AceEverett Brashear also known as Everett Brashear was born on January 17, 1927 inBeaumont Texas. Without any interest in motorcycling, his life began on afive-day journey from Houston, Texas, to San Diego, California, where hereported for boot camp during World War II.
“I got assigned to a minesweeperand spent 19 months at sea,” he said. “On Tinian, we’d run ‘ping’ lines aroundthe island and pick up B-29 crews that hit the water.” After the war hereturned to his home town but didn’t start racing until 1948 because of postwar shortages.
You couldn’t buy a motorcycle,” hesaid. Eventually he was given a loaner motorcycle by a local Indiandealer. During his third race, Brashear crashed wrecking that motorcycling andinjuring his shoulder. In1949, Everett was high-point rider in the novice class. In 1950 he had finally earned enough points to move up fromthe novice class to the amateur class. “Iran that 45 Scout flathead on the Class C AMA Amateur circuit and transferredto Expert in 1951,” he said. “We had half-mile tracks all over Texas.
The wholeSoutheast was a circuit for dirt-track guys. Class C was the same nationwideand traveling all over was pretty tough. We’d team up and split the expenses.”He had very tough competition at the time. Others running Indian motorcycles atthe time were the top racers: Bobby Hill, Bill Tuman and Ernie Beckman, knownas “The Indian Wrecking Crew.” “The Indianswere the faster bike in those days, back when Floyd Emde won Daytona,” saidBrashear.
“Hill built the fastest Indians I ever ran against.” Indian wasfacing financial issues so Brashear had to start looking for an alternativemotorcycle. “A friend of mine found a 1941 WR,” he recalled, “a pretty fastbike that Harley built for Class C. The only ‘overheads’ were normally theforeign bikes. You could run a 30-cubic inch overhead valve against the 45-inchflathead. In 1951, I was winning a lot of races as an Expert and was getting tobe the hot guy. The Harley-Davidson factory was helping me out a lot with partsand pieces.
” Brashearwon his first national at Sturgis, South Dakota, in 1952 on Harley’s newfoot-shift four-speed KR (the WR was hand-shift) “Winning Sturgis on the KRmade me look good to Harley, and they started working full-time with me. By theend of the season, the bike worked really good at the mile at DuQuoin, and Iwon on the mile-and-a-half at Memphis, Tennessee—the only mile-and-a-half weran on.” Long ovals were seeing speeds reminiscent of the board tracks of the1920s.
Memphis was banked, to boot, “and so fast,” said Brashear, “that Ididn’t have the sprockets to gear it high enough.” No one was as skilled as he was onmile and half-mile dirt ovals. He won four nationals in 1953 and he wasconsidered by most to be the rider to beat the Grand National Series in 1954.He was severely injured during a night race that took place in Alabama in Mayof 1954. His motor cycle had sputtered so he pulled over to check it out andanother rider came and hit him on the poorly lit track.
He suffered multipleinjuries including a severe head injury where he eventually lost the sight inhis left eye. Years after continuous racing Brashear had a bad crash yet againwhich made him give up racing for good. After retiring in 1960 Brashear decidedto work in the motorcycle industry having multiple positons.
He ran a HarleyDavidson dealership for short while, then became a district manager forTriumph, an insurance agent, eastern sales manager for Yamaha, national salesmanager for Kawasaki, head of Husqvarna distribution and, finally, arepresentative for aftermarket manufacturers. He had spent a total of 47 yearsin the motor cycle industry he retired for good in 1996 and in 1998 Brashearwas inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame. He currently resides in SanDiego, CA and keeps himself busy with a small business that builds custom golfcarts.