Editorial Note: John “JJ” Jacobson was 86. The funeral home providing the services, John C. Bryant Funeral Home, did not include a date of death in the obituary and did not provide one to Roadracingworld.com when contacted by telephone January 3.
JACOBSON, John “JJ”
Pioneering M.D., Furn.D., and F.H.C. (Motorcycle Dealer, Furniture Dealer and Ford and Honda Cognoscente) The world has lost its favorite, funnest motorcycle and car guy, John “JJ” Jacobson. The founder of Boston Interiors, Boston Cycles, Honda City and Boston Vespa Co., John also promoted the original motorcycle races at the NH Motor Speedway in Loudon, imported the first Vespa Scooters to the East Coast, and pioneered the “privateer” motorcycle race team. John died at home surrounded by his family, including his high school sweetheart and adoring wife of 65 years, Shirley Jacobson; daughter Tracy Scheidemantel and son Jim Jacobson; son-in-law David Scheidemantel, daughter-in-law Laura Jacobson; seven grandkids (Matt, Alec, Eliza and Josh Jacobson, and Jason, Leah and Carly Scheidemantel); sister-in-law, Barbara Rosenfield and brother-in-law Paul Goldstein, husband of John’s late sister, Simone; and many dear nieces and nephews. His family and carloads of friends adored JJ’s uniquely fun-loving, free-spirited, insouciant, yet kind, nonjudgmental and generous spirit. A graduate of Brookline HS ’52 and U.Mass. Amherst ’56, and a Veteran of the Navy and Naval Reserve, John grew up in Brookline and raised his family with great love (and wheels) in Wayland. The family will celebrate JJ’s life privately, holding Memorial Services for his wide community of lifelong friends in the spring. For condolences, please visit http://www.johncbryantfuneralhome.com In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Minuteman Model A Ford Club and Good Shepherd Community Care.
More, from an obituary written by USCRA Director Bob Coy:
It is with great sadness that I pass along that long time race promotor, rider sponsor, motorcycle dealer, avid Model A ford collector and the “funniest motorcycle and car guy” John Jacobson passed away. John, a fixture in promoting motorcycle racing in the Northeast was the founder of the highly successful businesses of Boston Cycles, Honda City and Boston Vespa.
Most noted by many was John’s interest and commitment to motorcycle racing in the Northeast. Through the 1970’s, John was the driving force in the organization and promotion of the AMA National road racing at the old Bryar Motorsports track in Loudon, NH. John additionally was also a major sponsor of AMA National riders from the 1960’s through the early 1980’s. Some of John’s very successful ”privateer” riders included Frank Camilleri, Rusty Bradley. Rich Schlachter, Ron Pierce, Cliff Carr, Jimmy Ellis, Gina Bovaird, and Tim Rockwood. There were many other riders that John helped in the sport along the way on both the pavement and the dirt tracks.
Always an entertainer, showman, promoter and businessman, John one year rented the famous Mt. Washington steamship on Lake Winnipesaukee for a pre-race dinner party to entertain the riders, press and his friends prior to the Laconia AMA National. The surprise “guest of honor” on the dinner cruise was a live camel that he brought to key into the AMA Laconia National being a Camel Pro race that he was promoting.
Away from the track, John and his wife Shirley of 65 years always entertained his racing friends prior to and after the races. John and Shirley made sure the riders that came long distances from across the country to race at his AMA National events were well fed and well cared for at gatherings at his home outside of Boston. John was one of those rare sportsman/ entrepreneur/promotors that lived his passion for racing and worked hard to share his passion for others to also enjoy.
Recently, John donated his extensive memorabilia collection of photographs to the North East Motor Sports Museum in Loudon, NH. The collection is presently being catalogued for future display. The outstanding collection is a great visual recording that chronicles the racing and personalities that were the AMA Laconia Nationals of the late 60’s through the 70’s.
A true legend has sadly passed but John’s legacy lives on in his memorabilia collection that he donated to the Museum and in the memories of those that were fortunate enough to be part of the racing scene at Laconia in the 60’s and 70’s.