Tuesday, November 15, 2011

A Hill Climber's History - A.W. French and the OHV Letter

Q&A by Uncle Frank held a treasure!

The receipt for the OHV Hillclimb Motor 1953
"Paid in Full Willard Bryan" (Famous Champion Hillclimber partner at AD Farrows H-D)

The letter from A.W. French AKA Frenchy to Larry Franz Sr.

A.W. French 1949 with the OHV engine in his bike!

(Thanks to his son Tom French for the photo)

Treasure! I was thumbing through a copy of Q&A by Uncle Frank that I got with all the stuff I acquired from Jerry Franz recently. There were various papers in the book and a letter. It turns out that the letter was from A.W. French to Larry Franz giving him pointers on setting up the OHV engine Larry had recently (Jan 1953) bought from Willard Bryan at A.D. Farrows H-D in Columbus Ohio. These three names are synonymous with Championship Hillclimbing in the 30's 40's and 50's.

Now if you read my previous posts on Hillclimers you'll see that one of my bikes belonged to Larry and before that Frenchy, who both won National Championships on it, so this letter has special meaning to me. The clincher was finding the receipt for the motor from 1953 Signed "Paid in Full -Willard Bryan"!

I love the instructions Frenchy gives to Larry and the diagrams he draws of where to cut the frame. Even throwing an after thought on the back of the envelope! COOL!

There is a bunch of other cool notes and info mixed in the pages of this book that I need to study...gear ratios, etc.

I love this stuff...

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