Skip to content

Jammin’ Jimmy Feret – Interview

May 14, 2023

Q) Jimmy how did you get started in BMX racing?

A) I was 8 years old and asked my dad to buy me a BMX bike so I could race, he got me a Raleigh Rampar. 

Q) What track did you make your first race at and what year?

A) It was Itasca, IL BMX track, 1978. I raced in the beginner class and finished 1st. I never raced in the novice class, my dad moved me to expert class right away.

Q) How did you discover BMX Racing in the first place?

A) I saw an older kid in my neighborhood on a BMX bike and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.  He had a number plate on it so I asked if he raced, he was the one who told me about the Itasca BMX track.  Once I got my bike I remember loving it, and once we got to the track I was hooked. The site, sounds, smell, and racing was such a rush I couldn’t stop. The entire BMX experience was awesome for me and my family. 

Q) Did you have a favorite track? 

A) I loved racing so many tracks around the country. One that stuck out was in Nashville, TN. It was fast with a great big sweeping first left turn and jumps that took skill and a great table top too. Others were Peoria, IL, Pittsburgh North and South Park, Orange County, CA, Orlando, FL and countless others.

Q) Your favorite BMX memory?

A) BMX gave me many great memories but one of my best would have to be the 1980 Jag BMX World Championship. I raced for Rad Rags at the time and had a great weekend. I finished 2nd in 10 expert, 1st in the War of the Stars trophy dash, and 1st in the 8 – 10 open class beating Jason Jensen from factory Torker and I became a 2-time world champion.

Q) Who was your main rival?

A) I had 3 main rivals over the years, Tony “the Tiger” Luke, Kevin “Special K” Collins, and Troy Raatz*,  all were from Michigan I believe. [Ed*Note- for more on Troy Raatz see Huffy BMX WordPress site]

Last Word – I was so fortunate to race for some great teams over the years with some really fast riders:  Team Chicago, Advanced Trickery, Factory JMC, Factory Vector, Factory Procraft, Factory Zeronine and co-sponsored by Haro, Oakley, and Skyway Tuff Wheels. Traveling with my family, not having a “normal” childhood but getting to do  so many cool things and meet some great people helped make memories that last a life time. 


Jim Melton – God Bless

July 20, 2014


A Down Under build, Over the top

April 18, 2013

Justin Merrett is the proud owner of not one, not two, but three JMC’s. Shown here is his pride and joy ultra rare Andy Patterson Model. #AP9 to be exact.


This is the parts list breakdown. All NOS components:
Profile lockjaw stem
Profile bars
Profile cranks, 2nd Generation
Profile horse shoe pedals
Profile gyrolite hubs
Araya 7x rims
Hatta headset
Elina lightening bolt seat
Dia Compe MX1000 brakes
Oakley B1B grips
JMC seat post

JMC Restoration Project: Part 1

December 9, 2012

When I got my first JMC, I was so excited I built this site. But didn’t really work on the bike. Then I got a second JMC, one year different and a different model. Finally, got the base of the bike done. It has taken much longer than I would have liked, to have gotten this far, but I’m happy with the results.

The bikes look beautiful in the sun. Part 2 may be a long time coming. I have scored some NOS items. But still need a gold set of alloy bars and a few other items. Part 2 will be building on the core. Part three will be the wheels and finishing touches. Could take awhile lol.

Note the all the differences between the two bikes. The Black Shadow has a much steeper head tube angle. The Black Shadow has a bladed downtube, while the Long Standard has a elliptical downtube. The Black Shadow has a box stay, the Long Standard and elliptical stay. The Black Shadow has a shorter extension of the top tube, behind the seat tube. The Black Shadow and Long Standard both I believe came with an optional Euro Bottom Bracket. The Long Standard has that.


Living in Chris Carter’s Shadow

November 19, 2012

Got this email from Chris today.

‘JMC Shadow frame and forks (K84970) in action back in the day.
The racing shots are:
1) The bike leading the pack round the first turn at Romford in the UK – 1987;
2) The bike on the gate at the World Championships in Orlando, Florida – 1987;
The next shots are the frame and forks as they stand today. The chrome and decals are all original and just as they were when the frame left the factory on 11th May 1984. Unfortunately the fork decals have long since come off, but apart from that everything is in tact, even the seat clamp system (I think the bolt itself has been replaced, but the welded on bosses are still perfect). To my knowledge, it has only had two owners including myself. I plan to rebuild it using the period parts I still have plus a few that I’ll need to find.
I raced in the UK from 1983 to around 1989, campaigning the JMC for the ’87 season in the 17+ category.
In truth, the bike was too small for me, but with a DK extra long stem it just about fit perfect. But I always found the handling of the JMC so sweet, that the sizing problem didn’t seem to matter. I found that you didn’t have to get used to a JMC – you just climbed aboard and went and it was right straight from the word go. Undoubtedly one of BMX’s finest frames!
And from one JMC admirer to another, thanks for keeping the legend alive via your website.
Best regards,
Chris Carter.’

Man, Chris kept rocking JMC after the company folded! Hope Jim reads your unsolicited praise.
Everybody likes a certain feel. Once you find a bike that has it, hard to let go.
Thanks for sending the pictures and info. – Erick Weinstetter

Some JMC firsts

October 25, 2012

Was talking to Jim and asked him for some of the exact dates an item or model was first sold. As I get more info from him I will post it here and just edit this thread.

JMC Andy Patterson Series Frames
Prototype July 1984
AP1 is un accounted for
AP2 and AP3 first ones accounted for went to Andy Patterson 8/2/84.
AP4 went to a Michigan team member on 8/3/84
AP5 the first sold went to Sundance Cyclery in Illinois on 8/3/84.

JMC Black Shadow Frames
1st JMC Black Shadow was not marked with a K.
#2175 was first ever JMC Black Shadow sold. It went to Bicycle Harbor in Arizona on 3/25/80.
Not sure when the first Black Shadow starting with “K” in the serial number was sold.

JMC Darrell Young Design Frames
2 Prototypes of the Darrell Young Design frame were made in October 1983 and marked DY XP1 and DY XP2.
However 7 more frames were made at that same time. After testing was complete these were the first JMC Darrell Young Desgins released.
DY 8401- DY 8405 all went to the ABA or Team racers in December 1983.
The first JMC Darrell Young Design frames were sold on January 8, 1984 to the Bike Gallery in Oregon including DY8411, DY8413. That same day DY8420 was shipped to the Bicycle Center in Southern California. Those were the first 3 sold but not made.

Thanks Jim for all your help.

Keep Jim in your Prayers

March 14, 2012

Talked to Jim by email recently. He is excited to come out to California in June. May have some big news. But at this moment he is not feeling himself lately. He is going to be getting some tests and hopefully it is nothing, just getting older. But not feeling yourself or feeling 100% is never good or fun. Getting any kind of tests is always nerve racking. So please keep Jim in your Prayers.
Jim you gotta stop going 100 miles an hour and get your sleep. Take your vitamins to make up for not eating healthy. Dr. 4130’s orders.

JMC Reunion

March 5, 2012

I got this email from Jim awhile back. If you want a chance to meet him and see a ton of restored JMC’s and maybe even pick one up, dont miss this event. Its probably on a saturday and I work Saturday’s but those that can make it, should. – Erick

“Hi All JMC Team Riders and Friends,
We are going to have a Reunion June 2 at ***Bellflower BMX. Steve Bothers was nice enough to allow us to have it there at the 2012 BMX Society Old School Reunion. Please bring any thing you have pertaining to JMC Racing. This will be the 35th year since we started production on JMC Frames. I will keep you posted on any updates. Thanks and may God bless you all!” – Jim Melton

*************Has been moved to Whittier Narrows Park and BMX track**********************
This is still in SoCal just off the 60 and 605 Freeway, not that far from Bellflower’s track.

Jim Melton Interview

November 24, 2011

I had the pleasure if not honor of having lunch with Jim Melton at Cheesecake Factory and the conversation continued after, at his daughters house, who joined us for lunch. This is a bit of what I gleamed from him. The rest I will save for another project I’m working on.

Jim Melton clearly loves BMX, and was, is not just a guy trying to make money from the sport. He loved the whole lifestyle, the family aspect, the joy of traveling and the thrill of competition. He loved giving riders a chance, regardless of race or gender.
He got his start working at a bike shop in Oklahoma City. He would work on old bikes in the basement when things were slow. After moving to California he met the guys from CYC and decided to open his own bike shop, Jim Melton Cyclery, in Azusa, CA. In 1975 he was also working at the local BMX track in Covina, CA as a flagman. A local racer by the name of John Begin asked him to start a team.
The JM Cyclery team was born. Harry Leary would help dial in the team with uniforms for the factory look and they may have been the first team to use Bill Walter’s leathers for a BMX team. Jims son would dial in the bikes and numberplates later and actually designed the JMC shield logo.
In 1975 or 1976 he opened a second bike shop. Actually he bought it and just kept the name, Bills Bike Shop, in nearby Monrovia, CA. Monrovia as well as Azusa both had BMX tracks. Rich Long helped run the Azusa track and Barbara Foster (no relation to JMC ace Dennis Foster) helped run Monrovia.
With the success would came the first two bikes. Actually a bit of an interesting story behind that. But the short version is after a failed attempt to buy GT/Pedals Ready he would launch JMC/BMX.
JMC XP1 and XP2 were the first two bikes made. Jim told me who he gave them too but I’ll have to ask him again. The first production long bike, JMC20 went to Clint Miller.
Did you know JMC made a batch of Chainring adapter discs? I didnt. They made I think 50 of them. All were same color and all were engraved.
Did you know that the biggest dealer of JMC frames was Bicycle Harbor in Arizona?
Did you know why the seat post stamp is cutoff on the real JMC seat posts and not on the forged ones? Jim used the same stamp that he used on the back end of the top tube for both. Obviously the top tube is bigger then the seat post tube, hence the seat tube logo was cutoff.

All the detailed records were kept by his office manager. Jim also keep all the original bike jigs in storage, but a massive flood in the early 90’s by the Mississippi River destroyed the storage building and they have been lost since. After closing down JMC in 1985 he returned to the job he held between his his Oklahoma City bike shop days and JMC, a mechanical engineer in the Los Angeles area.

Presently he has brought back the JMC name by reissuing pad sets, decals and more. He hopes to bring the brand back as a bike company as well, but at this point there are no concrete plans. But if I can twist Jim’s ear, I will make sure to tell him he needs to do 20 and 24 and 26, that all us older guys want. If the name does return to bike shops and race tracks near you, I can tell you this. The frame sets will be made in the USA. But as of this writing, no prototypes have been made.

JMC now has its own website

October 30, 2011

Jim Meltons grandson has just put up a website for JMC, complete with Pro shop to make it easy to find your JMC Gear o Bike Certificate etc.
Visit now at JMC BMX
I have it on the links section to the right also.