A Gary Nixon Photo Gallery
RIP Gary Nixon
Born on January 25, 1941, in Anadarko, Oklahoma, Gary Nixon came to the fore in the racing world as a teenager in the late 1950s, and by age 15, Nixon was already a drag racing champion and began motorcycle scrambles racing.
During his distinguished career on the tracks of the world, Nixon won the A.M.A. Grand National Championship in 1967 and 1968, and the Daytona 1967 . His partnership with tuner Erv Kanemoto led to victory at the 1973 U.S. National Road Racing Championship, and in 1976 a Formula 750 world championship which was never acknowledged due to political squabbles within the organization.
Nixon was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 1998 and the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America in 2003, and the versatile, tenacious rider competed in vintage motorcycle racing and testing motorcycles automotive review program MotorWeek.
Nixon started racing professionally in 1958 and had reached the AMA Grand National level a couple of years later in 1960. A solid performer as a rookie, Nixon qualified for a few nationals and notched the occasional top-10 finish, but then came from nowhere to win his first AMA national on August 4, 1963, in Windber, Pennsylvania. Three weeks later, Nixon won a short-track national at Santa Fe Park in Hinsdale, Illinois and his reputation was cemented. He finished his third season as a pro ranked sixth in the Grand National Series and had convincingly taken his place among the top riders in the sport.
When road racing began to go out of favor in the late 1970’s, Nixon developed business interests which led him to quit his racing leathers in 1979.
During 22 years of pro racing, Nixon took 19 AMA National victories and raced in – and finished – more than 150 Grand National races. His career stretched across three decades and saw him compete as a factory rider for Triumph, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha.