• Hallman_Early_Hqv_days
  • Hallman husky history

    By Kenneth Olausson

    Here are some famous words from four-time world champion Torsten Hallman, where he gives some interesting insight into the Swedish factory, which almost came close to stopping motorcycle production at the end of the 1961 season. But Hallman, and fate, did not want to change the history of this successful brand.

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    Hallman recalls…

    “The Husqvarna brand name, synonymous along with other famous Swedish brand names like Nobel, Volvo and Electrolux, and with a history of producing high quality products for more than 300 years, has managed to pass the first 100 years as a motorcycle brand. But, during the beginning of the 1960s, it was awfully close that the production of bikes stopped! 

    “The production of the lightweight “Silverpilen” – Silver Arrow – motorcycle was coming to an end as demand was getting weaker. Top management had decided that no more money was to be spent on developing the motorcycle line, even if a limited number of 250 motocross bikes were produced along with the Silver Arrow. As I was one of a few riders receiving help from the factory during the 1961 season, riding the 250 Championships, I was told that this was the end – no more investments in motorcycles – ‘you can start looking for a ride elsewhere for 1962’.

    “Personally, I was not worried. I was young and optimistic and had won my first Grand Prix during the 1961 season and the future looked promising. After a test ride for Greeves in November, I received a phone call from Ruben Helmin, the chief engineer at Husqvarna, saying ‘We have managed to “save” some money from the chainsaw division, which is to be used for further development of the 250 model. We will also further enhance our efforts and make a new and competitive four-speed engine. Some money will also be spent on a 4-stroke 500cc project – with technician Nils Hedlund involved and contracting Rolf Tibblin as a rider. Would you be interested to ride the new 250cc Husky?’ 

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    “Of course, I was interested. Ruben Helmin was someone I trusted 100 percent. The rest of the story is history. I managed to win the 250cc World Championship in 1962 and Rolf Tibblin did the same in the 500cc half-litre class, making it a Husqvarna double triumph in that famous year. Both of us then repeated our victories the following season in our respective class, a success that gave Husqvarna a splendid worldwide reputation as a premium motorcycle manufacturer. The motocross enthusiasts at the factory managed to sell the idea to top management of making a replica series of 100 bikes, of my 250cc. Not surprisingly, they were all sold out right away, mostly to national and Nordic motocross riders who knew how good our machine material was at this stage. The following year Husky increased the volumes and bikes started to be shipped to the US and other parts of the world. The interest in Husqvarna and their products grew everywhere and it grew very fast. I am proud of being a part of the fruitful steps taken during these years when the manufacturing of motorcycles restarted into a new flourishing Swedish industrial era.”

     

    Torsten Hallman

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