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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Jun. 17, 2015 4 years ago

Arthur Kowitz: Vintage racer

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by: Jeff Dawsey Sports Editor

There is a common saying in the sports world that “Father Time is undefeated.” Against Arthur Kowitz, he may have met his match.

In the last year alone, Kowitz was crowned the AHRMA Daytona Superbike winner, the eSuperSport National & World Champion and the AHRMA Superbike National Champion. He was 65 years old.

“When you’re 28 years old, you usually think somebody older than your dad is finished,” Kowitz said. “When you get on the race track, and somebody takes you apart, whether it’s a girl, old man or a Martian, and they outrun you, you have to respect that.”

When he was too young to walk, Kowitz was rolling soup cans around on the floor for wheels. He’s always had a knack for two-wheeled vehicles. At 13 years old, he built his own motorcycle, since that was the only way his parents agreed to allow him to ride one.

“I found a gasoline motor out of a country washing machine, got a bunch of junk from behind a local appliance shop and made a clutch out of roller-skate wheels,” he said. “After it was finished, I began to ride it around town.”

With the help of his father, who supported him, once he saw the finished product, Kowitz was able to get an official title to his creation.

After a few street-race wins with his homemade bike, Kowitz began to work on local road racers’ motorcycles, and, while at the track to support a friend, he realized they had nothing on him. He was right. Just as he owned the street races, Kowitz won his debut road race.

After winning multiple races and progressing up the motorcycle-racing ranks, he saw the pros in the American Motorcyclist Association and thought to himself, “I could be wrong, but I ride faster than that going to the library.”

From there, Kowitz put number plates on his Kawasaki and took his talents to the track.

Going from amateur to novice to pro in the AMA, Kowitz finished in respectable positions throughout this career as a privateer. His lone victory came in 1975, when he took the checkered flag at Pocono.

In 1983, Kowitz left the racing business, due to twin baby boys, and devoted more time to his real estate business, Arthur Kowitz Realty, which just celebrated its 40th anniversary last month.

“At the beginning, my goal was to manage 125 units,” Kowitz said. “I figured I could make a good living off that number. Well, we blew past that, and now we manage nearly 1,000. The real estate business has been good to me.”

Kowitz returned to the racing world to the Vintage Road Racing Association in 2007, and has won multiple championships.

Father Time 0, Arthur Kowitz 1.

CHAMPIONSHIP PEDIGREE:

AHRMA Daytona Superbike Winner 2010, 2014

eSuperSport National & World Champion 2014

AHRMA Superbike National Champion 2008, 2014

AMA Pocono Superbike Winner 1975

WERA multi-time Endurance Winner

6 time Road Atlanta Winner 1973-81

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