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Danny Macias 1924 - 2007

Discussion in 'General Stuff' started by Ol'89r, Nov 25, 2007.

  1. Ol'89r

    Ol'89r Super Power AssClown

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    I first met Danny Macias in 1964 when we both worked at Bellflower Triumph together. He was the Triumph tech and I was the gunk brush. (Lot boy, trainee mechanic). Bellflower Triumph was the place that the the Triumph Distributor sent all of the problem warranty work because of Danny. He was the only one that could figure out how to fix them.

    Dan also tuned for a couple of top racers at the time. One was Skip Van Leeuwen who went on to win many National TT titles and the other was Dick Hammer, a top AMA pro flattracker and roadracer and National winner.

    During the war, Danny served with honor in the Battle of the Bulge and Omaha Beach where he was dropped behind enemy lines to infiltrate the enemy because he new how to speak German.

    After the war Danny opened up Danny's Motorcycle Shop in Santa Ana California as a BSA and Triumph Dealer. He raced flattrack, TT scrambles, Class A speedway, desert and road racing and competed in trials, hill climbing and enduro's in So Cal. District 37 events between 1947 and 1962. He also raced the Daytona Beach course in 1949 and was the first person to take a motorcycle through the speed traps at the Santa Ana drag strip in 1950.

    In 1960 Danny set two Bonneville speed records on his self built Triumph in the 250 class. He built the engine for Johnny Allen's Bonneville streamliner which I believe was the first motorcycle to top the 200 MPH mark. Danny earned his teaching credential and founded the Motorcycle Technology course at Los Angeles Trade Tech and taught there for four years.



    He was hired by the Triumph/BSA distributor in 1970 to run the National Race Team. He had special frames built for the factory racers and won the Daytona 200 that year with Dick Mann. Other members of the team were, Gene Romero, Gary Nixon, Gary Scott, Mike Kidd, Dave Aldana (Dan's nephew), Jim Rice, Tom Rockwood, Don Emde and Don Castro. He also sponsored or tuned for riders such as Dan Hawley, Roger White, Buddy Parriot, Al Gunner, Jimmy Odem and George Everett. Many of whom were inducted in the AMA Hall of Fame and former number one plate holders.

    Danny opened a machine shop in Orange California after leaving Triumph/BSA in 1974. There he built special racing parts for race teams such as American Honda and local racers. In 1996 he moved his home and shop to Fontana California and continued making speciality racing parts until the time of his death at the age of 83. At the time of his death he was working on his Triumph 250 Bonneville record holder and was planning on taking it back to Bonneville to break his own record.

    I didn't realize at the time how luck I was to start my career in the motorcycle industry under the tutorage of such a special man. Danny took me under his wing and taught me how to build racing engines. How to port heads, balance cranks, time cams and all of the little things that make a racing engine special. My father didn't particularly care for motorcycles and thought anyone that would want to race one was completely out of their minds. Danny filled that void for me and was an excellent mentor and close personal friend. He also hired me to work on the Triumph/BSA racing team with him in the early 70's building racing engines and bikes for Gary Nixon and Tom Rockwood and also doing R&D for the race team bikes. We walked away with National number one that year thanks to Danny and Gene Romero.

    I kept in close contact with Danny over the years and when I had a question or a problem with a project, I would call on him for an answer. He always had the right answer. I saw Danny about a month before his death and he took me around his property showing me all of his new projects and some of his new equipment. You could eat off of any of his shop equipment it was so clean and well kept. Dannys family has asked me to complete his Triumph 250 and take it to Bonneville to break his original record. After that, the 250 will be donated by the family to the Trailblazers motorcycle club museum. Danny was a charter member of the Trailblazers and in 1999 he was inducted into the Trailblazers Hall of Fame.

    I can't thank you enough for all you did for me ol' friend and I miss you every day.

    Terry Morairty
  2. Rich Rohrich

    Rich Rohrich BioHazard

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    What a great eulogy for a friend. Well done Terry. Thanks for sharing it with us.
  3. High Lord Gomer

    High Lord Gomer Poked with Sticks

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    Terry, you get great friends by being one. I'm glad you and Danny had the great company of each other as friends.
  4. VintageDirt

    VintageDirt Baked Spud

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    Sorry for your loss Terry. Godspeed Danny.
  5. biglou

    biglou Guest

    I can't add anything to that, but I am reminded of a saying: "Everyone dies, but not everyone truly lives." Sounds like Danny had sure made the most of his time while he was here.
  6. Chili

    Chili Lifetime Sponsor - Photog Moderator

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  7. rickyd

    rickyd Hot Sauce

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    Thank you for telling me the story of Danny Macias.

    Godspeed Danny.
  8. GETMETOCA

    GETMETOCA Can't Wait For Tuesdays

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    Nice tribute Terry. RIP Danny.
  9. Ol'89r

    Ol'89r Super Power AssClown

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    Thank you for the kind words everyone.

    I have to give credit to Trailblazers president Keith Mashburn for the historical data and dates.

    As you can imagine, Danny was a huge influence in my life.

    He was self-taught in almost every respect. When the CAD, CADCAM technology came about, Danny bought books and taught himself the new technology. He bought a cnc machine and was soon pumping out high quality aluminum spool hubs that he sold to the American Honda racing team for their very successful RC750 dirttrackers. Everything he built was a work of art.

    One of the things that stood out with Danny was the fact that this was during a period of our history when Hispanic people were given very little respect and no credit for their achievements.

    Danny rose above the rac!sm of the times and excelled in spite of it. This, I witnessed many times with my own eyes.

    I am very proud and honored to be chosen to complete his 250 project.
  10. Rich Rohrich

    Rich Rohrich BioHazard

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    Hopefully you'll share some pictures of the project as you go along Terry.:cool:
  11. Ol'89r

    Ol'89r Super Power AssClown

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    Will do Rich.

    Right now I only have a bare frame and a partially assembled engine and a few of Dannys cam timing and flow bench notes. Going to have to gather up quite a few parts to make this project complete.

    Will most definitely take photos along the way.
  12. KiwiBird

    KiwiBird Lifetime Sponsor

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    Nice eulogy Terry, look forward to the pics.
  13. rickyd

    rickyd Hot Sauce

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    Please share the pics, what an Honor for you to work on this. :ride:
  14. a454elk

    a454elk Mexicutioner

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    Well Terry, believe it or not, you are to me as Danny was to you. Thanks for the interesting info about the man that made you who you are. It was neat to see the frame at your shop yesterday, and it's great to have a friend like you. You have learned so much from him and it has been passed forward to all of us that have asked for your help and advice. Godspeed Danny.
    Carlo
  15. High Lord Gomer

    High Lord Gomer Poked with Sticks

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    Big difference is that we don't learn as well as Terry.

    Wait...Elk, are you trying to claim that Terry was your professor in "Kitty Litter Repair 101"?
  16. Patman

    Patman Pantless Wonder

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    Sorry to read of your loss Terry :(
  17. Ol'89r

    Ol'89r Super Power AssClown

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    Thank you Carlo.

    It would all be wasted if I didn't pass it along. That's what it's all about, paying it forward.

    Update.

    After doing some research on Danny's project, I found out that it was the 350cc land-speed record that Danny was going after, not the 250 record. He was working on his Triumph T3, 350cc engine when he died. I will be picking up the chassis and engine in a week or so and will document the project as it progresses.

    Thanks again everyone.
  18. csomers

    csomers Rookie DRN Member

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    macias

    i'm very intersted in the danny macias story as my son and i race a 71 250 bsa at bonneville... does anyone know how to get ahold of terry morairty or where is shop is or how i could contact him... any info would be greatly appreciated
    all the best
    craig and max somers
    zionsville, in
  19. biglou

    biglou Guest

    He'll be along here shortly, I'm sure. It's still early out west!
  20. Ol'89r

    Ol'89r Super Power AssClown

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    Craig.

    I tried to send you an email but you have not enabled that feature. Email me and I will send you all of my contact info.

    Terry

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