The following article was featured in the 2023 Coatesville Invitational Vintage Grand Prix program.
Returning from their scenic home base of New Boston, New Hampshire, Brian Carroll and Heather Carroll Wiggin are featured participants in the Coatesville Invitational Vintage Grand Prix. This father-and-daughter sidecar team will amaze onlookers with their impressive showmanship and driving skills.
In 2022, Heather and her father Brian were originally entered in the 6th annual CIVGP, but sadly had to withdraw as Brian was diagnosed with cancer, requiring a series of aggressive treatments. His successful recovery from cancer is what makes this year much more sweet.
“We had to put everything on hold and get him back to being better. We set small goals and he was back recently on a solo bike for the first time. Once he was feeling stronger we decided to do Coatesville. It was a good goal. We are super excited to be back!” stated Heather.
The Carroll/Wiggin families hail from generations of horsepower enthusiasts. As a child, in New England, Brian and his father were into vintage bikes & motorcycles. “Anything that had a motor and went fast, my Dad was into it. He went into the service, and when the Vietnam Vets came back from war - the open road was appealing to them”, said Heather.
As an adult, Heather has continued her own obsession with the sport, partnering with her father in a variety of competitions and exhibitions throughout New England and down south. In addition to her husband and son being serious motocross competitors, Heather is also the Director of the UCRA/FIM Vintage Classic at Loudon which kicks off Bike Week in June where they just celebrated their 100th anniversary hill climb!
The 1971 BMW R75 Sidecar, which they will be competing in the CIVGP, was custom-fabricated by Brian Carroll for racing purposes. Twenty-seven years ago, when Heather was 21, they originally purchased a BSA sidecar out of California and raced it together for 10 years. They then upgraded to the Super Vintage Sidecar class in 2006, which required a faster more modern motor. The 1971 BMW R75 engine had faster displacement and fit the bill.
They purchased the current rig from a taller father/son team, so the entire sidecar deck had to be modified and custom fit to Heather’s size and height. Through trial and error, they went back to the drawing board and did the math to shorten up the deck. In the early days of modifying the sidecar, Heather’s husband Sam would give her anniversary gifts in the form of safety equipment as a humorous nod to the amount of bruises she endured.
Together Heather and her Dad have raced the USCRA series at the Loudon, New Hampshire Speedway (their home track) and the Super Vintage Classes through the ARMA & USCRA, which are all sanctioned by the AMA (American Motorcycle Association). With the help of their mechanic, Peter Tallibeck from Mock I Racing, they have also competed in Cananda at Shubenacadie (Shubie) in Nova Scotia, Shannonville Motorsport Park in Montreal and Mosport International Speedway in Toronto.
After the Coatesville Grand Prix, they will head south to the ARMA events in Jennings, Florida, Savannah & Leads, Georgia and their season will conclude at Barber Motor Sports in Birmingham, Alabama. Barber Motor Sports is a destination event, where bike enthusiasts flock to for the Vintage Bike Museum and Barber Vintage Festival in October. “One of my most favorite memories was riding my sidecar off the track into the museum with my Dad,” reminisced Heather.
The Coatesville Grand Prix Committee is proud to have Brian and Heather back on the course. This team is always a crowd favorite! ~ Lisa Thomas