Sad to announce the passing of Eugene “Gene” Thiessen. He died July,12, 2021 at the age of 93.
His racing career from 1948 to 1958 was always aboard a BSA. Hap Alzina along with Rich Childs were major supporters of Gene’s efforts for BSA in America.
DAYTONA – His first time on the beach was 1948 as an Amateur. He placed 33rd out of 119 starters. This feat was accomplished with a punctured lung and broken ribs received from a crash earlier in the race. Later that season he took the same iron head B-34 to the Langhorn 100 Miler and set a new amateur track record. Subsequent Daytona outings resulted in 6 top 20 placing [img]https://www.britbike.com/forums/ubbthreads.php/ubb/download/Number/12176/filename/Thissen
53 Daytona.. The best being 9th in 1952 and 1953, 5th in 1956 and a 3rd in 1957.
ROSEMOND DRY LAKES – July 1951. Fastest time for 40 inch (137.30 on Alcohol – 130.90 on pump gas). Fastest time for 30.50 class 119.20 on pump gas
BONNEVILLE – September 1951. New “Class A" record (143.54) on a Golden Flash followed by a new “Class C” record (123.69) on a Star Twin.
DODGE CITY – 1952 2nd on his Stat Twin. 1953 6th on his Star Tw in
CATALINA – 1952 First place trophy for out of state riders
BAY MEADOWS – 1952 20 Mile National. 7th (Star Twin). 1954 9th. 1956 5th.
PORTLAND MEADOWS – 1951 25 Mile Pacific Coast Championship. 1st (new track record). 1954 1st 5 Mile National. This put Gene in 11th place in the GNC point standing.
SAN JOSE MILE - 1951 (Inaugural Northwest 15 Mile National) 1st place. 1957 5th. 1958 10th.
WILLOW SPRINGS – 1954 125Mile National 5th.
CANADA – British Columbia. Half Mile Championship.
Most of Gene’s racing was on the West Coast due to the isolation of the Pacific Northwest and holding a fulltime job. However, in 1952 Alzina sent him to race some East Coast tracks accompanied by Al Gunter. Thiessen gained a 2nd place in the Expert 5 Mile race in Syracuse and a 6th place in the Langhorn 100 Mile National.
Gene retired from racing at the end of the 1958 season. He continued in the motorcycle industry as a Yamaha dealer (dealer number 410) and Honda (#1561).
For more information click on the following link https://www.worldofspeed.org/archive-blog-1/2019/3/19/bsa-racer-gene-thiessen
Click on the last photo to see the entire archive.