After the post on Chris Flechtner’s Speed Shop Special #6, Jim Gianatsis, who took those great photos of Chris’ bike, wanted to remind me the calendars that spun off the LA Calendar show, are 20 years old now and still going strong! Has it been that long? I admit, I’ve had more than a few of these calendars in my own garage. I still remember finding the garage door repairman flipping through the pages when I went down to see how the work was proceeding, … he liked the calendar, too!
It used to be pinup calendars were common in every garage and shop, how times change. These days if the wrong person comes in and sees one, they get all huffy about it. I just smile and offer them a beer, hey, it’s a garage not the living room, chill.
Anyway, Jim sent along this press release that tells the story about how things got started with some no name Playmate in the first calendar, you might have heard of her, Pamela Anderson. Yep, a long time ago.
Read the whole story and check out the new calendar covers below. Better yet order one or two for your garage. The 2010 calendars start with September 2009, how convenient!
Press release follows:
It’s been 20 years since motorsports racing and fashion photographer Jim Gianatsis first produced the Fast Dates Racebike Swimsuit Model PinUp Calendar. The first 1991 edition of the then Mikuni Fast Dates Calendar premiered in the summer of 1990 featuring a then unknown Playboy Playmate on the cover named Pamela Anderson, posing in a pink bikini in the saddle of Miguel Duhamel’s Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R750L AMA Superbike. Then published by Mikuni American, the Calendar was used as a marketing promotion to showcase all the top racing bikes of the time which used Mikuni carburetors. Since then the Calendar has featured all the world’s top racing motorcycles from Wayne Rainey to Valentino Rossi’s MotoGP winners, and the World Superbikes of Doug Polen to Troy Bayliss.
A little know fact, but there actually were earlier Mikuni Calendars, but the public never got to see them. In the 1980s Mikuni purchased pre printed nude model calendars from a printer in Japan imprinted them with Mikuni’s company name, and sent them out to distributors and friends at Christmas time. Gianatsis Design became Mikuni American’s ad agency in 1987 and Jim convinced them it might be fun to publish their own nude calendar and incorporate the Mikuni carburetors in the pictures. The first original Mikuni Calendar was published for 1990 and featured Jim’s photo of Playboy Playmate Terri Lynn Doss on the cover holding a Mikuni carburetor, while inside they continued with stock photos of nude models. The calendar was advertised in in Cycle News that fall and sold out the complete print run.
For 1991 Jim and Mikuni’s sales manager Lee Chapin wanted to try and offer them retail in motorcycle dealers through Mikuni distributors, but they knew nude pinup model calendars couldn’t be sold in family visited motorcycle dealerships, so the new 1991 Fast Dates Calendar was photographed with all the models in swimsuits or lingerie with top racing bikes that used Mikuni carburetors and Fast Dates was born. In successive years other Mikuni Calendars were made for their other markets: Berm Busters motocross, Hot Waves personal watercraft, Iron & Lace custom bikes, Ripped Pavement roadracing action and Garage Girls pinups. Over the years as the markets have changed, and swimsuit calendars have become less acceptable in America culture, some of those titles have come and gone, and Mikuni American turned over their Calendar program to Gianatsis Design.
The Calendars have achieved a strong world-wide marketing program and fan base. And Calendars in turn have spun off the annual LA Calendar Motorcycle Show Weekend each July, now in its 18th year, America’s premier streetbike event weekend. For 13 years the Fast Dates racebike calendar has been the official calendar of SBK World Superbike Championship, and the Calendar Kittens often serve as the official grid girls for the World Championship winning Ducati Corse team.
The 2010 FastDates.com Calendars reveal a full 16 months of the world’s top motorcycles with beautiful pin up models beginning with September 2009 and are printed in full color on 15×15-inch heavy dull coated art board and wire spiral bound for wall hanging. Just click on either calendar image to place your order.