Fred Deeley had been selling bicycles in his town of origin, Birmingham, England, since 1902. He then moved to Vancouver in 1912 starting a similar shop, while also adding a few BSA motorcycles to the offer, which were imported from his native town.Then, in 1917, Deeley also started to offer motorcycles from a little-known motorcycle company from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which was founded in 1903 by William S. Harley and brothers William, Arthur, and Walter Davidson.
This is how Deeley became Canada’s first Harley-Davidson dealership. It went so well that in 1925, the dealership had to be split – one for selling bicycles and one for motorcycles.
His son, Trev, was also dominating the flat track motorcycle racing in the Northwest during the 1940s and 1950s. His bikes bore the number 22 as an AMA expert national plate holder, the first Canadian to have this honor.
After retiring from racing, Trev continued to affiliate with the sport through sponsoring and tutoring new riders. Champions like Yvon Duhamel, Barry Sheen, Steve Baker, Jim Allen, Don Vesco, and Pete Kellond had the benefit of Trev’s support.
In 1953, Trev was appointed General Manager of Fred Deeley Motorcycles. Four years later he became the first Honda motorcycle distributor in the English speaking world. In 1973 the Harley-Davidson® Motor Company asked him to become its exclusive Canadian distributor.
The distribution company was named Fred Deeley Imports Ltd in honor of the family’s history in the motorcycle business. The retail store was renamed Trev Deeley Motorcycles in 1975 when Trev and his partners purchased the retail portion from Fred Deeley Imports.
In 1985, Trev became the first non-American on the board of directors for Harley-Davidon, but the retired in 1993. Two years later, he was inducted in to the Canadian Motorsport Hall of Fame. In 1997 Trev became the first Canadian to receive the Dudley Perkins Award for his outstanding contribution to the sport of motorcycling.
And even today, Trev Deeley’s impact on the world of motorcycling and H-D continues through the Fairview Campus of the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, along with selling motorcycles for enthusiasts at 1875 Boundary Road in Vancouver. The larger dealership there also has an exhibition to showcase its past.
Published at Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:33:45 +0000