Monday, November 2, 2009

The Buzzard Mann Connection

Laid Back Jammin. Roth's pal Buzzard was featured in one of his "The Country's Grooviest Bike People" Posters. Note the antique bulb horn on the left side pullbacks. Was he the first to build six-bends? This bike is Bitchin! and there's a good reason this shot looks like a David Mann painting.

Buzzard in a early Choppers Magazine Wheelie Prones ad. It's a somewhat confusing ad for risers and slugs. Extending and trimming wide glide trees and legs seemed to be his specialty. He had also placed a few ads in the Beg Borrow and Steal classified section promoting these services. Buzzard later wrote an article on the subject for the Nov. '68 issue.

David Mann circa 1969. I remember seeing one of those ads stating that Buzzard was selling his bike since he was off to the "Joint", but can't find it. I also read somewhere that David Mann was the guy that bought it. For the longest time I didn't put the two together. Dave lost the front brake.

Dave and the bike in 1970. Now painted black featuring an SU carb, drag pipes, longer forks, and Finned Dish Pans.

Here you can clearly see a large brass horn mounted on the bars.

Art imitates life. Dave even used the bike as inspiration for this later Easyriders center spread art. The six-bend pullbacks, unique high pipes, and fork boots give it away. Note the entry info taped to pillar.

Later, when it was featured in Choppers Magazine Aug. '73 it sported a 20" over D&D springer and frame. This article never mentions that the bike was once owned by Buzzard. It does mention him as his friend and the builder of the Ankh sissy bar and pullbacks. I believe this sissy bar was on the bike when Buzzard owned it, but the additional side supports are not in the top photo. The article states the brass horn as being from a Bombay Taxi and questions how Dave acquired it. It also states that since the shoot, Dave had gone back to the original H-D frame and wide glide. What really puzzles me, I don't recall Easyriders ever doing a feature on Dave's bike?


This familiar shot was recently posted on The Shame of it All blog. It shows a different horn on the bars. The top Buzzard photos look to be the larger Bombay Taxi horn.


lewy k said...

killer article chris! brings back memories big time. it always amazes me how much classic chopper history you've documented to memory over the decades, this piece on buzzard and mann is one of the best. looking forward to future articles like this that put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Irish Rich said...

I had that ad, when Buzzard was going to the can, from the Feb. '68Choppers Magazine in my Jan. 4, '09 blog post entitled "Check this ad out, Part 1".

Same post that you saved the picture from, of Buzzard that you posted above this blog entry.

And, that's OK Chris, tweak away. That was a poor quality picture from Roth's "California Choppers" book. Those original pictures are like 20 DPI, I think!

Oh, and I spent the night over at K R Ball's place a few Saturdays ago. We should have called you.

Chris K said...

I started thinking it was probably on your blog after I did the post. I Didn't mean to rain on your parade. I should have gone back and looked it up.

I knew I hear from you on this topic. As you always know this stuff.

When I read you were going to be at Keith's I thought I might be able to stop by, but I got busy preparing to leave town on Sunday. Maybe next time.