Especially in motorcycling, heritage is worth noting and tradition is important. That’s why we couldn’t miss the opportunity to celebrate with the Tramontin family as they achieved the milestone of 100 years in the motorcycle industry.
Tramontin Harley-Davidson in Hope, New Jersey, has a history that reaches back to the bright, early days of American motorcycling, claiming a family connection to Red Tramontin’s first motorcycle shop in Clifton NJ, established in 1915. This allowed Tramontin H-D to pop the champagne in celebration of 100 years of motorcycling in 2015, a mark few can beat.
Red Tramontin initially started Lexington Cycle as an Excelsior-Henderson shop in Clifton. He sold and serviced bicycles, too. An avid rider himself, Red died from injuries sustained when a car driver turned left in front of him (some things never change) leaving his widow, Pierina, to run the shop, an endeavor she took to with gusto aided by her son Arthur, a.k.a. Bub, and daughter Gloria. It was quite rare for a woman to run such a business in the 1920’s and ‘30s. Surviving the depression and other hard times, the shop persisted and became an Indian dealership. Bub took over the operation while still a teenager and in 1947 it became a Harley-Davidson dealership. Today Tramontin is the oldest Harley dealership in the state of New Jersey with 68 years in the H-D fold. They sell and service Honda motorcycles, too.
By 1973 Bub had found a piece of property near the Pennsylvania line in an area where he enjoyed riding and decided to open a second shop there, in Hope, NJ. The area was quite rural then, in fact Route 80 wasn’t even open yet. Bub’s son Bobby, who had started riding at the age of four and later traveled the east coast racing the half-mile circuit, was charged with running the new shop while his father kept up the original shop.
In the mid-‘90s Bub closed the Clifton shop, concentrating efforts on the Hope store, a dealership that’s ideally located—on the edge of both the Delaware Water Gap region and Pennsylvania’s Pocono Mountains resort area—for spectacular three-season riding. That’s where the 100th anniversary celebration took place on a perfect autumn day just made for motorcycle and memories.
In a show of symmetry the Tramontin family can appreciate Tramontin is today run by a super-capable female general manager, Nancy Duthie. Nancy planned the 100th celebration and didn’t stop smiling all day. Such enthusiasm is contagious! The Tramontin family was out in force, too.
“We didn’t get into this business for the money, there wasn’t any,” said Bobby grinning. “It’s our sport, it’s our hobby and it’s our passion—and we were lucky enough to make a living at it. Our customers are our friends.”
Any telling of the Tramontin family’s motorcycle history would be incomplete without a few words about Gloria, Bub Tramontin’s sister and an inspirational fixture in American motorcycling today. Gloria started riding at the age of 16 and ventured far and wide on her own, an uncommon occurrence for a woman in the 1940’s and ‘50’s. An intrepid rider all her life, she celebrated her 90th birthday during the 2015 Sturgis Rally and naturally she road her Harley Heritage there from her home in Clifton, NJ!
Gloria became a Motor Maid in 1946 and has ridden to the organization’s annual convention ever since, no matter where it is; Oregon, Texas, New Mexico, even Canada. She marks 70 years as a member in 2016.
But the facts of this lady’s riding exploits, as remarkable and impressive as they are, don’t compare to her authenticity, her kindness and her approachability. When asked about her solo riding adventures in the early days she said, “I always acted like a lady, and I was treated like one.” And that holds firmly true today. Gloria is a Lady Rider in the truest sense.
It was a delight and an honor to be invited to celebrate with the Tramontins. Let’s raise a glass to their next 100 years!
Read more about Gloria Tramontin Struck at https://irontradernews.com/theres-only-one-gloria-tramontin-struck-and-she-was-born-to-ride/