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Racing legend Resweber dies

Racing legend Carroll Resweber, who was the first man to win four consecutive Grand National Motorcycle Championships, died May 8 at the age of 79.
A Port Arthur native, Resweber worked his way through the various classes of racing before earning a spot in the nationals and his spot in racing history by winning four American Motorcycle Association championships in a row from 1958 to 1961.
His career came to a halt on a dusty track in Illinois in 1962. During a practice run Resweber made a turn and, with visibility low due to dust, struck a driver and motorcycle that had gone done earlier. A chain reaction wreck occurred with one rider fatally injured and others seriously injured. Resweber spent two years recuperating and didn’t return to racing.
“He liked a lot of challenges and stayed really busy,” son Ricky Resweber said. “He liked going places and he loved racing. That’s all he ever thought about, racing.”
Resweber’s extensive knowledge of the machines and his title as champion led to a job with Harley-Davidson Motor Company machining special parts for racing machines.
Ricky Resweber was too young to remember the early days of his dad’s career but he id try his hand at racing.
“I wasn’t as good as my dad but had a lot of fun with it,” he said. “It was a little hard for me when I went to races they expected me to be as good as my dad. It was hard to live up to. We are proud of him.”
Even in later years of his life the racing legend would find ways to feed his need for speed.
“He liked to go fast. It was a big adrenaline rush,” he said. “He was always looking to get it back. It’s hard when you quit.”
Family members would hear stories of the elder Resweber racing people on the street  but those stories usually didn’t come from Resweber.
“Others would tell me he was out hot roddin’ on the street with some other guys and I’d get on him a bit about it,” he said. “But once a racer you never get it out of your blood.”
Carroll Resweber was inducted into the Motorcycle Museum’s Hall of Fame in Ohio in 1988 and is featured in a exhibit at the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur.
Carroll Resweber is survived by his son, Ricky Resweber of Houston; step-son, Rusty Tantillo of Houston and a brother, Donald Resweber of Port Arthur.
A private gathering of family will be held this week.
E-mail: mary.meaux@panews.com
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