Sunday, April 5, 2009




Thanks for visiting the 'Rollie Free book' blog! We now have a full-featured web site dedicated to the book and related matters. Why don't you check it out by clicking this link here?

We appreciate your interest and support of motorcycling and racing lore!

---Jerry Hatfield


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Jay Leno Loves "Flat Out! The Rollie Free Story." See Jay's Video Book Review!

To see Jay and author Jerry Hatfield talk about Flat Out! The Rollie Free Story, click on the following link.

Jay says: "It's a great book.... I can't recommend this book highly enough!"

Thursday, November 29, 2007

The Ad That Got To Rollie Free

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Following their Daytona Beach records in March 1937, Harley-Davidson ran this ad in the April Motorcyclist. The hype about the 45 cubic inch (750 cc) record irritated Rollie Free, who had for years promised 90, 100, or over a 100 mph to his Indian riders of both 750 cc and 1200 cc models. Free's fee depended on the speed wanted. At the time of the Harley 750 cc record, Free had faster Indian 750 cc bikes roaming the streets and byways of Indianapolis. One of his customer's had a 1200 cc Chief that would turn an indicated 112 mph. Free decided to go to Daytona Beach, and put his Indians to the test.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Previously Unpublished Picture #8

I would've used this classic Rollie flat-out pose, if the picture had been available in time. This photo was taken in Free's service station, along with the "phony" handshake shown on page 109.
Rollie Free Scrapbook (Roland Held, preserver)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Previously Unpublished Picture #7

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September 13, 1948. During previous runs, Rollie Free's leathers have torn. The gray area on his left leg is a series of tape strips used to patch the damage.
Rollie Free Scrapbook (Roland Held, preserver)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Rollie Free's Business Cards

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I had only one visit with Rollie Free, on Sunday, September 14, 1980. We met for about three hours at the Free's apartment in Hollywood. Near the end of the visit, Rollie showed me some business cards, commenting, "A fella from Massachusetts made me these business cards." I said, "Can I have one?" Rollie answered, "You can have as many as you want." I picked up six cards, then asked Rollie if he would autograph one to me, which is the card you see here. I then asked him to sign his name on the back of another card. Rollie died four weeks later. I kept that second signed card, waiting to find the right recipient, until September 21, 2000 -- 20 years and one week. At Bonneville, with the famous "Bathing Suit Bike" on its first return visit, I presented the second card to the motorcycle's owner, Herb Harris.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Previously Unpublished Picture #6

This is a September 1948 shot. Rationale: The long shadow and the orientation of the mountain range are the same as in the 1948 Life magazine picture that forms the book's title page. However, this from-the-ground shot lacks the drama of the title page shot made from the officials tower. Rollie Free Scrapbook (Roland Held, preserver)