SIEGE: So you were a Factory Monark Rider?
WALLENBERG: what happened is that my family is from Sweden, my Grandparents
came over from Sweden. My Dad learned how to speak Swedish, and so when
they had the Elkhorn Inter-Am, near where we're from in Wisconsin, we
got to meet TORLIEF HANSEN, TORSTEN HALLMAN, BENGT ABERG, ARNE KRING,
-all the guys. sWell- in 1971 at the Inter-Am in the Fall, they had
a round in Wisconsin, and the following weekend they went to St Louis.
So that week in between, TORLIEF HANSEN, factory Husqvarna Rider, stayed
at our house all week. Now I'm this little 14 year old kid that's drooling
over having Torlief Hansen stay at my house, just like somebody would
if Bubba stayed at their house for a week, or Carmichael. My Dad had
heard that Husky was coming out with a 125. I was riding a 100cc DKW
at the time. My Dad said to Torlief what do you think? ...and Torlief
said Look- I'm a Factory Husqvarna Rider. Don't tell anybody I told
you this, but there's this bike in Sweden called the Monark which I
think is a much better bike for Scott (than the Husky 125 that was coming
SIEGE: I'll be damned.
WALLENBERG: We remembered that so my Dad tried to find out how he
could get one of those Monarks. At that time in the USA They were called
there happened to be an MCB distributor in Rockford, Illinois, called
Rockford Motors who also imported Bridgestone motorcycles from Japan.
We drove out there to ask him about getting a Monark. He said we don't
carry those anymore. They are now being imported by a company in Burbank,
California called Inter-trends JOHN OLSSON was his name- another Swede
- so my Dad called up information, got his number, and said John I want
to buy a Monark. I'm in Illinois. And John said Ve Don' haf aany Deeelers
in Illinois! And my dad said how do you become a dealer? Answer: you
hav to order foor motorcycles and ten percent in paarts. So my Dad started
the wheels turning. If I could find another guy or two to buy a couple
of these we could.. but my dad was a TV repairman. We couldn't run a
dealership in WILMETTE, Illinois. But he had a friend who was a Swede
who was a Volvo Mechanic and he set him up to become the first Monark
Dealer in Illinois. And once I raced the first one-
SIEGE: Ah I see-how long did it take you to get one?
WALLENBERG: the bike came in the first week of June in 72 so that's
how long it took-
SIEGE: so that's nine months or something like that
WALLENBERG: the first Monark that showed u in a crate- we uncrated
it at the Volvo Dealership and pot it together, and I raced it and won
both motos with
it. So they took a picture of me holding that trophy - and that was
in those Monark Ads that ran in Dirt Bike and Motocross Action forever.
An out of the box winner-
SIEGE: how old were you in '71?
WALLENBERG: lets see- I was 14. So then- we realized that these
Monarks were really good, and so basically John (Olsson) wanted my Dad
to set up other
dealers in the area. So out of the basement of my Dad's TV Shop... John
Olsson always thought my Dad quit his TV business to go into the Monark
business- so we had a separate phone line and everything for when John
would call. And so he set up dealers in Indiana Illinois, Wisconsin
and Ohio. And so I was racing them, and doing quite well with the bike.
So we were just totally involved with the brand. And then they had a
World Cup 125 Race and Nils-Arne Nilsson won on a 125 Husky. Monark
brought their guy from Sweden over BJARNE BLOM - Marty Smith was the
Monark Factory Rider out of California. Marty crashed in the first turn
that day so he didn't do that well overall. Later in the fall of 73
Honda was preparing for the introduction of the 125cc Elsinore and made
an offer to Marty Smith to be their guy and ride it, so he left Monark.
His works bike that had been all prepared from Sweden, special motor
and everything came over there with nobody to ride it- and after some
negotiations I got to be the rider of that bike.
SIEGE: so does that mean that Marty Smith would have been
that Factory Rider?
WALLENBERG: He WAS a Factory Monark Rider. But they built
this special bike for him over the fall of 73 for him to ride,
and he wound up making the switch to Honda, started the 1974 Season
on a 125 Elsinore and so his bike
came through. And it was a very very special Monark. And
SIEGE: so let me get the timeline straight...
WALLENBERG: yeah, '72 we got the Monarks into the midwest
and I was racing them and I wound up getting the #3 plate for
the state of Wisconsin, riding Amateur Motocross at the time,
so I raced the '72 Season on a stock
Monark. When '73 started I was leading in the points./ But I looped
out backwards and broke my hand so I ended up getting another
3rd place title. But in the meantime in California Marty Smith
was racing it in '73. And the
Elsinore came out in the fall. And Marty made his switch then.
But this incredibly cool works bike was built for him to ride,
but when he didn't ride it, it shifted to the midwest-
SIEGE: how much cooler was it that the one you were riding?
WALLENBERG: a LOT cooler. Mine was a really nice GS, but this
one had a completely different intake port system than even any
other Sachs engine I've ever seen in my life, and even the USA
Monark Factory Mechanics were
dumbfounded on how they sandcasted the barrel.
SIEGE: Ok, I've heard of the engine numbers- C, D and E- this
wasn't part of that?
WALLENBERG: No. I've never seen one before and really never
seen since - it was a one off barrel. maybe some of the guys in
Sweden had one- I don't know- but as far as the United States-
SIEGE: it got sold at a Garage Sale?
WALLENBERG: No- what happened was I moved to California in
'78 to take a job with Dirt Bike and Motocross Action. And so
basically I left Chicago with two motocross bags filled with as
many clothes as I could take on the
first run. And that stuff just kind of sat with my Dad and Mom
in the Garage for a long time. But my Dad passed away suddenly-
went to sleep and had a heart attack and didn't wake up in 82.
And my Mom said what am I going to do with all this stuff in garage?
And I said I don't know Mom- do whatever you want with it. And
she can't remember who she sold all that stuff off to -
SIEGE: So it's lying around somewhere or it got trashed by
some local 13 year olds?
WALLENBERG: It could have been trash- it could have been
sold for scrap- somebody may be sitting on it, and don't even
know what they have
SIEGE: a piece of History...
WALLENBERG: a one in the World Kind of thing- I'd like to
start that trail again and I don't even know how....
the first win....
taken in 1973 at Motosports Park in Byron, IL. I was racing
the 100cc class that day. The bike had a 100cc barrel that came
off a DKW
which had a high pipe... hence the shaved fins on the cylinder