DECEMBER 29, 1958

James P. McCloskey was the editor of the Harley-Davidson Enthusiast Magazine for 22 years. His death was the result of pneumonia and other complications and he was survived by his wife and two daughters. McCloskey kept the Enthusiast publications running smoothly during his stint as editor. The Enthusiast Magazine was the longest running motorcycle publication for over 90 years. The magazine began publication in 1916 and was published until 2009 when the Motor Company combined The Enthusiast with another publication HOG Tales, which had been in print since 1983. The new publication is called HOG Magazine and is still in print for motorcyclist enthusiasts to enjoy.

James P. McCloskey

James P. McCloskey, long time editor of the Harley-Davidson Enthusiast Magazine passed away.

DECEMBER 26, 1919

Sainty’s win recorded the fastest record time for this race. On the same day another racer, Joe Mostyn, also on a Harley-Davidson made the fastest time in the Junior Class. The photo shows Sainty, on the right, and Mostyn, on the left, both definitely proud of their accomplishments. These two weren’t the only Australians making history that day; a racer by the name Yott established a new sidecar record for the Launceston-Hobart course beating out the former record, held by American rider ‘Cannonball’ Baker.

Claude Sainty

Claude Sainty on a Harley-Davidson won first place in the Senior Australian Tourist Trophy Race held at Goulborn, Australia.

DECEMBER 20, 1960

Hawley, a racing veteran from Inglewood, California, had the honor of winning the first TT race ever held at the Ascot Stadium near Los Angeles on December 20, 1960. He won the 15 lap competition beating out Joe Leonard, another famous Harley-Davidson racer. The new TT course had eight right and left turns and a one story high jump that sent every single rider airborne when taking the jump.

Don Hawley

Harley-Davidson racer, Don Hawley, won the first TT race ever held at Ascot Stadium.

DECEMBER 15, 1954

The 15th Annual Safe Driving Day was a public awareness program meant to reduce traffic accidents throughout the country. The day was proclaimed throughout the United States by governors, mayors, and county officials in cooperation with President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his President’s Action Committee for Traffic Safety. The committee, made up of volunteers, worked to reduce fatalities and accidents on local streets and highways throughout the country.

The 15th Annual Safe Driving Day

The 15th Annual Safe Driving Day took place in Milwaukee and other cities throughout the country.

DECEMBER 12, 1950

When the Motor Company incorporated in 1907, Arthur acted as secretary and general sales manager. He traveled the world recruiting new dealers and establishing the dealer network. He knew the importance of a strong dealer network, but also understood the importance of having skilled mechanics to take care of the customer and thus he also oversaw the development of the Harley-Davidson Service School.

Away from his duties with the Motor Company Arthur Davidson was interested in youth activities and the outdoors. He was very involved with the Milwaukee Boys’ Club, the Y.M.C.A, the Izaak Walton League, and the Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts awarded him their highest award for distinguished service.

Arthur Davidson

The last of the four Harley-Davidson founders, Arthur Davidson, passed away.

DECEMBER 9, 1956

Brad Andres and Joe Leonard, both on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, won the 1956 National Championship Tourist Trophy (TT) races sponsored by the Peoria Motorcycle Club. The 45″ TT race was the first race of the day and Brad Andres took the win finishing 14 action packed laps in just 7 minutes and 19.70 seconds. Not to be outdone, Joe Leonard won the 80″ TT race with a lightning fast time of 7 minutes and 16.80 seconds. Both riders were proud of their times and their Harley-Davidson motorcycles. From 1933 to this race in 1957 Harley-Davidson had won 35 out of 39 National TT Championship races.

Andres and Leonard

Harley-Davidson racers, Andres and Leonard, won the National TT Championships.

DECEMBER 8, 1913

Ray Watkins and Ben Torres set a world record in 1913 when they rode their Harley-Davidson motorcycle in San Jose, California. They finished 17 miles ahead of their nearest competitor and did not have to make any repairs, replacements, or adjustments during the whole run. Competitions like this helped to prove the durability and power of Harley-Davidson motorcycles, and victories on the track translated into sales at dealerships. They raced without formal support from the Harley-Davidson company, but the company went on to establish its first formal factory-supported racing team in 1914.

Ray Watkins and Ben Torres

Ray Watkins and Ben Torres.

DECEMBER 2, 1935

Dealers were encouraged to not put emphasis on the new OHV models and not order them for demonstration models, but the 1936 EL model later became one of the most popular and iconic motorcycles in H-D history.

The EL model had a number of new features that the other 1936 models did not. It had an overhead valve engine, which greatly increased its horsepower. The EL model’s engine was cradled in a double loop, truss frame and topped with a welded teardrop gas tank. The top of the gas tank featured a teardrop shaped instrument cluster with integrated speedometer and gauges. It also featured a new hand-shift, four speed transmission housed under the new sleek wrap around oil tank, which was part of the first oil circulation system Harley-Davidson offered. The new features were very popular and most were featured on all of the 1937 models.

The 1936 models

The 1936 models are introduced to the public.