I was saddened to hear that Gary Nixon succumbed to complications from a heart attack at age 70.
Gary Nixon rode in the era that connected the “old” heavy 4 stroke technology to the “new” TZ Yamaha 2 stroke dominance when the Yamaha TZ 700/750 was introduced. In those days, it was common for these riders to race both the 250/350 and 750 (later 500) classes.
He was a favorite racer of mine (also mentioned him HERE
, post #29) from when I first began racing two wheels in the late 60’s and early 70’s. He rode several makes, but I will always remember him as the underdog battling the Yamaha's- sometimes successfully although being thoroughly outclassed, machine-wise. Later on he would get the square four Suzuki 500 GP bike to race- but it was basically too little too late, never mind that the bike nearly killed him in testing.
He rode hurt much of the time, but was always game and I never recall him dropping out due to a get-off if the bike would run at all. He rode both road race and flat track, usually on a BSA or Triumph when they were competitive against the H-D riders; this was mostly pre- H-D XR 750, a bike that would come to dominate AMA racing until Honda showed up, kicked dirt all up in H-D’s face, then left- having proven their point.