Leif “Basse” Hveem

Leif "Basse" Hveem

Leif Hveem was born in Oslo in March 1920 and acquired the somewhat ironic nickname 'Basse', meaning 'big boy' early in his boyhood. One day he some dirt track riders heading for Bislet Stadium and by selling empty milk bottles he got money enough to buy a ticket watch. Leif immediately took up bicycle speedway on a gravel pitch and learned the broad siding technique. His first bike was an almost unknown ATLAS, bought in 1934 from a scrap dealer. Later he got a REX and in 1935 a DKW. In 1937 he bought a 350 cc Rudge engine in a speedway frame but his big breakthrough came when he got his first JAP speedway engine and built his own frame to fit bike that was a winner right from the start. With the outbreak of war, Basse dismantled his bikes and hid them to prevent them being commandeered by the occupiers. He then escaped via Sweden to England where he spent his war riding military motorcycles as a messenger including serving with the invasion forces in France, Holland and Germany until the summer of 1945 when he was able to return to Norway.

In 1948, Hveem returned to England to ride and from 1953 to '56 he rode for the Hammers in the 1st division. Leif  is credited as being the first rider to lap a British track at more than 50mph

He won European long track championship twice, last time in 1957. In his career he won the Nordic Championships 13 times (8 long track and 5 speedway), and won 21 Norwegian Championships (11 long track and 10 speedway).

After 1957, now aged 37 and after several big accidents, his biking career began to decline. He'd driven a Cooper as early as 1950, winning in Oslo in June but now he took up car racing more seriously in a Cooper, then Volvo and Ford. In 1961 he won an ice race in a Porsche in front of a huge crowd headed by the Norwegian Crown Prince Harald.

Leif's known results:

Oslo 11th June 1950, 1st

Helsinki 7th May 1950, 3rd

Helsinki 12th May 1957, 10th

Leif "Basse Hveem died in July 1964.




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