PICKERINGTON, Ohio — Hall of Famer Tom McDermott stopped by to explore the AMA Hall of Fame Museum on Aug. 4 with his son Patrick and caregiver Angela Maganon
"It's probably been seven or eight years since I've been here," McDermott said as he examined the array of bikes in the museum. "I was here in 2004 for a celebration, as well. It's nice to come back for a visit."
With every motorcycle he caught sight of, McDermott recounted another story from his successful racing career in the 1940s and 1950s. It was clear the bikes made him nostalgic.
Tom McDermott, seated, with his son, Patrick, and caregiver Angela Maganon.
"There's been a lot of years between now and 1949," Dermott said. "I made a lot of great friends and memories from racing motorcycles."
McDermott became the first American to win a medal at the ISDT (now the International Six Days Enduro) in 1949, after he was invited to compete in the event with a sponsorship from BSA factory.
"They saw me racing in the sandy corners in Daytona Beach, much like how the tracks are in Europe, and invited me to race," McDermott said. "I had no money to my name. I borrowed $220 to ride a Scottish freight to compete in the race in England. It was only 31 days after [BSA] invited me to race."
After taking four years off from racing to serve in the Unites States Air Force, McDermott returned to his racing career and finished in the top of his classes in events like AMA Nationals and the Jack Pine Enduro.
His caregiver, Maganon, said she had no clue about McDermott's rich history in racing when she first met him.
"I like learning about it through the stories he tells," Maganon said. "I see all the pictures and stuff he has. It's really cool."
To learn more about McDermott's racing background, visit his bio at www.motorcyclemuseum.org.