Sly McFly was the son of Maggie McFly, a madam of a Nob Hill saloon in San Francisco . As a child Sly was a loner and somewhat introverted. At seventeen he left home to drive the racing circuits of Europe.
Sly arrived in England in the early twenties to learn the tricks and dodges of motor racing. He loved the smell of burning rubber, racing petrol and the checkered Flag. He turned down offers to drive in the States at lndianapolis, feeling a magnetic pull to the circuits of Europe … his goal the French Grand Prix. He drove his favorite car, a tiny 1929 Ulster (previously displayed above the fireplace in the restaurants main dining room).
He entered the Le Mans Grand Prix of Endurance, the Belgium Grand Prix the Italian Grand Prix, and the Grand Prix de L’ Overture at Monterey. He even tried the Rheims Circuit but never won a race.
Sly placed second at the Trophy Race in Ulster and ruefully watched the beautiful Isadora Duncan present roses and kisses to the winner. Later champagne in hand, he vowed to win Isadora’s love, admiration, and a race or two ! At Millie Miglia, to avoid hitting several spectators, Sly swerved hard overturned, and burned.
Miraculously Sly escaped without injury. Seeing this spectacular crash, Isadora flew to his side. Their courtship raced through the country sides of England and France. Tragically, on a peaceful outing one sunny afternoon Isadora’s scarf became intertwined in the spokes of the Ulster’s left rear wheel. With Isadora gone Sly would not race for a year.
Sly’s fellow drivers insisted that he race again and he took second at Le Mans. Out of frustration, he started buying the bottles of champagne he couldn’t win. His love for champagne became legendary, but a first place finish eluded him.
Sly’s final race was at Monte Carlo. The car was perfect. He was sober and in the lead. On the next to last lap, with checkered flag, champagne and roses in his sight, he lost control on an oil slick. Sly crashed the guardrails into the Mediterranean Sea. His body was never found, but a monument stands near the spot where his dream of first place ended.
Sly McFly may be gone but his legend lives on. On occasion, one might walk in to the tavern located on the world renowned Cannery Row, in Monterey, and see a bouquet of roses, a bottle of champagne, and a glass atthe end of the bar toasting the victory he still pursues.