Catalina Island (California) Grand Prix Slated for 2010 Return [video]

Once-famous on/off-road race returns after 52-year absence

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The Catalina Grand Prix was last run in 1958 on Santa Catalina Island, an island community situated approximately 22 miles south-southwest of greater Los Angeles.

Efforts by the AMA, AMA District 37, Big6 (a smaller collection of clubs within the D-37 region) and promotional company My Cuz Vinnie Promotions LLC, have secured December 3-5, 2010 as dates for the event, with a 100-mile professional race held on the 5th.

In 2008 vintage motorcycles were displayed on Crescent Ave. to mark the 50th Anniversary of the last Grand Prix.

Racing on Santa Catalina Island began in 1951 with 1958 as the last year professional racing was conducted on the island. The Grand Prix was considered an influential event in terms of bike sales following the race.

Check out the footage after the jump.

According to Jeannine Pedersen, curator of the Catalina Island Museum, the GP was modeled after the Isle of Man TT. The GP was (and is expected to be again this year) largely an off-road race, but various sections of the course consisted of paved streets on the island.

As you’ll see in the below videos, major manufacturers, like Yamaha, made serious efforts to win on Catalina.

If all goes as planned, the return of the Catalina Grand Prix in 2010 could prove an historic event, as significant as the original GP.

Few details other than race dates are known, but we’ll endeavor to keep you up to date, as we’re awaiting responses from race organizers.

Enjoy these great videos of racing days gone by!

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  • Ron Stevens

    I found this great DVD with some incredible Catalina Island Grand Prix footage of most of the eight years of the race at http://www.americantriumph.tv
    I LOVE it!

  • Woody

    The website has been updated, and registration and sign up info is posted:
    http://www.thecatalinagrandprix.com/CLASSES.html
    http://www.thecatalinagrandprix.com/REGISTRATION.html

    Basically it will cost you $250 to enter, including shipping the bike. Full modern classes. Vintage, classic, and evolution classes, as well as AHRMA based Premier Lwt, Premier 500, and Premier twins. Only intermediate and expert rider classes. Send in your application, including AMA number and a list of recent events and finishes and wait till next month to know if you make the cut.

    I sent my application in yesterday.

  • Richard Smith

    I really enjoyed seeing my dad in Ian Macintosh home movies and he is in the group starting scene. #45 Checker. He won the trophy for best looking bike that year and it’s really great to find this photograph.
    I do take exception with the phrase professional racing. As far as I can reference and know there was no prize money and while thee were marque teams their were not factory teams.
    Great to see the glory days .