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1976 Mongoose Motomag  RSS Feed

#1 2009-03-27 10:19am

mongoosedrummer
Expert
From: Twomey, TN
Registered: 2008-01-02
Posts: 787
Bikes: 13

1976 Mongoose Motomag

http://bmxmuseum.com/image/goose002.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com/image/dsc02246_copy1.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com/image/goose003.jpg http://bmxmuseum.com/image/goose001.jpg

1976 Mongoose Motomag

This was my first real BMX bike. A little blog here to explain...

I grew up in Canada before moving to the US. After a couple years of modifying 20" CCM Mustangs with my pals for "dirt riding", my father and I were lucky enough to get in direct contact with the legendary Skip Hess. It was late 1975. Skip spoke to my father and I a couple times on the phone and eventually sent us the very first Mongoose ever shipped to Canada which we picked up the following spring. We had to drive across the border to get it because Skip had no export license for Canada at that time. The Mongoose "Kit" was marked as a "Sample" of the new BMX bicycles he was producing from his company in Southern California. This all came about because I had relatives who lived in the San Fernando Valley and I was eagerly learning about the new sport officially called "BMX" that was happening down there. Nobody in Canada seemed to have heard of it. I had begun reading all about Motomags, Webco frames and Redline forks that the kids were started to buy and race with in SoCal... That's how I first heard about Skip and why I begged my dad to try and reach him. Miraculously he did! Anyhow, after receiving a full blown Mongoose "Kit" directly from the man himself, it goes without saying, I was the happiest damn kid in the whole world! To this day, I can never thank him enough for treating me like I was someone special (even though I was merely a delinquent 12 year old boy from Canada). We had no organized racing back then up in Canada, but I rode that bike upside down and sideways for years. I even made the local papers for jumping over 12 friends lying down in a row! I'm sure many people in my old neighborhood will never forget that old Mongoose, including the cops! LOL! My dad stayed in touch with Skip for a while and eventually visited with him in Chatsworth a couple years later on business. He always spoke very highly of him. In 2007, my dad was diagnosed with Acute Leukemia. During this very difficult period, we discussed a lot of old memories including Skip Hess and that old Mongoose. It was then that I got back in touch with Skip and became interested in collecting vintage Mongoose bikes. Sadly, my father passed away quite quickly but he did enjoy seeing my interest in the early stages of my Mongoose collecting and especially hearing that Skip and I were in touch. Pretty much every build I put together reminds me of the best times I had with my dad. That's why I love doing this. I've also really enjoyed getting to know Skip quite well in these last couple years and sharing pictures with him of these old bikes that I've been rebuilding. Visiting with him and his family last year in California was a real honor for my wife and I. Skip Hess is truly an incredible man and I'll never forget how he has touched my life and helped the bond between my father and I become even closer, then and now.


http://bmxmuseum.com/img/view-bike-in-museum.gif


A "Squonk" is like a Mongoose only much harder to find...

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#2 2009-03-27 10:40am

crowebomber
Intermediate
From: Colorado
Registered: 2008-05-21
Posts: 490
Bikes: 1

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

Awesome story. Thank you for sharing it.


Chrome is my favorite color.

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#3 2009-03-27 2:21pm

fulfillment
Expert
Registered: 2006-08-09
Posts: 831
Bikes: 3

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

That is a great story....thanks. And that's so cool you got pics of it like that. I'm still kickin myself for not taking more pictures when i was kid. do you still have that goose?

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#4 2009-03-27 3:00pm

KenC
Pro Member
From: St.Louis, MO
Registered: 2008-07-27
Posts: 1703
Bikes: 35

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

It’s always a pleasure to read your threads Drummer. wink

My father passed away over 9 years ago, those old memories with your father will pop up in you head more frequently as time goes on, at least it has for me.


I'm looking for a clean 1975 Mongoose (long) frame, and a nice original finish Mongoose Two/Four

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#5 2009-03-27 3:28pm

manida
Pro Member
From: Albuquerque, NM
Registered: 2008-02-04
Posts: 2146
Bikes: 24

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

What a great story and a set of incredible builds.  Makes me want to build up my 79 Motomag even more.  Thanks for the words, a true inspiration.

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#6 2009-03-27 6:33pm

mongoosedrummer
Expert
From: Twomey, TN
Registered: 2008-01-02
Posts: 787
Bikes: 13

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

Thanks for the nice comments you guys.cool


A "Squonk" is like a Mongoose only much harder to find...

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#7 2009-03-30 10:08am

TxFireman
Museum Addict
Registered: 2008-08-20
Posts: 1020
Bikes: 5

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

Awesome story, Pete. It sounds like Skip is a hell of a guy, when you take into account the fact that he was getting a large company off the ground at that time. He could have easly ignored any phone calls or letters, but instead took the extra time in making sure that goose got to you. It may be a small bit of history, but it carries a lot of weight. Thanks for sharing it. Sorry to hear about your dad though. I lost my father in '05, and there probably isn't a day that goes by, that he isn't in my thoughts. RC


"Danger is my business" ~ Jeff Spicoli - Fast Times at Ridgemont High
~1978 Mongoose Motomag~1979 Mongoose motomag~1983 Kuwahara KZ-83 Laser Lite~1981 Mongoose II~

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#8 2009-04-02 10:47pm

o4Silverado
Pro Member
From: Memphis, TN
Registered: 2006-06-15
Posts: 632
Bikes: 11

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

Looks like you took a tumble in that last pic eh!? lol

Cool story! you still have the sickest Mongoose collection ever cool


Mongoose the bike that's built to fly

Always looking to buy anything by B.M.X. Products

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#9 2009-07-14 9:06pm

dpercival
Pro Member
From: Western MA
Registered: 2008-10-10
Posts: 8332
Bikes: 4

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

Great story and bike!


Alpha Company, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard Of The Army) Veteran.

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#10 2010-10-10 5:14am

ReddyZ06
Museum Addict
From: Chandler, AZ via Columbus, OH
Registered: 2009-05-14
Posts: 1197
Bikes: 4

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

Very sad to hear that you lost your father. I love that he got to see that the history of that bike still lives within you. What a great collection you have. BMX bike sure have given many of us wonderful memories and the history shown in your collection is great.
Mike

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#11 2012-11-17 3:04pm

Devo
The Smiley Dispenser
From: United Kingdom
Registered: 2012-11-13
Posts: 1590
Bikes: 5

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

cool


I Love bmxmuseum!

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#12 2013-02-22 12:00am

mongoosedrummer
Expert
From: Twomey, TN
Registered: 2008-01-02
Posts: 787
Bikes: 13

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

Seems like the 70's bikes are dying off in interest/popularity... Especially the early and mid 70's bikes... Oh well, I'm bumpin' to keep them thumpin'!!! Haha! wink


A "Squonk" is like a Mongoose only much harder to find...

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#13 2014-04-07 4:49am

strapps
Member
Registered: 2013-08-16
Posts: 57

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

Thanks for sharing that story re mongoose and your father
I am a lover of the early mongoose stuff 75 to 81 great bikes
hard to get over here
keep up the good work
grantley

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#14 2018-01-31 4:14pm

drjsv99
Museum Newbie
Registered: 2017-12-23
Posts: 1

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag

Lovely story... Its amazing how we connect with out past through our bikes. In about 81, my dad took me to get a Raleigh Grifter as they were the bike to have at that time in the UK. When we got there the bike shop had mongoose in, I'd never seen them before or knew what a BMX was and my dad said I should get one of those but I stuck to my heavy old grifter which lasted me about three years, then in around 84 my dad lent me the money to buy my first BMX, it was a team Raleigh Aero Pro; I paid him off over a couple of years from my paper round. It bugged me at the time that he didn't just buy it for me but looking back it taught me a lot, and I still have that bike and treasure it and the link it has for me to my dad. Since then, I've also built a motomag with the motomag wheels as it reminds me of that day my dad knew best and because for me, those wheels represent the start of BMX.

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#15 2018-03-15 1:51am

mongoosedrummer
Expert
From: Twomey, TN
Registered: 2008-01-02
Posts: 787
Bikes: 13

Re: 1976 Mongoose Motomag


A "Squonk" is like a Mongoose only much harder to find...

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