One of Vallejo's motorcycle racing legends, Stan "Iron Man Stan" Dishong, will be honored Saturday at the NorCal Knockout Car and Bike Show at the Solano County Fairgrounds. The "Stan Dishong Trophy" will be awarded to the top motorcycle entered, and on hand will be Dishong's son, Larry Dishong, Stan's grandson and his granddaughter. Stan Dishong lived in Vallejo from 1950 to 1988. He died Jan. 20, 2008. "Stan was an amazing man and we want people to realize that and honor him as much as we can." said Hank Forss, the event's co-promoter. It was Forss' idea to name the "Best Bike" after Dishong with the criteria of "functional ingenuity, quality of work, and impeccable appearance and/or restoration accuracy." "My dad did everything from setting the world's land speed record in 1951 to restoring the oldest American motorcycle known to be an existence to riding inside of a carnival barrel," Larry Dishong said. Stan Dishong was also "widely known" for a 96ci Harley dragster he built by hand, affectionately called "Hog," his son said. "He was at the center of a hotbed of motorcycling that burned throughout the West Coast following WWII," Larry Dishong said. Dishong's goal is to get his father inducted into the American Motorcycle Hall of Fame, honor and share his father's legacy, and build a business "that will sustain Stan's story for many years." "My father had a huge influence on motorcycle racing, customization and restoration,
mostly Harley and Indian," his son said. Stan Dishong bought his first Harley in 1944 at age 16. He first raced on the salt flats of Bonneville in 1951 setting a short lived land speed record of 156 mph. This was the first year the Southern California Timing Association invited motorcycles and Stan was one of only 10 riders asked to participate. Dishong opened Stan's Cycle in Vallejo in 1953. Stan and his wife, Jackie, lived three doors down from the shop on what is now called Dishong Street. It was during this period that Stan raced his reportedly undefeated 1937 Indian Scout drag bike. In addition to Stan's Cycle, he operated Dishong Manufacturing, a facility that made after-market parts for motorcycles. Stan's Cycle was filled with rare motorcycles and related memorabilia. Dishongnot only displayed the racing bikes he had built and raced, he also had some extremely rare antique bikes, originals and restorations of many different makes and models. In 1987, Dishong closed Stan's Cycle in Vallejo and moved to Port Orford, Ore., where they bought a 13 acre ranch and, for the next 15 years, Stan and Jackie restored many of his antique motorcycles. Jackie Dishong died in 2002. After that, Stan, sold the ranch and opened the Antique Motorcycle and Auto Museum in August, 2003. Larry Dishong said he most admired his father for "his courage and ability to think in a crisis." Stan Dishong's most important advice to his son? "When I was 20, he told me I was wasting my life and to join the service, which I did," said Larry, who served 24 years in the U.S. Navy and retired as Lt. Commander. "My Dad was always quick to tell me about the things he didn't like. But if he met someone who was earnestly interested in motorcycles, he would light up like a neon 'welcome' sign," Dishong said. "He was legendary for seeing someone on a bike, stopping to talk with them and inviting them to the shop for free advice and parts."