Back in 1972 Marty Tripes was a puppy faced youthful 16 year old, with a factory Yamaha and tons of natural talent when he entered the LA Coliseum for the first ever Supercross held inside the former Olympic venue.
Mike Goodwin, a rock & roll concert promoter had come up with the idea of moving the often dusty and dirty outdoor motocross events into the comfort of football stadiums, where spectators could see everything from the comfort of a seat and easily grab a hot-dog or a beer. Goodwin came up with the idea whilst sat on the toilet in Belize, central America, reading about how a promoter had sold out Madison Square Garden in New York for a flat track race. Goodwin and his wife Diane, jumped in their beat up VW camper, drove to the Coliseum and convinced the owners to hold the inaugural Superbowl after sketching a rough track design on the back of a cocktail napkin. Goodwin invited all the top European riders, like Hallman, DeCoster, Hansen, Kring, Aberg, Bickers etc to come and show the young inexperienced Americans how to ride Motocross inside a stadium. They knew little of a young 16 year old kid, named Marty Tripes from San Diego, but by the end of the balmy July night, his name was on everyone’s lip’s!
Goodwin made the race part of the Inter-Am Series, which used to attract some of Europe’s best riders to the United States during the summer months. Torsten Hallman, the multi-time world champion from Sweden, led a large contingent into the Coliseum, but it was a just-turned-16-years-old Yamaha rider that would steal the show. Marty Tripes, a superbly talented teenager on a yellow Yamaha, was barely old enough to have a driver’s license (he turned 16 just ten days before the race). Over the course of three motos, Tripes would finish 2-2-2 to score the best overall finish of the night. In doing so, he set a record for the youngest AMA Supercross winner ever, a standard that will likely never be surpassed.
Fast forward 43 years and Marty’s friend’s Jim Beauchamp and Keith Lynas approached Professional Artist Rob Kinsey to commission a painting of Marty winning the first ever Superbowl of Motocross. The trouble was, in the pre digital camera days not a lot of colour photo’s had been archived and eventually Rob had to work from old newsprint black/white shots and research all the colours, add in the Coliseum peristyle, crowd etc.
Luckily I was able to find some other colour photo’s of Marty’s race kit and bike to get the colours accurate/
Working on the painting took approx 40 hours of work.
The presentation to Marty was arranged for a surprise birthday party on June 27th, where Jim presented Marty with the painting, which was well received and even brought a tear to Marty’s eyes for the generosity of his friends and remembering back to that night in July 1972.