Eddie Mulder was a leading TT Steeplechase and desert racer of the 1960s. Mulder won numerous California off-road events, but is best known for his five AMA Grand National victories, all on TT circuits. After retiring from professional racing in the mid-1970s, Mulder became one of the leading stunt riders in Hollywood, doing stunt work on many popular movies and television shows.
Mulder was born on September 20, 1943 in Bellflower, California. His father owned a motorcycle shop that featured British brands in the high-desert town of Lancaster. Mulder was riding a Triumph Cub by the time he was 8, started racing at 11 and took his first overall win at the Mohave Hare Scrambles in 1959 at the age of 16. In 1960, he won the popular Big Bear endurance run.
One of the riders he beat in the Mohave race was legendary off-road rider Bud Ekins. Ekins saw Mulder’s potential and suggested to Triumph that the company should take a look at the kid and give him some help. Soon, Mulder was racing factory-backed Triumphs in all types of motorcycle racing in Southern California.
Besides being an excellent off-road racer, Mulder showed talent on the dirt tracks, as well. He began winning races as a flat tracker and gained a solid reputation at the Mecca of Southern California flat tracking, Ascot Park in Gardena. Mulder won numerous AMA District 37 championships.
Mulder’s desert racing prepared him well for the dirt-track circuit and especially TT races. By the early 1960s, Mulder had earned AMA national number 12. His first full year on the circuit was 1964 and that year he four top-10 finishes, including a third at the Peoria (Illinois) TT.
In July of 1965, Mulder took another podium finish in the national TT at Ascot Park. A month later, he returned to Peoria and came away with his first national victory.
The 1966 season proved to be his most successful. He won back-to-back nationals at Ascot Park and Castle Rock (Washington), then defended as champ at Peoria and went on to earn two other top-10 finishes (fifth in the Indianola, Iowa roadrace and ninth at the short-track event at Santa Fe Speedway in Hinsdale, Illinois). His excellent run that season earned him fourth in the 1966 AMA Grand National championship. It would be his highest finish in the series.
Mulder continued to follow the AMA pro circuit through the early 1970s. His final national win came on the Santa Fe Speedway TT on June 26, 1970. Mulder had won all but one of the major TT races of his era. The national at the Houston Astrodome was the one TT race that eluded him.
By the early 1970s, Mulder’s Hollywood stunt work was becoming more and more time consuming and Triumph was under financial strain and was forced to cut back its racing efforts. After the 1972 season, Mulder no longer traveled the racing circuit full time. He did continue to race select TT events on the AMA national calendar through 1975.
Even though he retired from pro racing, he never left the sport. Later, Mulder became active in vintage racing and originated the West Coast Vintage Dirt Track Series. Mulder also runs a business that builds custom Triumph street bikes closely based on his Triumph racers of the 1960s and ‘70s.
Inducted in 1999