Industry Pioneer: Floyd Clymer

Floyd Clymer was born in Indianapolis on October 26, 1895. They shortly after moved to Colorado. Upon moving to Berthoud, Colorado, Floyd’s father purchased the family’s first automobile, a Curved Dashed Oldsmobile which became Floyd’s first car he would learn to drive at the age of 7.

He always showed a passion for cars. He became the youngest Ford dealer in the country at 13 years old. Many publications wrote about Clymer and his early success. He eventually became interested in motorcycles and began entering races. He also opened a Harley Davidson and Excelsior dealership in Greeley, Colorado.

As a motorcycle racer, Clymer gained notoriety by leading a great fraction of the acclaimed Dodge City 300. Floyd was riding a Harley Davidson and was the top performer for much of the race until his bike malfunctioned at 110 laps in the 150 lap competition. This event was just a minor bump in the road for Floyd.

He would then go on to win multiple races including the Pikes Peak hill climb. In 1920 he was victorious in winning the national sidecar championship and prevailed in numerous hill climbing competitions thereafter.

Floyd Clymer is known as a pioneer in the motorcycling profession. He was a racer, a racing promoter, a motorcycle dealer and distributor, a motorcycle manufacturer, a magazine publisher and an author. In 1998, Clymer etched his name in history by being inducted into the motorcycle Hall of Fame.

Floyd’s latter notoriety came largely in part due to his yearly publishing of a yearbook for the Indianapolis 500. His time spent working with them spanned from 1946-1968. He also wrote numerous works on classic cars. These pieces included Henry’s Wonderful Model T, Those Wonderful Old Automobiles, Treasury of Early American Automobiles along with a series of Historical Motor Scrapbooks.

Not only was Floyd Clymer an amazing motorcyclist and writer, but he was a superior entrepreneur. He created innovative ways in marketing and selling motorbikes. He would take his motorcycles to agricultural trade shows and he would demonstrate how the bikes could be utilized in the agricultural industry as well as in the delivery industry, in the police force and in the newspapers companies.

Floyd Clymer was an inspiration to many and his life was a staple of passion and drive. His accomplishments were a direct product of his desires and he achieved them by persevering with great courage and persistence.