Cycle World

BOB NICHOLS, 1921–2018

Some 20 years ago I “met” Bob Nichols on the phone. He was making up lightweight connecting rods for his prewar Indian Scout and wanted to discuss alternative designs. We found lots to talk about, and he sounded excited about his project and eager to cut metal.

Many more phone conversations followed over the years, from which I learned more about Nichols. He’d been born into the Great Depression but spent 24 years at Douglas in the most intense time of aviation development—a time when the U.S. Congress couldn’t say no to a never-ending series of X-planes. He became a technologist, but not by the usual escalator of pay-as-you-go good schools. He mowed lawns for small change

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