Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I am my fathers son.

I grew up going to the races with my father, the late Snuffy Smith. I always loved the hustle and bustle of the pit area. Rushing to get the jetting corrected before the next heat race, or trouble shooting timing issues with minutes left before the green flag drops. Multiple people tearing into a bike like doctors working on an accident victim after being wheeled into the E.R.. It excited me then - and as I've gotten back into going to races - it excites me even more now. I knew after last weekends trip to Roebling Road that wrenching on my own bike and competing was just something I HAD to experience.

I was aware of a motorcycle that my cousin John McIlvaine built for my dad to race back in the 90's. It was sitting in John's shop gathering dust. A few years ago, John offered it to me for next to nothing but I just wasn't ready. Last weekend, I realized that whether I was ready or not, it was time. I got home at 3:30 am Monday morning and shortly after lunch that same day, I was hauling the 1976 Triumph T140 back to my garage. The rebuild had begun.

Snuffy Smith (25) and Jesse Morris (295) Daytona 1996

My dad on THE bike.
The bike with the engine pulled.

Hand lettered tank

JGM= John G McIlvaine, RBO= Robin B Oswald

Lightened timing gears, nicely sorted

ARD CDI electronic Magneto.
Will I be a good racer? I have no idea. All I know is I haven't been this enthused about anything in a VERY long time. No matter what the outcome may be, I know I'm in for quite an adventure...


  1. Its in the blood.
    That is so cool that you got your Dad's bike back.
    Have a blast!

  2. We all are smiling !


  3. Matt, Your Dad would be so proud of you! He got more pure joy from motorcycles than anyone I ever
    knew and you are more like him every day.
    The thrill of roadracing a motorcycle is one of the greatest feelings in the world and I am certain
    you will LOVE it as he did. Enjoy every second of the experience.

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