ISDT Qualifier 1974

Forty years, hard to imagine. In March 1974 a qualifying round for the ISDT was held at Fort Hood, and I went down to get some photos for Cycle News. The best information is that Fort Hood is the largest military base in the world. It’s presently about 334 square miles and hosts 45,000 troops. It’s a fantastic tank training ground, ideal for a motorcycle endurance competition.

Back in those days I only shot publication photos in black and white, and it was all 35 mm film. My digital photo days were nearly 30 years away. I have scanned some of the negatives, and here are a few of the interesting shots. This one appears to be a fueling station set up somewhere along the course:



An interesting competitor was Malcolm Smith. He first came to our attention when he appeared in the entertainment documentary On Any Sunday, produced by Bruce Brown and also featuring actor Steve McQueen and American racing champion Mert Lawill. I knew Smith would be a big attraction for readers, so I made sure I got a few photos. He is one guy who has all his shit together. All business and completely focused. Here he is chugging some Gatorade:


And here is Smith back on the course:


Here are a couple of photos to remind you this really is an endurance event and not all fun and games:

File2487 File2568

Also, to remind you this is a military base:

File2509 File2511

An endurance is a lot about motorcycle maintenance. Also here is a shot of Malcolm Smith leaving the paddock for another day on the trail:

File2530 File2533


About John Blanton

I'm a retired engineer living in San Antonio, Texas. I have served in the Navy, raced motorcycles, taken scads of photos and am usually a nice guy. I have political and religious opinions, and these opinions tend to be driven by an excess of observed stupidity. Gross stupidity is the supposed target of many of my posts.
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One Response to ISDT Qualifier 1974

  1. Pingback: Two-Wheel Classic | Specular Photo of San Antonio

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