Joe Petrali - "The Pride Of Sacramento"

Apr 14, 2023 760

Sunday, April 23 at 1:30 pm - at the Italian Center, 6821 Fair Oaks Blvd, Carmichael, CA. Admission $10 / Refreshments Included / Doors Open at 1:00p. Joe Petrali, “the Pride of Sacramento” was known worldwide as a national and world Motorcycling champion during the Golden Age of motorcycling.

Motorcycling was a popular sporting event from the turn of the century to the 1960s and most cities and towns in Northern California had racetracks. The Petrallia family came to San Francisco from Sicily in the early 20th century where Joe Petrali was born in 1904, then soon moved to a home on 5th Avenue and Stockton Blvd in Sacramento where he was raised.

Joe developed an affinity for motorcycling at a young age and his first win was on a track in Sacramento at the old State Fair raceway. By the age of 16 he was on the factory team for Indian Motorcycle. In the 1920s and 30s he was shattering records for the Harley Davidson team. He set the world motorcycling speed record in 1937 at Daytona Beach.

He won a record 70 national championships during his long career, a record which stood for 55 years. He was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame. Locally, He was a member of the Capital City Motorcycle Club of Sacramento till he passed away in 1973 at age 70.

After retiring as a racer, Howard Hughes hired him as his flight engineer on the “Spruce Goose.” Joe was seated behind Hughes in 1947 when that plane made its one and only flight in Long Beach, California.

Joe’s legacy in the world of motorcycle racing will be remembered with this multi-media presentation of his life by Paul Petrali, Joe's great-nephew and president of Petrali … There will be artifacts to view and Joe Petrali memorabilia for sale at this special event at the Italian center.

SOURCE: Italian Cultural Society in Sacramento

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