Pierre Alfons (Louie) Goossens

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alexander55

Finally riding a big boys bike
I would like to find any information available about the life and bicycles of Pierre Alfons (Louie) Goossens. Numerous searches of the internet (including newspapers.com) are giving me few details of his life. Feel free to share it here or via private email. Thank you very much.

I BELIEVE the following is accurate, but am open to any hints, suggestions, corrections, etc.
He was born in Belgium on October 30, 1899.
He died January 17, 1973 but have not been able to confirm that date nor find an obituary.
I found a few race results between 1924 and 1932. Most notable were wins in 6-Day Races in New York in 1925 (with Gerard De Baets) and in 1929 in Colgne (with Roger De Neef). A brief report of the 1925 New York race is provided in the beautiful Nye, Groman, Tyson book THE SIX-DAY BICYCLES RACES along with a lovely picture of him (see page 141).
He worked for a while building bikes with and/or as an apprentice to Emil Wastyn but left after a disagreement. The subject of that disagreement is unknown to me.
He opened his own bike-building shop not far from the Wastyn’s on Fullerton Avenue.
His bikes share some characteristics of Emil Wastyn built bikes but do not seem as finely finished. They were seen as solid machines and had a following among racers. His bikes were often built with BSA or Durkopp cranks, though he may have also used Williams from time to time. How many bikes he built is unknown as is how many of his bikes survive.
A very generous email conversation with the legendary Ted Ernst offered the following insights:
“No one sold Goossens except Louie out of his shop.....Louie worked a few Sixes (Six Day Races) as mechanic but think that by 1936ish he was slowly going out.....My Dad said that Louie Goossens was a typical “grease and dirt around guy”; gas brazing with hot coals in a container about 3/4 feet high to braze. My Dad remembered that when you went into the shop for a part it was all in small piles and boxes to rummage through. If you needed a loose ball bearing or two for your bike Louie would bend down and swipe his fingers around on the floor finding you one or several in your size! But his bikes held up and he had his following.....Guess he closed up sometime during the mid/later 1930s and no one seems to know what happened - especially when World War2 came along.”
 
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corbettclassics

I live for the CABE
Interesting that they spelled his last name with only one "S" as it is normally spelled Goossens as per his decals on his bikes.

IMG_3203.jpg



The Belgium Team jersey they describe most likely looked like this jersey that I have in my 6-Day collection. It's a Belgium 6-Day Team jersey from what
we believe to be as old as the 30's. Still researching this one - the number on the back is #19. I was thinking of displaying it with my 2 Goossens.
IMG_3833.jpg
 

alexander55

Finally riding a big boys bike
Ron - I believe "Alphonse" is actually the correct spelling of his name. It may help in the search etc.
Thanks for this tip!! Will do some searches again!
Interesting that they spelled his last name with only one "S" as it is normally spelled Goossens as per his decals on his bikes.

View attachment 1517836


The Belgium Team jersey they describe most likely looked like this jersey that I have in my 6-Day collection. It's a Belgium 6-Day Team jersey from what
we believe to be as old as the 30's. Still researching this one - the number on the back is #19. I was thinking of displaying it with my 2 Goossens.
View attachment 1517837
That is amazing! Congratulations. Very cool. Thanks so much for sharing it. And thanks too for that photo. I’ve not seen that one.
 
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