Speedway Workshop

Today in Motorcycle History


The Fairchild/Roccio Horizontal JAP

Caused something of a stir this one when it first appeared in our "Mystery Machine" section as it was believed to have been from the Mid-Thirties period.

Rick Newlee spotted this Horizontal JAP-powered machine at Costa Mesa back in September of this Year and Rick was informed that it was built in Los Angeles and raced at LA Legion Stadium in the 30's, having never left the family and was a home built.......

Such was the interest in this machine, that we asked Rick to investigate further, which he kindly did, and we can know lay the mystery to rest.

The machine is in fact a purpose built machine housing a Long Stroke JAP from the Jerry Fairchild workshops that was made in 1946 for Ernie Roccio who, apart from riding on the West Coast, also rode at West Ham Speedway.
Currently owned by Johnny Roccio, this particular machine had in fact been tucked away in Jerry Fairchild's Workshops for some fourty years following Ernie's death, until Johnny (Ernie's brother) took possession.

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Missing Images

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Mike Heath was finally able to unearth a photo of the Fairchild that he knew he had tucked away somewhere. The bike was ridden in the late 70s by Jerry's grandson Robert Fairchild, with this particular picture* taken at California's Central Valley Speedway track in Hanford. Thought you would enjoy a picture of the bike as it was in use at trackside.

After some close scrutiny, Mike also spotted that a cylinder head to mainframe brace was missing from the pictures* above compared to the earlier shot, possibly no longer required at the end of its racing days.

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