|Santa Barbara, Sept. 3, 1961.
The beginning of the end for the "one-lungers". #2 Don Vesco on a
4-cylinder 250cc. Honda RC161 leads #25 John McLaughlin on a 500cc. Matchless
G50. Vesco and Salvador Soto on another RC161 ran away from the suddenly
antiquated British machinery.
Bill Cleghorn corrects and adds to this
information: "Don Vesco is shown on a Honda RC-160. American
Honda Motors had, I believe, two Honda-4 250s at that particular
moment. One was a 1960 RC-160 that had CHROME Megaphones and a slightly
different fairing and seat back. (That bike was eventually heavily
chromed and detailed and sent to Bill Harrah's Automobile Collection/Museum).
The other bike, the one Soto must have been riding, was the newer 1961
RC-161 with BLACK megaphones and fully enclosed fairing (w/belly pan).
I remember watching these bikes race
at other locations, the time I remember the most was the SCCA race at the
Oakland Airport just before it opened for operations. Bill Krause
won the big car race in a Birdcage Maserati. Buddy Parriott had a
spirited race on his 500cc Norton Manx vs. Ed Kretz Jr. on the AHM RC-161
Honda-4 250, which was so fast they made it start with the 500s instead
of on the 2nd grid of 250s & under! It was Parriott at the flag,
but just barely....the 250 Honda would always lead through the tight, twisty
turns only to be passed back just before the start/finish line!"