It was great to see Ascot Legend Sammy Tanner honored as Grand Marshal of the 1st Ascot Flat Track Reunion. Sammy's stellar reputation precedes him and everyone attending got a kick out of his accurate first hand description of the era and what really took place.Sammy told the story about when he first started racing Ascot, a young hotshoe out of Texas with a trunk full of his own Rock N Roll 45 and a burning desire to make a name for himself by cleaning up the established stars on the Gardena Half Mile. He showed up at Ascot wearing White Leathers. Nobody had ever seen white leathers as black ones were the standard uniform. Not only did he have white racing togs but he had a big guitar on the back of them. Sammy "The Flying Flea" was racing and winning and looking good doing it. He told us how he came rolling into the pits after a practice session one Friday night and couldn't believe his eyes when he saw another guy in white leathers just like his. Sam rode right over to the guy and saw he had a big shovel on the back. He said he knew the guy Marshall Helm a Mortician and Cemetery owner. Marshall turns to Sammy and says"call me Digger". The rest is history. Ernie Pico capitalised on what he saw and immediately set his wife Wanda up in the Leathers Business and she made the first of many, many sets of multi colored leathers which prevail to this day.
Sammy and the Axtell Gold Star that he rode to a great number of significant victories.
Preserved in all it's original glory.
Sammy's preferred asymmetrical bend bars.
Ascot's Agajanians and Sammy
The back story