CN III ARCHIVES
READING’S LEGEND RACER
Motorcycle racing fans around Reading, Penn- sylvania, still speak with pride when the subject of Billy Huber, one of their favorite sons, comes
up, even though it’s been nearly 60 years since
Huber tragically died in a National on a simmering
hot, dusty dirt oval in Dodge City, Kansas. Still, his
legend lives. In fact, years after his passing the local motorcycle clubs hosted Billy Huber Memorial
races and after the race went away his name lives
on in a memorial ride.
Huber grew up in a large family with seven siblings. It was so big that at least one younger brother was given to Billy’s grandparents to raise until
he was 12. “My mom and dad had so many kids
they could afford to give one away,” joked Billy’s
younger brother Earl.
Billy was the oldest of the Huber clan and he
followed his father Alan’s footsteps to go into motorcycle racing from a young age. In fact he lied
about his age he was so eager to get on the track.
Billy proved talented from the very start and his father gave up racing so he could focus his efforts
on helping Billy.
The young Huber caught the eye of local dealer Red Wolverton, who sponsored Huber, which
was much needed in the latter days of the Great
Depression. By the late 1930s Huber began traveling the country and showing he was up to racing
National-level competition. Accompanying Huber
on the road one summer was his younger brother
Earl. Perhaps today the elderly Earl is looking back
with rose-colored glasses, but to hear him wax
nostalgic on that summer traveling to races with his
big brother, you can tell he considers it the best
time of his life.
“This was the ‘30s remember,” Earl said. “We
didn’t have any money, but nobody did back then.
Billy did well enough that at some races he’d make
a little money here and there. But we traveled all
over, from South Carolina, to Kansas and every-
Racing legend Billy Huber.
where in between, chasing any race we could
And this was in the days well before the in-
terstate system. Traveling long distances was
no easy task. And often the accommodations
“We took the front wheel off Billy’s race bike
and connected the front fork on a mount we’d
welded to the bumper of his car. The car was our
home away from home. We’d drive long hours on
the road from race to race, we also slept in the
car, often not arriving till in the wee hours of the
morning of the big race.”
Just as Huber’s racing career was starting to
really get rolling, racing came to a stop with Amer-
ica’s entry into World War II. Huber (and two of his
brothers) served in the Armed Forces during the
war. When it was over four years of Huber’s prime
racing years had passed. He was eager to make
up for lost time.
Everyone on the racing circuit liked Huber. He
was a hard-working guy, who had a regular 40-