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Doug Bingham


1939 - 2016 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Doug Bingham Obituary
DOUGLAS C. BINGHAM
AKA
Mr. Sidecar
The Godfather of Sidecars

Doug passed away of cancer at his home in Reseda, CA, on January 27, 2016, he was 76 years old. Originally a native of Buffalo, NY, (born April 1, 1939) Doug moved with his family to Southern California in the 1940's where he resided until his passing.

Affectionately known as "Mr. Sidecar," Mr. Bingham was a 50-year AMA member and Charter Life Member. He received the 1998 AMA MVP Award for advancing the cause of motorcycling and was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2003.

Since the 1960s Mr. Bingham raced, designed, manufactured and distributed motorcycle sidecars. He also developed new uses for sidecars, organized events that were enjoyed by enthusiasts and the general public, and served as an ambassador for both the business and pleasure sides of motorcycling.

Mr. Bingham captured the inaugural AMA Sidecar Road Racing Championship in 1968 with co-pilot Ed Wade aboard a Harley-Davidson-powered, Bingham-designed racer. They captured the title again in 1969.

In 1969, Bingham incorporated his sidecar business, Side Strider Inc., in Van Nuys, Calif. He then began production of the Bingham Mark I, which was the first new sidecar design in decades. The sidecar was featured in the December 1969 issue of Popular Science as being innovative, handsomely designed and reasonably priced.

ABC television contacted Mr. Bingham in 1984 about constructing a mobile camera platform to be used for Olympic event coverage. Bingham modified an electric motorcycle and attached a sidecar camera platform.

Television producers and the sports and film industries called on Mr. Bingham to develop and pilot camera sidecars. He was recognized with multiple Emmy Awards for Outstanding Videography and Live Event Coverage.

Additionally, in 2014, he donated more than 600 motorcycle-themed toys, which are currently on display at the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum.

When it came to sidecars Doug was truly the man, the myth and the legend. He was "The Promoter" of sidecars, nobody worked harder at promoting the fun of sidecaring than Doug. His greatest sidecar promotion is the long running Griffith Park Sidecar Rally, this was his life's Crown Jewel. The stories of Doug and his little shop on Arminta Street in Van Nuys, CA, are legendary. He was everybody's friend, never too busy to talk sidecars or listen to a good story about what you were doing or an idea you had.

Doug is survived by his lovey, Liz Gibbons; son, Scott Bevens; brother, Bruce (Sharon) Bingham; nephew and niece, Kurt (Anh) Bingham and Bethany (Lanton) Phillips; cousins, Roger (Laura) and Guy (Mary) Bingham; and a large extended family and many dear friends. God Speed Doug, you are truly missed
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Feb. 7, 2016
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