Orren "Putt" Mossman was born on the Mossman family farm in Hardin County, Iowa, near Hubbard and Eldora on 8th July 1906. He was the pre-war equivalent of Evel Knievel.
More can be found on Putt on the article below written by John Hyam.
Click here to see Putt Mossman 1936 Stunt Practice
Putt Mossman by John Hyam
To those with memories of pre-
The fact that Mossman has a place in the American Motorcycle Association’s ‘Hall of Fame’ may surprise many. It includes legends like USA road racer Kenny Roberts and, from speedway the list includes Wilbur Lamoreaux, Mike Bast, Jack Milne and Lloyd ‘Sprouts” Elder. Also there is an enigmatic figure of the 1920s, Cecil Brown, who was involved in the long-
So, how does Mossman figure? It seems the Americans have given him status for his undoubted ability as a stunt motorcycle rider. But he also gets rated because of his ability in flat-
Mossman rode speedway in the USA, Japan, New Zealand and Australia in pre-
The 1936 tour of Britain saw the Americans in action against tracks in the National League’s Second Division, as well as appearing in stunt acts. They were back again in 1938, and Mossman’s form when involved in speedway was enough for Bristol to try -
In Europe, Mossman also managed to claim a place in the 1938 Isle of Man TT road races as the official American entrant. No story book ride for him -
Mossman and his troupe performed many stunts. They included crashing through plate glass and riding through walls of flame, as well as one trick in which Mossman rode a motorcycle which had a 6ft ladder attached to it. His wife used to climb up one side of the ladder and down the other as Putt maintained a steady 35mph.
His favourite trick, mainly used in New Zealand and Australia, involved a midget car which had a ramp fitted from the back, over the driver’s head, and down across the car’s bonnet. Mossman would roar up from behind on a speedway bike then ride across the ramp and come down in front of the midget.
When speedway resumed in Britain in 1946, Mossman offered British speedway promoters the chance to book his stunt team for another tour, but post-
After that, little more was heard of this interesting character until the AMA honoured him, deservedly perhaps, with ‘Hall of Fame’ status a few years ago.
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