There are certain races and events that will not only be remembered as a good time but also historically significant. Back in the 1950s, Catalina Island was one of those races. Billed as one of the premier races of its time, the Catalina GP drew hundreds of racers from all across the country, packing boats from Southern California with classic motorcycles and riders ready to test their skills on the streets and hills of the quaint island community. The event occurred over the course of two days, featuring a 60-mile race for bikes up to 250cc and a 100-mile race for larger bikes on a longer 10-mile course. Besides the fact that the race was held on an island only accessible by boat, the Catalina GP was also one-of-a-kind for the simple fact that the regular racing rules didn’t apply, allowing motorcycle manufacturers to race test new technology that wasn’t allowed at other regular events.
This film is from the collection of the late Clyde Earl.
Get comfortable on the sofa and enjoy the ride!