Three days ago we broke the story that Erik Buell Racing had been bought here. Over the weekend, our Asbury Park correspondent sat down with its new owner for this exclusive interview.
To know where Bruce Belfer is coming from, you have to know where he is actually from. I do, ’cause it’s where, and when, I’m from. That would be the greater Asbury Park area of the Jersey Shore. Jack Nicholson is from here. So is Danny DeVito. Throw in Springsteen, and I would take a night on the town with these locals versus virtually anyone else on the planet.
In the ’70s and early ’80s, as The Boss wrote in “Born to Run,” Hemi- powered drones screamed down the boulevard. Asbury was American Graffiti writ large, and ‘The Circuit’ was the epicenter, with a beach, boardwalk, bikes, hot cars, hotter chicks, and rowdy bars with some of the greatest bands and musicians ever concentrated in one square mile. I was there almost every night, and so was a young Bruce Belfer (there’s a somewhat dated history of The Circuit here).
Tramps like us, Asbury Park, NJ, circa 1980.
Belfer cut his teeth as a security guard at the infamous Mrs. Jay’s bar, the Asbury Park biker hangout pictured above. (Correction from Bruce: “Mrs. Jay’s was a short term gig for me. I’m better known at the Stone Pony and the Fast Lane. Already catching shit from the local Asbury Music Mafia.”) He embodies a certain Jersey archetype; no-BS, loyal, guarded, probably much stronger and smarter than you, and with a mischievous sense of humor. He is a successful businessman, an accomplished engineer, an ex-bouncer, and a dedicated biker. He’s still around his hometown. And he’s about to own an iconic American motorcycle brand. We managed to squeeze ourselves in for a quick talk over the weekend about the future of Erik Buell Racing.
Andrew Capone for MO: So, Bruce, how about a little background? You grew up in Jersey, what else?
Bruce Belfer: Mine’s the typical Jersey shore background; there’s the beach, there’s music, there’s motorcycles, there’s life.
MO: And you’ve been in the security business, you’re an engineer.
BB: I am a mechanical engineer.
Read More Here: The Man Who Bought Buell: Bruce Belfer