Wes Cooley is known for being one of the hard-charging riders of the 1970s and 80s who helped bring AMA Superbike racing into the modern era. Before Cooley, many of the riders in Superbike were older, more conservative, and rode European twin-cylinder "cafe racers." Cooley, riding powerful but ill-handling big-bore Japanese four-cylinder machines, entered the competition and upped the level of competition in the series.
California-born Cooley won his first AMA Superbike race in 1977 on a Kawasaki KZ1000 built by Hideo “Pops” Yoshimura. Both Cooley and Pops switched to using better-handling Suzuki bikes thereafter. Cooley won the 1979 and 1980 AMA Superbike Championships on a Yoshimura Suzuki GS1000, and earned eight podiums throughout his racing career. He even made history by becoming the first rider to win an AMA Formula One National on a specially-built four-stroke Suzuki GS1000-based F1 bike.
When Cooley sustained life-threatening injuries in a racing accident in 1985 at Sears Point, he moved out of professional racing and earned a nursing degree. It was actually while he was recovering from his racing accident that he decided to pursue a career in the medical field.
Cooley is celebrated for changing the face of AMA Superbike racing in its formative years. Always a fan-favorite, he often took the time after a hard day of racing to sit down and chat with admiring fans. He was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2004.
Visit the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame website for more information on Wes Cooley.
Bill Patterson is an internationally known motorsports artist. His paintings are owned by some of the biggest names in motorsports today and his clients include Andretti Racing, BMW, Honda, Firestone, Continental, Audi, and many, many more. His professional career spans 25 years, and was sparked by his love of art at a young age, and his passion for motorsports, after watching his first race as a teenager in Argentina.
He is the Official Artist of Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, and performs live paintings in front of audiences for charity events, special events, and corporate entertainment. Bill is continually redefining his goals for each new painting, making each piece part of a progression. Asked which is his favorite painting he has ever done, the answer is always the same: "The next one!"
"My goal with each new painting is to attempt to convey to the viewer some of the passion I feel about racing, to position the observer in the car, and to convey a sense of the speed and sound of that experience."
Bill Patterson will be creating a unique piece of art during the Motorcycles by Moonlight Event to be auctioned off during the live auction portion of the evening. You don't want to miss a chance at this one-of-a-kind piece!
Tickets for the Motorcycles by Moonlight Dinner and Fundraiser are on sale now. Individual tickets include museum access for Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as the Friday evening event in the museum but do not include access to the Barber Vintage Festival. If you wish to attend the Vintage Festival, you will still need to purchase tickets for the weekend at http://www.barbermuseum.org/events/barber-vintage-festival
Table Sponsorship includes tickets to the Barber Vintage Festival as well as museum access for the weekend.