Chandler in hall of fame
Truckee’s Danny “Magoo” Chandler, one of the top motorcross riders in the world until a horrific accident ended his career in 1985 in Paris, was recently inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in Pickerington, Ohio, by the American Heritage Foundation Board of Trustees.
Chandler joined late actor and off-road racer Steve McQueen, five-time world champion Roger DeCoster and 60 other motorcycling legends in receiving the award.
This year’s inductees were chosen from a list of more than 500 candidates representing all aspects of motorcycling dating back to the turn of the century.
Twelve inductees were named from each of the hall of fame’s six categories: dirt track, road racing, motorcross, off-road, hillclimb, speed records, industry and history.
“I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am and how honored I am to receive this wonderful award,” said Chandler, who recently made the trip to Ohio to be inducted. “To my fans, to my friends, to the hundreds of kids I talk to every year, and to the foundation, I say, ‘thank you’ from the bottom of my heart.”
Chandler said officials at the hall of fame museum are requesting photos and memorabilia which will be prominently displayed at the museum.
During the early 1980s, Chandler won major motorcross races and received headlines throughout the world. He won the U.S. Grand Prix, four major races in Europe against the 250cc and 500cc riders and returned to the United States to capture Superbikes, a motorcycle decathlon involving champions from all types of competition.
Then came Chandler’s final race in Paris that ended his career and left him a quadriplegic.
“The worst part of being paralyzed was realizing that life wasn’t going on like it had been,” Chandler said. “There’s no way you can be prepared for the shock that you’re never going to do what you used to do. And no one can tell you.”
Today, Chandler travels on- and off-road in his custom-built off-road wheelchair. He is devoted to helping children and promoting safety for everyone involved with outdoor recreation.
For the past five years, his life has been full of mountain bike racing, which he promotes throughout the Sierra.
Additionally, Chandler is active speaking to elementary and high school students about the importance of safety and learning how to say “no” to drugs and alcohol.
“One of my dreams is to someday promote a major league motorcross race, like the ones I used to participate in,” Chandler said.
“I still enjoy motorcycles and I owe a lot to the sport and I feel a need to tell young kids how important it is to take some responsibility in keeping it on the right track.”
For information about Chandler’s racing series, his speaking tour or his classes on off-highway riding, call 587-2944 or write to P.O. Box 1864, Truckee, 96160.
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