1959 BSA Gold Star
The BSA Gold Star Catalina Scrambler was the perfect machine for a rider like AMA Motorcycle Hall of Famer – Chuck Minert. Minert excelled in all types of motorcycle racing from speedway to trials, from desert racing to scrambles, and later, in motocross.
In the late 50’s and early 60’s Minert rode a factory-backed BSA for much of his racing career and was loyal to the British brand long after the bikes were past their competitive prime. The most important win for Minert in his racing career came in 1956 at the popular Catalina Grand Prix. Almost 1000 riders competed and the win at Catalina was so prestigious, that BSA actually named the 1959 Gold Star DBD34 after the event, thus the name “Catalina Scrambler”.
The machine he rode was a 1956 BSA Gold Star Scrambler. Chuck comments, “I changed the tank to a 5 gallon, borrowed a front brake baking plate with a scoop (for additional cooling), and used a 19” front wheel instead of the standard 21” wheel preferred by the English!” The west coast distributor for BSA, Hap Alzina asked the factory for a replica of this bike. By the late 1950’s, the US market was the strongest in the world for BSA and they followed his advice and responded with the Catalina Scrambler in 1959. The machine would go unchanged until its production stopped in 1963.
The aluminum barrel Gold Star was arguably the most successful race bike ever built. It won races for over a decade in every discipline…..desert, scrambles, motocross, flat-track, and road racing. Ultimately, the Gold Star model was replaced by the smaller (and lighter) B44 that was developed by motocross World Champion – Jeff Smith. This machine, based on the BSA 250cc model, would win its final 500cc Motocross World Championship in 1965 and would mark the end of 4-stroke domination in the premier series. This beautiful Gold Star was restored by British motorcycle expert Don Harrell to exacting concourse condition.