Chuck Boehler was inducted into the Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame in 1989, a man recognized nationally and internationally for his motorcycle racing prowess.
Nearly a quarter-century later - thanks to the restorative talents of several local men - one of Boehler's 1960s-era bikes will eventually find a home at the CSHOF, which is located on West Third Street in Jamestown.
Jamestown resident Chuck ''Doc'' Sinatra, who acquired Boehler's Greeves motorcycle in an estate sale late last year, decided to restore the bike for two reasons: First, he knew Boehler personally, having ridden with him years ago in the Chautauqua Lake Cyclists Club; and, secondly, as CSHOF board member, Sinatra thought the motorcycle would be a nice addition to the Hall's ever-growing memorabilia collection.
Restoration will begin soon on this motorcycle, once owned by Chautauqua Sports Hall of Fame inductee Chuck Boehler.
P-J photo by Scott Kindberg
''I talked to (CSHOF president) Randy Anderson and he said it would be a great idea and (the Hall) would like to have it, so we said, 'OK, we'll do it. We'll get it the way it's supposed to be, get it running and set in the Hall.'''
Sinatra, who has already found new wheels and spokes through a dealer in Massachusetts, hopes to have the restoration completed by early next year.
''It's a pretty ugly thing right now,'' he said. ''I think it will look better when we're done.''
Sinatra, Larry Newton, Bruce Nelson and Doug Hoisington, among a handful of others, have a proven track record in that regard. In fact, all one has to do is look at a trophy case mounted on a wall of Sinatra's garage to see the quality of their work through the years. In it are numerous Grand National titles, which to the antique car/motorcycle buff is the equivalent of a Super Bowl championship to an NFL owner.
''When you're doing these things,'' Sinatra said, ''there's only one way you can go and that's 100 percent. If you're doing one and you have a part and the part isn't very good, you have to replace that part. If you can't replace it, you've got to make it. So you end up between a rock and a hard place. Either you want to do it half way or the whole way.''
For Sinatra and crew, that usually means pushing pedal to the metal in a figurative race for perfection.
''We like building them and sharing them for people to see,'' Sinatra said. '' ... That's the reason we do it. The purpose of the AACA is exactly that; to keep things in the presence of new people so new generations can see what we used to have.''
Antique car enthusiasts will get an up-close-and-personal look at the beautiful work that restorers do during the 30th annual World Series of Cars, which will be held July 28 at Bergman Park in Jamestown. The car show and flea market - the only one in the country that solely supports Babe Ruth World Series activities - has raised well in excess of $200,000 since 1984. But the event is more than a car show and more than handing out some pretty cool trophies in dozens of categories. What it is, Sinatra has always maintained, is a vehicle to raise money so that Jamestown can cover the franchise fee to bring a World Series to Jamestown.
''What you see in other car shows is a 'people's choice' kind of approach,'' said Hoisington, who has won a Grand National for his 1965 BMW motorcycle. ''This show is using the AACA standard so we're looking at stuff that looks like it did when it came off the assembly line. ... You're competing against the guy next to you and you're also competing against the standard.
''It really puts a lot of pressure on you as a restorer, because perfection is what you're after. There is no 'good enough.' It has to be better.''
It is with that ''standard'' in mind that the local men will go to work on Boehler's motorcycle, which is nearing 50 years old.
''This is fairly easy,'' Sinatra said. ''We'll have it done in six or seven months, if we can get the pieces. ... The hard thing is going to be the engine and the pieces of the engine. That's going to be the tough thing. ... But it will (ultimately) be something for people to see.''