Michael LaFollette sent me some photos I was very excited to get. Mike is in the process of restoring a J.B. Jones Harley-Davidson race machine.
J.B. Jones was one of the leading motorcycle racers of the 1930s and ‘40s. His accomplishments include winning the AMA National T.T. Championship a total of five times, 1936 and 1938-1941. He was runner up in the inaugural Peoria TT National in 1947. Many riders of the era called J.B. Jones the best T.T. racer of his time. His record on TT courses was the nation’s best of the late 1930s and early 40s. Jones was born in Dallas in 1906, lived Indiana in his prime racing years. After his racing career he worked for years in motorcycle dealerships in the St. Louis area, where he lived until his death.
Mike’s dad, Glen LaFollette, raced with J.B. and was very close to him in those days. Mike’s father bought both of J.B.’s bikes in the early 40 or 50’s. Mike ended up with the 45 cu. in. Harley.
“We were at a corn roast at my great uncle’s house and I was talking about the old bike and wished I could find them,” Mike said. ”My great uncle Ed told me my father sold one to his son Wil years ago. I called Wil and he said he still had it in the barn. That’s how I ended up with it 29 years ago. I’m currently working on putting it back in running condition, just like my father and JB had it. My Mother told me last week that she would find the original bill of sale from JB to my father. It’s so cool to have such a piece of history and I hope to take it to a vintage race when I complete it.”
Here are a couple of photos Mike sent of the historic racing bike before he began restoration.
(Click on photo for larger version)