Malcolm Smith | Icon

Anyone who's ever watched Bruce Brown's epic 1971 film, On Any Sunday, knows Malcolm Smith is an off-road racing god. This photo, shot during that year's Baja 1000, shows him flat-out at 100 mph, mud flap folded over, helmet lifted, face wrinkled as though he were riding a rocket sled-which is what Husqvarna's new Desert Master 450 was supposed to be.

It wasn't, as Malcolm recalled: "In 1971, I was teamed with Gunnar Nilsson. We got our bike a week before the race, and it was slow. We raised the exhaust port and the compression, and it was still slow. So we took a brand-new 400 four-speed, put an eight-speed kit in it, took the lights off the Desert Master and raced that. We broke it in on the freeway from Tijuana to Ensenada at midnight.

"After we won, we got a telex from Husky: 'Congratulations on your win. Wasn't the new 450 Desert Master great?' I had to tell them the truth."

Malcolm recounted the tale at this year's Indianapolis Dealer Expo, where he was walking on crutches less than a week after having surgery on the hip he broke during his annual Soboba Trail Ride. As Bruce Brown would have said, "Typical Malcolm."

This photo is the latest in Dunlop's Legends series, posters of which are available from Cycle News ( Proceeds benefit the Clayton Memorial Foundation for injured racers.