This page is to view the pictures taken at the 50th anniversary party for the Tote Gote held in Payson, Utah on June 1, 2008.

The older gentleman in the white cap is Ralph Bonham.He truly seemed to be amazed and slightly embarrassed by all the fuss.

After a hitting his stride, he did a verbal history of the development of the bike.I think he had a lot of fun.

The black and red Trail Blazers are mine --chump101

The Tote Gote Reunion of 2008

by dik trotter
 On June 1, 2008, a small group of dedicated fans met to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Tote Gote sold.  In 1958, Ralph Bonham offered his small machine for sale to the public.  He had developed it because " I liked to hunt and fish, but I was tired of walking".  The Tote Gote was the 'first off-highway cycle ever produced for sale' according to a 1961 article in ' The Saturday Evening Post'.  The first factory was in Provo, Utah.
 Many familys in the area were introduce to the 'Great Outdoors' aboard the Tote Gote.  We were among these lucky sportsmen, and decided to pass this on to the next generation.  After looking for years, we found a few Gotes worth rebuilding.  Young Mose really took to the idea and soon had a running model 600.
 This last winter, while working on tote gotes for fun, we realized this would be the 50th anniversary.  Not finding any events planed to recognize this, Mose started planning one.
 There were no places in Provo where we could ride, so we started looking for the next closest.  Payson dump was the chosen site.  This area used to be a moto-cross track and is next to West Mountain where there is ample riding.  There are talks with the BLM to make this a moto-cross track again.
 In preparation, Mose had some 50th Anniversary T-shirts made and the Tote Gote clocks were made to be awards for the best machines.  We made a crude flier to circulate to advertise the event.  When we sent a flier to Don Edge, the Gotemaster at Totegoteland, he refined it and posted the new flier on his web site.  To get more exposure, we entered a model 'B' Tote Gote in the states largest car show, The UVSC Auto Expo.  We got a lot of smiles.
 We tried to contact Ralph Bonham only to find out he was " up north panning for gold '.  We didn't have much hope until he e-mail Mose asking for details.  We still didn't know if he would come because the event was on a sunday.
 The day of the reunion, I loaded up five Tote Gotes.  The model 750, model 665 and 670 Nova all ran and were near complete.  My brother, Dennis had trusted me to work on his Model 'B' and it also was complete and running.  I took another model 600 frame to offer for sale.
 Keith ( also known as Slomoe ), brought as many including a Model 610, a model 300 and other interesting models.
 Mose brought his 600 and Chris had his 414 freshly ' rino-lined'.
 Two of the nicest looking Nova's showed up, one with a honda 6 house and another blue 780 as a work in progress.  They left too early, should have won the restoration award.
 More than Tote Gotes showed up.  Although Blazers were only made for two years, they were well represented.  Chump 101 and Gote Girl had two of the nicest Blazers I've ever seen.  They both had Briggs Intek motors and ran as good as they looked.  Other blazers included Popeye's ratrod with the red 'Bithday cake' seat.  No air cleaner prevented him from running it.
 Paul wasn't sure what his machine was, but he knew it wasn't a Hodaka like the seat said.  We later decided it was probably a Twister.  It sure was a good runner.
 Brian had to lengthen the frame of his John Deer colored model 665 to get the Briggs Intek motor in it.  That sure didn't hamper It's performance.  It also got the award for the 'Best Modified'.
 During all the activity, no one noticed the tall slender man in the ginham plaid shirt.  He slipped into the crowd and stood there watching us.  When we realized he was Ralph Bonham, the meet was complete.
 Ralph stayed for more than three hours and told us all about building the Tote Gote.  He looked at each and every machine and pointed out details and features.. The could tell us who designed each part and how they were made. When we ran out of questions, he would continue with stories of testing Tote Gotes in the jungle and testing special tires that only the government had.  He told us how they tried to get Briggs and Stratton to make a special motor/carburator combination for them.
 Ralph was very gracious in signing T-shirts, fliers and everything else we ask him to sign.  I really think he enjoyed the afternoon.  Near the end, we ask Ralph to be the judge for the few awards we wanted to give.
 The "oldest Tote Gote' award was easy.  It was given to Rick's model 'B'  with the lowest serial number.  Number 66 had a newer motor and front forks but still was the oldest.  Ralph said the unusual front forks were probably off a racing model.
 The' Best Original/Unaltered went to Dennis' Model B.  This is the same one that had been in the UVSC Auto Expo.  We think it has the original motor and tires but it has been painted and a new seat made by Diane ( maker of the ' birthday cake' seat, too ).
 The 'Best Restoration' award was given to Mose for his model 600, even though it was black.  The 'Von-Stuucker' exhaust and diamond tuck-n-roll seats helped make it a winner.
 Mose already had the first Tote Gote Clock we made, so he presented the award to Ralph for helping out.  I don't know which one of them was happier.
 All in all, it was a pretty good event.  When we do it again would we change anything?  Yes!  Between the people who work on saturday and the people who have meetings on sunday, its hard to plan.  Maybe we should alternate each year or have two separate events ( the more, the merrier).  This year we were only thinking Tote Gote.  Our thinking was wrong.  The Blazers and twisters and cushmans and tules all count.  Years ago, these machines were ruled out of off road racing by the 'solid wheel'.  Only spoke- wheeled machines were allowed to race.  Maybe vintage 'solid-wheel' machines deserve our recognition.
 Is this the end until next year?  Maybe not.  The 50th anniversary of the Tote Gote may be celebrated by entering some of the frequent parades this summer.  Could you just imagine twenty Tote Gotes rumbling down the Fiesta Days parade in Spanish Fork, or thirty Tote Gotes rouring down University Avenue on the 4th of July, or just imagine, fifty Tote Gotes thundering down State Street in the Days of 47 parade.  Imagine!