Utdrag från nya boken "Husqvarna Success"! About the Writing Team
So how do three guys who spent a total of seventy-eight years working for American Honda find themselves creating the first comprehensive book about the history of Husqvarna motorcycles? Well, the first guy worked for Husqvarna (rather notably) first in Sweden, and then as a transplant in the U.S. The second guy raced Huskys in the California desert before becoming a rider education specialist. And while the third guy never owned one, he did photograph Huskys extensively as a journalist (and a lifelong fan). About that transplanted Swede—Gunnar Lindstrom. Inducted in the AMA’s Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2000. He’s listed there as a factory racer and engineer. But there’s more to the story. His racing accomplishments, his technical expertise, and his personable manner helped make Husqvarna a popular off-road choice in the glory days of the Swedish-owned brand. Farm-bred, Gunnar dreamed of one day designing motorcycles in the nearby town of Huskvarna. He began off-road racing at sixteen on street bikes he modified himself. His dream led him to switch his college major from agriculture to engineering. After college, his achieved his childhood dream—or rather, opened the door to his cherished goal. He was hired by Husqvarna as a test rider. At the age of twenty-four, already one of Sweden’s top motocrossers, Gunnar went to Australia and New Zealand in 1967 to help promote Husqvarna. He was joined by American desert racing champion J.N. Roberts. Then he traveled to the U.S. where he teamed with Roberts to win the Mint 400 desert race. Two year later Husqvarna asked Lindstrom to relocate to their New Jersey headquarters. There, living in a motor home, he served as the engineering chief of the American operation. Gunnar continued racing, finished sixth overall in the inaugural Trans-AMA series in 1970. A year later, he placed third overall in the 250 Inter-AMA series. Then, in 1972, he won a National en route to ranking third in the first AMA 250 National Motocross Series. In 1974, after increasing concerns about the direction of the company, Gunnar Lindstrom left his dream job with Husqvarna. Gunnar tried moto-journalism next, joining the staff of Dirt Bike magazine as a tech editor. A year later, he was the magazine’s editor. His next stop was his last. He had just developed and started selling the Gunnar Gasser Throttle when, in 1978, he accepted an offer to manage American Honda’s motocross race program. Several years later, he joined the automotive division where he retired as senior manager of the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Program in 2008. What about that other Husky desert racer? No, he didn’t win the Mint 400 like Gunnar, but Tosh Konya spent many hours gassing his red-tankers through the Mojave as an AMA District 37 racer. Then serendipity came calling. A friend asked Tosh to write a tech article for Cycle News. That led to other articles for enthusiast publications. At this point, Tosh considered leaving a solid job with Hughes Aircraft to work for a motorcycle company. Which is exactly what he did, joining American Honda in 1978. A touch of irony: as a teen, Tosh regularly traveled past the original American Honda shop in Los Angeles on his way to school. Although Tosh started in the auto division, he soon switched to the motorcycle side. Ultimately, he developed and managed the Honda Rider Education Center in Troy, Ohio for sixteen years before retiring in 2006. Gunnar and Tosh first talked about collaborating on a Husky book in the ‘90s. Then Tosh moved to Ohio. Years passed. Then a phone call from Gunnar reactivated the project. Thereafter, whenever Gunnar crossed paths with Len Weed at Honda, he mentioned the book. The two were colleagues at Dirt Bike in the ‘70s. In addition to his magazine work, Len published five motorcycle how-to books. His collaborators included two world champions, motocrosser Brad Lackey and trialer Bernie Schreiber, and Wheelie King Doug Domokos. Like Gunnar, Len retired from American Honda in 2008, after twenty-one years as a senior technical writer. Then, when Gunnar’s call came, he jumped at the chance to help document Husqvarna’s history. Gunnar did the majority of the writing and engaged Adrienne Scott as the photo editor. She had the skills and the patience to pour over, scan, and edit an endless number of photos that Gunnar seemed to dig up from sources here, there, and everywhere. A lot of the photos came from Torsten Hallman. Some passed the dpi (dots per inch) quality test, others did not. A few they let slip through anyway because of their exclusivity. The creative team—Gunnar, Tosh, Len and Adrienne—hope you will enjoy the book, and that it will be a reference for a long time to come!
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Picture below! Local ace Rolf Stagman,on his modified 118cc Black-qvarna, shows the determination and enthusiasm found in the riders of his generation.(Husqvarna Museum)