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The History of Reg and his SZP Hangar Museum as told by Pacific Flyer's Wayman Dunlap...

     Anyone who has ever flown in to Santa Paula (Calif.) Airport on a day when Reg Pridmore had one of his hangar doors open might have thought he or she had wandered into a museum.
     Or several museums, as parts of it were dedicated to vintage Coke machines, others to restored oil cans, oil carts, pieces of gas station equipment, or treasured aviation paintings skillfully framed and vintage wooden aircraft and car models - all of it looking brand new.
     There are paintings by Robert Taylor, Stan Stokes and Gil Cohen, among others, plus artist's proofs and collections featuring Jimmy Doolittle, Eric Hartmann and Adolph Galland.
     There's also a beautiful Swift and a Citabria sitting about because Reg is a devoted aviator who, being London-born, has a special fondness for RAF aircraft.
     But did you know this quiet Limey is also a former motorcycle racing champion and a member of the Motorcycle Hall of Fame?
     Reg was the very first AMA (American Motorcycle Association) Superbike Champion. In fact, he won the series the first three years of its existence: 1976, 1977 and 1978. He rarely finished outside of the top five and more often than not he earned a spot on the podium.
His most famous win was the 1976 AMA Superbike Series on a Butler & Smith BMW R90S - yes, a BMW. The two following years he won Superbike titles on Racecrafters and Vetter-sponsored Kawasaki KZ1000s.
     He was the first rider to win an AMA Superbike national on a Japanese-made motorcycle, when he took victory at Pocono, Penn. on August 21, 1977, aboard a Racecrafters Kawasaki KZ1000.


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     Born in London on July 15, 1939, he began racing in England in the early 1960s. He won his first race at Silverstone in 1961 riding a Triumph 500 Tiger. Growing weary of the British weather and political climate, Pridmore decided to move to what he had always heard was the land of opportunity, the United States. The 25-year-old sold all of his possessions in England, shipped his car over and took a ship to America. Upon arrival, he immediately got back into motorcycle racing. In 1972, Pridmore switched from Norton to BMW.
     By the time Superbike became a recognized AMA National Championship event in 1976, Pridmore had the jump on his competitors with a wealth of experience in racing production motorcycles.
     When inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2002, Pridmore was running CLASS, one of the top motorcycle riding schools in the country. He still runs CLASS, but on a more limited schedule than in past years. He lives in Santa Paula and loves to pilot his aerobatic airplanes and go on fishing trips when time allows. His son, Jason, became an AMA road racing champion of the 1990s and early 2000s and has his own race school.
(The editor attended one of Reg's motorcycle racing classes and Pridmore took him around Willow Springs racetrack on the back of his Honda VFR 750, on street tires, at unbelievable speeds, passing pure race bikes with slick tires as if they'd developed engine problems.)


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     Now Reg, obviously an inveterate collector, is selling it all off and spending quite a bit of time in Baja. Everything must go, he told us, including paintings, museum quality commissioned unique wooden artwork of various WW II Airplanes and a 1931 Cadillac V-16 Convertible, plus his Coca Cola Machines, metal signs and other advertising art. His Texaco pieces include numerous original and beautifully restored oil cans, a gas pump, oil carts and other pieces of gas station equipment and memorabilia.
    The sale will take place at the Santa Paula Airport (SZP) in Reg's Hangar "G" on Saturday, February 10th, 2007, from 10am to 3pm.
You can call him at 805 933-0976 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. or for details on all that's for sale and directions to get there, see www.aviart4sale.com. And if you're Yvon Duhamel, you can drop by and talk about the time Reg ran over your foot in a race at Laguna Seca.

 

 
 

for more information contact us at (805) 933-0976 or by email: reg@aviart4sale.com

directions to the Hangar