LEGEND PROFILE | SONNY NUTTER

The legend of Slidin' Sonny Nutter, as do many legends, originates with a humble beginning. Sonny's love for motorcycling was born when he was 13 years old and working as a gunk brush at Jack Baldwin's motorcycle shop in Santa Monica, California. A gunk brush, if you didn't already know, is someone who cleans the really hard-to-get-off gunk from a motorcycle by spitting on said gunk, and then scrubbing it off by hand. By some magical chance, getting to spend so much time around bikes and detailing (shall we say) them sparked a deep interest in motorcycles that eventually grew into an unstoppable passion.

From there, Sonny is said to have spent every Friday and Saturday night at the races, watching and learning from the both the best and the locals. One of his favorite places to go watch the races was the iconic Ascot Park in Gardena, California. Sonny started his own career in racing during the 60s as a flat tracker, and went on to win numerous races.

In the 70s, Sonny found that he was best in the "brakeless" speedway races. He was so good at them he was able to make a regular living off the winnings, and raised a family while racing five nights a week at the local Southern Californian circuits.

Sonny's legend is crowned by two major achievements. The first is that he won the highly coveted and competitive California Speedway Champion title not once, but twice. The second is that he was asked to be the captain of the speedway team representing his country in Israel at the World Speedway Championship.

Another title he's rather proud of and will tell you about with a winning grin and a charming glint in his eye is that he was voted the AMA's "Most Liked" racer in 1970. Look at that face and tell us you wouldn't have voted for him too.

Now, Sonny still lives in Santa Monica, where he builds "Nutterized" trackers. These Nutterized trackers are authentic throwbacks modeled after the oil-in-frame trackers that legends like Sonny raced on in the 70s.

In collaboration with him, we created our own Nutterized Tracker from a 2004 Thruxton, and the awesome new Slash Cut TT Exhaust to pay homage to the heritage of the heydey of motorcycling, when racers were the real deal.


1 comment


  • Gerry Shumway

    In the 60s i bought a Bultaco Sherpa flat tracker from Jack Baldwins in Santa Monica that used to belong to Sonny. I watched Sonny drive Sprint cars at Ascot also ! We both went to Venice HS in the early 60s !