McFadden remembered as legacy home builder in regional service and motorbike community – Lethbridge Herald

27April 2021

By Herald on April 27, 2021.

Dean McFadden rests on his bike after winning the 1969 Lethbridge Motorbike Hill

Climb competitors. Photo courtesy the Galt Museum and Archives Al Beeber– LETHBRIDGE HERALD– abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com!.?.! Dean McFadden is a name associated with motorcycling in Lethbridge, which is now mourning the loss of this veteran business owner and competitor. McFadden died on April 21 at the age of 76 quickly after commemorating his 52nd anniversary to better half Cindy. While he may no longer be with his family and friends, personally his tradition will reside on through his contributions to the Lethbridge business and motorcycling communities.”He was my mentor and best friend, the kindest man I ever fulfilled in my life,”stated Mark McIntosh, who for 20 years brought back motorbikes with McFadden. The last thing McFadden did with his longtime buddy, McIntosh stated Wednesday

, was thoroughly paint while laying on his stomach– with a paintbrush– the centrestand of a 1982 Honda CB900 the pair were bring back. McFadden was the boy of Mac McFadden, who together with pal Bert Turner concerned Lethbridge from Saskatchewan in 1939 when they opened their first service offering radios and bicycles. In 1942, the name altered from Bermac Cycle & Radio Co. to Bert & Mac’s, a name now synonymous with two-wheeled sports in Lethbridge. In 1950, Turner and McFadden started offering Frances-Barnett and Aerial motorcycles along with Westinghouse and Phillips fridges. Diversifying even further, they took on New Scale Williams pianos and Wurlitzer organs. In 1954 they included CCM skates In 1961 six years after they spilt the endeavor into two shops with McFadden taking bikes and motorbikes, the company ended up being the first Suzuki motorcycle car dealership in Canada. Several years later on, in 1967, the McFaddens would acquire the inventory of a motorcycle dealership owned by Bob Kane which gave them the opportunity to pick up the Honda line and they opened up another store to offer the brand name.Along with

Suzukis which stayed at the bicycle store, McFaddens likewise handled Harley-Davidson, Ducati and BSA products at the Honda shop. They paid a simple $17,000 for Kane’s dealership, long time previous Honda Centre sales supervisor and McFadden pal Alf Gurr remembered on Wednesday. Gurr came

to work for McFaddens after a career in the plumbing organization. He and Dean satisfied during prenatal classes and one day while visiting his pal, Gurr was apparently incorrect for a salesperson by a customer and sold him a device, which started his profession with the McFaddens, initially working six months each at the bike shop and the hockey

department of the bicycle shop in winter seasons. Gurr keeps in mind walking into Dean’s workplace and requesting for an invoice for the new sale which began their expert relationship. Barry McFadden, Dean’s older sibling, remembered Tuesday the McFaddens landing the Suzuki dealership from Ray Deeley, brother of Fred Deeley, a legendary Western Canada Harley-Davidson dealer based in Vancouver.”He stated’would you like to be a dealer?’and we said fine,” remembered Barry. The big Suzuki model for the McFaddens, according to Barry and

Gurr was the now-legendary two-stroke Suzuki 250 X6 Hustler, a 247 cc air-cooled parallel twin.”Dean actually got into it, “Barry recalled. He remembers when 12 Hustlers made it to the dealership”and every kid came down and assisted

assemble them in the street.” In their early days, the McFaddens would

sell 140 Suzukis a year while Kane was just selling 90 Hondas, he remembered. A special promo for a Suzuki 50 bike had people lined up around the block one day, thinking the mileage of the little bike after an intrepid CJOC radio station salesman had driven it home to Lethbridge from Vancouver for the McFaddens, Gurr laughed. Over the years, the McFaddens would include Triumph, Norton, Hodaka and Bultaco lines. In 1972, the bike store got the Ski-doo snowmobile a year after it began offering Skiroule sleds and the Honda Center the Arctic Cat brand name. While Skiroule ended production in 1976, the other brands have long gone to different dealers with the McFaddens focusing on Polaris at the Honda store. For Gurr, McFadden was not just a boss but a great

good friend with whom he shared lots of adventures. McFadden, he remembered, was a devoted motorcycle rider, doing hill climbs, flat tracks and enduro races. A 1969 Lethbridge Herald picture in the Galt Museum & Archives shows a beaming McFadden straddling a Bultaco after winning the 250cc and 500cc classes as well as the open class of the Lethbridge Bike Hill climb phases. “We rode Gold Wings together all over the nation,”stated Gurr. Ever the competitor, McFadden while riding a trail ahead of Gurr on a camping journey with their

spouses at Lynx Creek put his feet down and sprayed gravel at Gurr who was trailing McFadden and his RMX250 on a Polaris quad with his wife. He definitely was not going to let his pal capture up.”He was among the most competitive males you’ll ever see,” he stated. McFadden frequently would walk from his house near the Sportsplex to the Uplands to get Gurr for some workout. They ‘d walk down to the Honda Centre and then McFadden would stroll home– even in -30 C weather condition. McFadden’s death, said Gurr,”came as a genuine shock to all of us. Wednesday was a rough day for me. We were friends. “On a trip of some traditional motorbikes showed in the ceiling of the Honda shop, Gurr recalled how McFadden at the age of 62 was acting as cook for the Blackfoot Motorsports

motocross group out of Calgary at a competition in California. He ‘d discovered a 1975 Honda CL360 Scrambler for sale a couple hundred miles away and protected a trip to go see it. He purchased the bike on the spot, and with an ill-fitting gold metal flake helmet he got from the bike’s owner, skedaddled back to the competitors with no insurance coverage and no licence in the putting rain. McIntosh initially met McFadden when he rode to the shop to see if he ‘d be interested in purchasing a 1968 Honda CD 175 touring bike from him. Dean met him at the door, bought the bike and the two ended up being fast friends. “He was a terrific brother,”added Barry.

The two brothers followed the guidance of their daddy Mac whose slogan was “the cash remains in the dirt, “and acquired the property where the Honda Center still operates at 1117 2 Ave. S., a business that has actually seen numerous expansions over the years. In 1974, the McFaddens got in the automobile service after Mac had seen Hondas in Palm Springs

where he invested his winters. He informed his boys Honda was an excellent cars and truck line and to “pursue it.”In 1974, the they began selling Honda at a car dealership on the corner of 2 Ave. and Stafford Drive South where it meant decades up until moving to the Lethbridge Auto Shopping Mall off the Crowsnest Trail. In 1978, all motorcycle and snowmobile sales were integrated

under one roofing at the Honda dealership, which now offers KTM motorcycles and Polaris products as well as Hondas and Suzukis and Honda power devices. McFadden’s survivors include his better half Cindy, child Deana of Portland, Oregon and child Darren of Lethbridge. In memory of McFadden, donations might be made to the Lethbridge and District Humane Society or the Lethbridge Bike Club. Share this story: 34 Source: lethbridgeherald.com

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