Vincent Seiferd, Sr. 1914-1992
Vincent Seiferd was our kind of guy.
Vincent raced his bike for a paycheck from 1931 until the start of WWII. As a professional bike racer Vincent wasn’t a superstar but he was always in the mix, tearing up the boards of all the famous east coast velodromes.
Nicknamed the Swedish Ace (even though his parents were actually German and Irish), Vincent entered his first professional race at the New York Coliseum in 1931. Over the years Vincent raced for all of the big east coast clubs including the Gotham Cyclists, the Empire City Wheelmen and the Century Road Club of America.
Well liked by his peers, Vincent was often spotted with other fast men of the era including Jimmy Walthour, Freddie Spencer, Danny Esposito, and Oscar Sellinger.
Like many bike racers in the 1930′s, Vincent’s athletic career ended with the start of WWII. Vincent didn’t race again after returning home from his service, but with the coaxing of his friend Jimmy Walthour who was by then a salesman for Raleigh bicycles, Vincent opened his two “Seiferd’s Cycle” bike shops on the Jersey Shore.
Old bike guys don’t fade away, but they do retire to someplace warm. For the Swedish Ace that place was Fort Lauderdale, Florida in 1969.
Like many east coast pros, Vincent raced aboard Pop Brennan’s hand-crafted racing bikes. Brennan’s machines were tough, light, and superbly engineered. Vincent’s family gave us one of his old racing bikes to restore and display. We know bike shop guys pretty well, and Vincent probably owned dozens of bikes over the years, and this one had equipment and modifications that probably spanned 30 years of usage. We decided to restore it to the way it would have been outfitted during his racing days, with BSA drivetrain equipment, an Ideale saddle, wooden rims, a Brennan bar and an adjustable stem. The paint is a nice vaguely Scandinavian color scheme, perfect for the Swedish Ace.
By the way, we have an interesting side note for you: If you look carefully at Vincent’s photo you’ll notice that it has been autographed by comedian (and bike racing fan) Lou Costello.