Below are two links to the two most well-written articles I have found on the web about Cal Rayborn. I feel it is more advisable from a copyright ethics point of view to post the links than to copy the articles in full, I only hope that they will stay on-line and not disappear someday in a dark hole of the web universe......
I would like to add a little personal touch to start this thread . It is widely admitted ( as expressed in the articles linked above ) that Cal Rayborn had made up his mind to leave Harley-Davidson at the end of 1973, when he embarked on his fateful no-return trip to New-Zealand. His projects for 1974 would have been to continue road-racing on a japanese two-stroke machine, and/or to start racing on four wheels . Hence, his trip to New-Zealand which included a race aboard an ex-Geoff Perry TR500 Suzuki, and possibly a car race at an un-named meeting. It is also widely accepted that Cal Rayborn was considering ( or even had signed ) a contract with the Suzuki factory , to compete in the 1974 AMA road race season.
I would therefore like to submit to the wisdom of you MRN forum members the following elements, which all originate from the late Pat Evans personal scrapbooks, kindly forwarded to me by his brother Sean, and seem to ascertain ( in so much as one can trust the press....) that Rayborn may have envisaged at some stage another possibility....
This article from the 1973/74 mid-season break first :
Then this undated photo, which as far as I can tell does seem to show Cal Rayborn on the left, together with Pat Evans and Don Vesco
And finally, this clipping from february '74, annoucing the recruitment of Dick Mann by Don Vesco, since the original project had sadly become impossible
Of course, as I said earlier this might have been pure journalist guessing, but still, unlike what the "official" history tells us, it may have been that Cal Rayborn, besides the Suzuki USA route, may also have been considering a Vesco TZ 700 Yamaha ride for 1974.....
Over to you for your memories and photos of Cal Rayborn
Edited by philippe7, 22 May 2009 - 23:33.