Bengt Aberg 1970 Husqvarna 400 Cross for 1970 Inter-Am Race Series
Completed June 2011
Big News! Document found proving this bike is the bike in Champion Spark Plug Ad ( See photo)
More big news. 10/4/2011 After four years the final Document that proves this whole story. ( See Photo )
News: As if I was not lucky enough finding the McQueen Husky, I just learned I have the 1970 400 Cross used by two time world champion Bengt Aberg
in the Inter-Am race series in 1970.
Thanks again to Don Ince of Vintage Viking. http://vintageviking.com Don supplied me with a Edison Dye memo about the bike being slated for the Inter-Am series. It lists the frame number of the bike. Frame matches the MH3418 frame number.
We also have a second sales receipt showing it was sold to a dealer in California after the series ended. It again states the bike was used for Inter-Am race series. To make it even more interesing I found the bike about 10 miles from where the California dealer use to be.
Since there were several bikes raced by the Edison Dye team, the document only lists the frame number for the four bikes used in the series and the fact that it was a team bike. The problem was which team member rode this bike.
So I have a one in four chance the bike was Bengt Aberg or Arnie Kring.
How do I know know it is Bengt Aberg’s bike?
Well…. another miracle happened. In my serach for information I discovered an article in the March 1971 issue of Cycle World. The article was written by the late Ivan J. Wagar. It is interesting to think that when Ivan wrote this article he never would have thought that what he had to say would allow me to identify this motorcycle 38 years later. Thank you Ivan! In the article Ivan talks about getting a chance to ride Bengt Abergs 1970 Husqvarana 400 Cross. The bike was dropped off at the Cycle World office a few days after the last Inter-Am race. They were excited to see what it was like to run a Husky works bike. To their surprise the bike was pure stock. ( I heard rumors of this fact and now it is confirmed.)
The article says that the assistant editor Jody Nicholas, now a 1999 Motorcycle Hall of Famer, took the bike out for a spin and found it very hard to control. What they found was a rare break in the right rear swing arm axle mount. behind the swing arm axle. BINGO!!! That sentence turns out to be one powerful piece of my puzzle to who raced this bike. Close inspection of my frame shows clearly that the right rear swing arm axle mount was cracked and rewelded. I have two photos below. One showing the swing arm axle mount from normal frame and the Aberg frame.
WOW……Confirmed…..the bike WAS Bengt Abergs.
The article also points out that Aberg in the last race was side by side with winner Ake Jonsson when Aberg all of a sudden dropped way back. As the article says “No wonder”
More news on this. Aug 1 2009. A friend in Sweden spoke with Bengt Aberg. Bengt unfortunately does not remember much about the bike.
More news on this. Sept 6, 2009. Don Ince of Vintage Viking located the second of the four bikes used in Inter-Am. He was told by owner who bought the bike used after the series. He said the bike was virtually brand new so the odds are it was a backup bike and never raced. Search continues for last two bikes.
Update. Jan 2011 ; As mentioned in the article, Aberg’s Husky had Champion Spark Plug decals, which makes this bike the one used in the 1971 Champion Spark Plug Advertisement. I attached a copy of the adertisement below. According to Gunnar Lindstrom new book on Husqvarna, Summer 2010, Gunnar states that the photo for the add was taken at Phoenix Inter-Am Series race in fall of 1970.
Bengt Aberg welded frame at swingarm axle mount
Here are replica Aberg handlebars made by Hallman.