The sound of a restored Triumph motorcycle engine roars through cool Littleton air on a winter morning.
“The freedom of the open road, it’s just a sensation that until you’ve done it you can’t imagine it," George Nachtsheim says.
The skills Nachtsheim learned as an aerospace machinist helped him restore the old bike, but it wasn’t quite fast enough for him.
“This is my special construction, 1959 Triumph engine Bonneville race bike,” says Nachtsheim, as he lifts the black tarp draped over his most prized piece of engineering in his garage. “This bike here, I designed it and built it. I took it out to Bonneville. And I set a record with it. I’ve gone well over a hundred miles per hour with it.”
To be exact, he's gone 110.352 mph. That was Nachtsheim's world record-breaking speed in the 2013, in the 650cc/APS-PBG class landspeeding race. He also set a record in the 2016 350 CC/M-PF class at 87.542 mph.
He didn't start racing until he was 68-years-old. Nachtsheim set his first record when he was 73-years-old, and his second when he was 76.
George has dreamed for years about setting a record at Bonneville Speedway in Utah. He says no one should ever stop reaching for their dreams.
“Don’t let anything hold you back. If you’ve got a dream get out there, realize it, no matter what it is. Whether it’s a trip to the moon. Or whether it’s racing a motorcycle. If you want to do it, get out there and do it, because; tomorrow isn’t promised to anybody.”
Watch George's story, shot by photojournalist Mike Grady, in the video above.