One of my fondest memories of my youth was racing motocross. During that time, all I did was ride, race and tinker with dirt bikes.
The time I wasn’t tuning and adjusting my bike in the garage was spent outside, riding in the nearby desert. The only other thing I did was go to school – and while I was there, I was still thinking about riding.
Of that time during the early 1980′s, one of the riders I admired most was Danny ‘Magoo’ Chandler. His wild and aggressive style was always exciting to watch and his sheer will to finish the race was captivating – not to mention, the guy could jump a motorcycle. There wasn’t a span of dirt he wouldn’t try and clear. The absolute original, fearless racer.
Chandler’s list of accomplishments have included numerous national and international motocross victories. His racing career came to a premature end when he was left paralyzed after a crash at the Paris Supercross in December of 1985. Despite his disability, Chandler has become a positive influence on thousands of people by giving talks on his life story at schools, hospitals and other assemblies.
Recently, Magoo has begun a new chapter in his life and was in dire need of some support to spread a positive message throughout the country with his motocross and safety schools. So, when I was approached by Todd Huffman, from Pipeline Digital Media to donate my time to this project, I couldn’t help but say yes.
The van design was inspired by Magoo’s 1982 Trophies and Motocross des Nation wins that led the U.S. team to an amazing victory. Chandler became the only rider ever to win both motos of both events in the same year. His team number that year was number 3 on a factory Honda. So it was only fitting to use that numeral to base the design, with the color scheme including the Honda red and Open class yellow number plate. Only the type geeks would know it, but I even used the classic Compacta italic font that graced that era’s racer plates. The logo illustration was done by moto-artist, Walt Hackensmith.
Through the generous efforts of Brad Lackey and many of his fellow racers and corporate fans, this Mercedes Sprinter van will help Magoo get around for many years to come and help spread his positive message to the masses. I was certainly honored to be a part of it. Special thanks to Spin Imaging for producing the vehicle wrap.
Unfortunately, at the time of our unveiling, Magoo’s life came to an untimely end due to complications with his injuries. It is with a heavy heart that we were not able to complete the launch of Magoo’s renewed career with his motocross and safety schools and see it come to fruition. Everyone worked so hard to make it happen for such a deserving soul and it really felt good to help out. All I think any of us wanted was to see him succeed with a little of our collective help. Godspeed, Magoo.