believe I lost sight of the fact that it was a Trans-AMA race. I was thinking National the whole time. (but you must remember I am a self profesed MXA expert :cry:)

That Bob Harris, wow. I'm not sure I even heard of him before. How long was he on the team, 10 minutes? :cry::lol: Awsome question, who would have gotten that? (Mrs Harris?)

Any other Euro's even there? or was that when only Roger went?

Great post, thanks. :lol:

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I think I can remember Graham Noyce, Adolf Weil, Sylvain Geboers (on a Maico) and Gerritt Wolsink being there. I went to a few Trans AMA's and with all the mud at this one it is hard to recall more details. The years and races are blurring a bit.

So far I have not found the race results in the local racing newspaper I photog'd for. I did find this which is pretty cool. AMA Pro Motocross History

There are more records here than I could ever remember but so far no Trans AMA details. Check it out! :cry:

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I did find the local racing newspaper issue of the '77 St. Peters MO Trans AMA race and this confirms the races are blurring together in my memory. The '77 race was held in perfect weather and in the results you can see Pomeroy has made the switch to Honda. I know that the '75 race was dry from my pictures so even though I no longer have the issue on the '76 race this has to be the monsoon mudder.

StPeteresults77.jpg

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The other Bob Hannah post made me ressurect this one. The muddiest Supercross I ever saw was Atlanta in 1982 (I think that is the right year - after all it was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away). Bob Hannah won that one in axle deep mud during one of the hardest winter rain storms I have ever seen. I have been in hurricanes (no pun intended) that didn't rain as hard. And Georgia red clay is the slickest substance known to man when it is wet. That race was the most out of control pro event I have ever seen. The one thing that sticks in my mind to this day was seeing Hannah collide with two guys in the air. He took both them out, landed with one hand on the bars and both feet off the pegs but rode it out because the bike stuck upright in a rut when he landed. The only way you knew it was him was that he led most of the race, so you could still see a little bit of yellow front fender. All the riders had tossed the goggles and were the sorriest looking bunch I have ever seen. The parking lot at Fulton County stadium was like walking through a shallow lake after the race. I was one happy guy to get back in the hotel room and out of that mess.

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I did find the local racing newspaper issue of the '77 St. Peters MO Trans AMA race and this confirms the races are blurring together in my memory. The '77 race was held in perfect weather and in the results you can see Pomeroy has made the switch to Honda. I know that the '75 race was dry from my pictures so even though I no longer have the issue on the '76 race this has to be the monsoon mudder.

StPeteresults77.jpg

Ah-ha! I told you that was the wrong tank on Pomeroy's Pursang to be in '77. :cry:

He hated the M167 Pursang that he was given. It wouldn't turn and kept throwing him off so he went back to his '75 (M135) for the '76 season - thus the tank. :cry:

:cry:

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Bultaco206 this is especially for your review. Here is the Pursang Jim was riding during the TransAMA in '75. Something tells me that kick start lever isn't normally hanging our like that.

PomeroyRside75.jpg

PomeroyLside75.jpg

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At least his Heckle boots will protect his shins. I had a pair of those. :cry:

There's a ball-bearing/detent at the swivel point on the kick starter. They never worked right, even when new. They either flopped all over the place, or siezed to the point where you couldn't swing it around to kick it.

The ones I have now are the same way. :cry:

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Resurrecting this old post now that I have some scans from the actual negatives. I remember now how bad the conditions were for photography during the race after looking closely at the negatives. It was so dark and rainy there was barely enough light to take pics. I didn't bring a flash because I didn't think I would need it for day time shots. Because it was so humid and wet my lense kept fogging over. When I would wipe it off it would leave a thin glaze of moisture which meant most of my pictures have that soft and out of focus look, kind of like Penthouse. If you know what I mean. :cry:

Since the track was so wet I spent most of my time in the drier parts not that there were many. I did remember that there was a little section that climbed slightly up and therefore drained most of the water down to the lower sections. For most of the track it was survival mode and get by as best you can. You could see it was exhausting for the riders just to make it a lap. This shot you can guess the rider and was typical of most of what you saw going around in the drier section before more muck.

1mud.jpg

In this little drier section it was time to rest a bit for most. Except for one rider. He would come around cut the turn in a higher gear and would accelerate smoothly with the front wheel clawing at the air. You can also guess who this was.

hookedupinthemud.jpg

Lap after lap he would blast around and it was amazing to witness. :cry: His biggest problem was dodging the roost from lapped riders.

hookedupinthemud2.jpg

Can you guess who won that year?

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