The Late Jack Mangus Tells His Sheene Story
when asked about Kenny Roberts, Sheene confidently replied, "I'm not worried about him."
Friday, January 19, 2024
Throughout his career, Jack Mangus fostered close relationships with many legendary racers of the 70s and 80s, including former world champion Barry Sheene. Mangus often shared personal anecdotes about his interactions with these racing icons. One of his cherished memories involved a dinner in Venezuela just before the infamous F-750 race in 1976. Sitting across the table were Barry Sheene, his father Franco, Gary Nixon, and Erv Kanemoto. The conversation turned to Sheene's competition, and when asked about Kenny Roberts, Sheene confidently replied, "I'm not worried about him."
"Stephanie, get me $40,000 American from upstairs."
Little did he know that two years later, Kenny Roberts would dethrone Sheene, proving that even the greatest champions can have their moments of uncertainty.
The late Dale Singleton. He was just a humble pig farmer from Georgia. He won the Daytona 200 twice and finished second at the Suzuka 8 Hours.
Barry Sheene, though known for his charismatic and carefree image, came from humble beginnings and worked hard for his success. His lavish spending habits were also legendary, as he indulged in helicopters, cars, and luxurious travel experiences. Jack Mangus recalled a fascinating story involving Sheene's desire for a motorhome. While staying with Dale Singleton in England, Sheene expressed his wish to acquire one. Singleton informed Sheene about a dealer for the brand he desired, conveniently located not far from Singleton's home in north Georgia. The price was discussed, and without hesitation, Sheene called for $40,000 in American currency. To everyone's astonishment, Stephanie, Sheene's wife, appeared with the requested sum. Sheene's advice to Singleton was to always demand bonus or start money to be paid in cash, specifically in American dollars or Swiss francs.
Upon returning to the United States, Dale Singleton, in a beat-up Buick, made his way to the luxury motorhome dealer just north of Atlanta. The salesman initially looked down on him and his brother Spencer, dressed in t-shirts and Levis. However, Singleton confidently stated, "I'll take that one," and when asked about payment, he simply said, "Cash."
This is a Sheene drink coaster from the era when Sheene rode for Yamaha in Grand Prix. It comes from the collection of Paolo Ciabatti.
Spencer fetched Singleton's briefcase from the car, and Dale proceeded to count out the asking price, a sum that amounted to $38,000 in greenbacks. He pushed the stack of cash toward the astonished salesman, leaving a lasting impression.
For Dale Singleton, this unconventional purchase became one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences of his life.
Singleton, who won the Daytona 200 in 1979 and 1981, is best known as a hard racer and for his victory circle exploits. Nicknamed the "Flying Pig Farmer", Singleton traveled much of his later career with a pet PIG and was photographed with a baby pig whenever he was on the podium, much to the pleasure of race promoters who inquired about the pig when discussing "start money". He was by all counts a very colorful character.
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