Branding the American West: Paintings &...
July 25 - September 9, 2017
Born in Port Arthur, Texas on January 6, 1936, Carroll Resweber's love of two wheelers came early in his life, first with bicycles, then a Cushman scooter. By the time he was 16, he owned a Harley-Davidson 80-cubic inch "Knucklehead" and was burning up his hometown streets.
When he turned 17, he began racing on dirt tracks in both Houston and Fort Worth. In 1955, he moved his family to Milwaukee to race for engine builder Ralph Berndt. The following year, he earned his first AMA National finish by taking fifth at the Springfield Mile in Illinois. He earned his first AMA Grand National victory at the Charity Newsies race in Ohio on June 18, 1957. Two months later, he won again in St. Paul, Minnesota, proving the first win was no fluke.
Riding for Harley-Davidson, Resweber started the 1958 season with a fourth-place finish in the Daytona 200. That summer saw him earn an impressive string of four straight Grand National finishes, including wins at Du Quoin, Illinois and St. Paul, Minnesota. The string of races gave Resweber his first AMA national championship. He won the title by just one point over 1957 champion, Joe Leonard. En route to his second championship in 1959, he added first-place wins from Sacramento, California and Springfield, Illinois in addition to winning the St. Paul AMA Grand National for the third year in a row.
Resweber edged out Leonard one more time for the AMA national championship in 1960, winning four nationals on his path to a third title. The 1961 season marked the pinnacle of his career. He garnered five national wins and dominated that year. He also took his fourth AMA Grand National championship. In 1962, on his way to his fifth straight title, Resweber won at Bossier City, Watkins Glen and Hinsdale.
His hopes and dreams culminated in a devastating climax in Lincoln, Illinois when, during a practice session with dust flying, he failed to see a fallen bike. He hit it at high speed. The collision gave him a concussion, a broken neck, a broken chest bone and six fractures of his right leg. He was in a body cast for nine months. It took several years for him to recover and he never raced again. His dedication to Harley-Davidson remained, however, and he went to work for the Harley-Davidson Motor Company as a machinist, making special parts for racing machines. Carroll was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame in 1998.
This information is courtesy of the Beaumont Enterprise.