Thursday, March 18, 2010

Johnson Motors Inc.

Johnson Motors Inc. started when Bill Johnson and Willbur Cedar decided to start buying British and American motors in a small showroom at Avocado street. In four decades they became the largest distributor of the legendary Triumph, Indian Motorcycles and Ariel. Besides reselling the partners sponsored young riders such as Jimmy Phillips in special Daytona Beach races. The racing department became such a success that the UK based Triumph company decided to develop exclusive US market racing bikes although Edward Turner frowned upon the idea that his bikes were used for racing. Amongst other bikes the Triumph Bonneville was known as the ultimate racing machine.

Soon after numerous stars would adopt the legendary bikes both on, and off screen. James Dean would ride a TR, Clint Eastwood drove his TR6 and Steve McQueen became attached to the brand since he drove one in "The Great Escape".

The inspiration of the brand as well as the racers and their outfits became the starting point of an interesting vintage T-shirt label. All the shirts are knitted, cut, sewn, dyed, printed and laundered in America and are known for their old school shapes. As from this spring The Johnson Motors T-shirts are available in limited numbers at Tenue de Nîmes. More info here.

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