Santa Paula Times

The landmark 1973 Triumph Hurricane X75 motorcycle is featured in the exhibition, “Norton, Von Dutch, & Co: Legendary Motorcycles of the Schoenewald Collection,” at the City of Santa Paula’s Ca lifornia Oil Museum (1001 E. Main St., Santa Paula, CA 93060, (805) 933-0076, , $4 Adult, $3 Senior, $1 Children).

New Museum Exhibit: “NORTON, VON DUTCH, & CO: Legendary Motorcycles of the Schoenewald Collection”

March 17, 2006
Santa Paula News
The California Oil Museum opens the new exhibit, “Norton, Von Dutch, & Co: Legendary Motorcycles from the Schoenewald Collection,” on Sunday, May 7, 2006, with a reception from 1 - 3 PM and opening program at 1:30 PM. The exhibit runs through August 27, 2006. This exhibition features a private collection of rare and legendary motorcycles owned by Ventura County collector, Daniel Schoenewald. Some of the greatest names in motorcycle racing, design, and history are on display, including Norton Commando, Von Dutch, Triumph, Brough, and Vincent. This is the first public exhibition of this collection in California. The Museum is operated by the City of Santa Paula (1001 E. Main St., Santa Paula, 805-933-0076, $4 Adults, $3 Seniors, $1 Children). The famed “Unapproachable Norton” motorcycles were dominant in British racing in the first half of the 20th century. The Commando model was the last and most famous produced by the original Norton Company. It featured a revolutionary design - isolastic suspension - that greatly reduced engine vibration and improved handling. Production began in 1968 and ended in 1976, winning England’s MCN “Bike of the Year” award five years in a row. This exhibit features four Norton Commando’s: the 1968 Norton Commando 20M3 Fastback 750, a 1969 Norton Commando 750-S, a 1971 Norton Commando 71-SS, and 1973 Norton Commando 850 Roadster. A predecessor of the Commando is included in the exhibit, a 1964 Norton Atlas 750.Owner Daniel Schoenewald became acquainted with the Norton Commando motorcycle in 1968. “I was in Libya at the bottom of a large sand dune rolling into the Mediterranean Sea,” he recalled, “and I saw a Commando 750. It then became my dream to own one.” He is proud to be able to present a selection of his dream bikes in this exhibition, and hopes that visitors will enjoy them as much as he does.The Von Dutch Corner of the exhibition features two Von Dutch-customized motorcycles - a 1934 Rudge JAP (James A Prestwich) Speedway, and a Swiss 1941 Condor, both owned and rebuilt by him. Von Dutch (1929-1992) was an iconic American artist and designer who was a major influence on vehicle customizing beginning in the 1950s. His pinstriping work elevated this form of design to an art form. The “Flying Eyeball” is among his most famous logo image creations. The Von Dutch Corner will include artwork associated with his career.Three additional rare motorcycles round out this collection. A black 1930 Brough Superior SS-100 (Super Sport) was known as the “Rolls Royce” of motorcycles when it was produced by George Brough from 1919 to 1940. Each Super Sport bike was custom-built by hand and road tested to 100 mph. They were the most expensive bikes of their time. T. E. Lawrence, of “Lawrence of Arabia’ fame, owned seven Brough motorcycles and died in a crash in 1935 while riding one.
The 1954 Vincent Black Shadow Series C motorcycle is famous for its innovative design features and jet-black paintwork. Only 1,800 Black Shadows were made, and all were hand-built. This bike is accompanied by a sculpture of one of the great moments in Vincent motorcycling histor y. The sculpture depicts racer Rollie Free lying flat on top of a customized Vincent Black Shadow at Bonneville Salt Flats in 1948. Wearing only a bathing suit, cap, and tennis shoes, he broke 150 mph on a motorcycle for the first time.One of the great moments in motorcycle design was the creation of the 1973 Triumph Hurricane X75. Dressed in a tangerine dream palette, this bike was designed by American Craig Vetter and only 1,200 were produced. It is considered such a landmark in motorcycle design that it was shown at the Guggenheim Museum in 1998. The Hurricane bike on display in this exhibit features a Rocket 3 motor by BSA.