Thursday, July 22, 2010

Richard Gard's "Red Ball Express" Custom Bike Oct '77

Richard Gard was killed in a motorcycle accident this past weekend in KY while on a trip with his wife.
I felt quite honored to have met this man. I just wish I had been able to spend more time with him. He was building show chops back when I was just a toddler. Last winter, on a whim I looked him up. I'd seen a CB750 called the "Red Ball Express" in this old issue of Custom Bike (Oct 1977) and it said the bike was built by Richard Gard of Casey, IL. I actually owned the mag for a few years, and the thought crossed my mind to see if I could contact him, but not until this past Feb did I give it a go. I sent an email with my name & number to his "Toymaker" email address I had found by googling his name. The next day I received an enthusiastic phone call from him. We spoke on the phone quite a bit thru the end of winter & spring. We had made tentative plans to do some riding and he even offered to teach some of his ways in painting and body work. Richard, you were one of kind my friend. I wish we had gotten to to spend more time together so we could have gotten to know one another better. You will be sorely missed by your friends and family. Rest in Peace my friend.

(click the images above for an enlarged, readable version)

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