Thursday, May 21, 2009

Ray Weishaar

Ray Weishaar Hung on to his Helmet Four Laps With his Teeth

(Chicago Speedway, September 12, 1915) "In the 13th lap, however, his helmet became unfastened, Weishaar hung on to the strings with his teeth for four laps and then threw the helmet into the pits.

Chairman John L. Donovan of the F.A.M. copetition committee and Referee Frank E. Yates saw the helmet go into the pits and insisted on knowing to whom it beloged. There was considerable dispute for several laps as a result of their determination to make Weishaar stop and put on his helmet again.

As Weishaar came around each lap in the lead, those of us who where in the pits did out best to argue the officials out of their idea of forcing Weishaar to make an extra stop but they were determined in their course and as a result we had to call Weishaar into the pits in the 27th lap. This undoubtedly cost Weishaar the race." (The Harley-Davidson Dealer September 1915) [2]

Weishaar was made a part of the Harley-Davidson factory team in 1916. That year he came in third place at Dodge City, and he won the FAM 100-Mile Championship in Detroit. He became a dealer of Harley-Davidson motorcycles for three years after being given a dealership, but he returned to racing in 1919.

His greatest victory was in Indiana, in the Marion Cornfield Classic Road Race, which took place in 1920. He won the race, as well as beating the standing race record by 18 minutes.

The Harley-Davidson team's mascot was a small pig, which they would take around the track with them on victory laps. Weishaar was particularly fond of it, and many photographs exist of him and the pig. It is because of this mascot that Harley-Davidson motorcycles are called "hogs."


  1. I'm not sure if you know the backstory to those pictures or not but that guy is a distant uncle of mine by the name of Ray Weishaar. He rode for the HD "Wrecking Crew" in the early 1900's and had a pretty successful racing career. He would do victory laps with that pig and it supposedly contributed to the HD Hog image. I'm not sure how true that is. He died racing bikes in the 20's. There's more detail here:

  2. Thanks for the info. Do yo have any more pictures of Ray?