Monday, January 31, 2011


A while back, I posted a 4 engine 45 for 5 and a 2 engine Harley Limo trike for 10. Here's another Harley 10 seater.

Below is a couple of frame grabs from a video I stumbled across a while back. I believe this video was a originally a segment on some CBS News affiliate.

I generally think such contraptions are dumb but, everyone is having a good time and it's pretty interesting to see this thing go. Watching it take a turn looks crazy as it sort of plops it self on it's outboard wheel. It also seems to teeter back and forth on as it travels down the highway.

It's called the Timeline motorcycle and it has 7 Harley engines. A J-model, Flathead, Knucklehead, Panhead, Shovelhead, Evo, and Twin-Cam. The engines are suppose to represent the history of Harley V-Twins from 1909 to the present. All engines run and can contribute power, but the Twin-Cam is the only one used on the highway.... what's up with that? They run all 7 for exhibition rides.

It was ridden to Sturgis in 2009. If your interested in videos, go to Youtube and search 10 Seater Harley or Timeline Motorcycle.

Maybe they should have put another seat on it and called it 7-Eleven.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A Rare-it-"T" and the "Z" Man

When Bruce Parrish told me he still had a Dick Allen T-shirt, I told him he had to send some photos.

This may be the Holy Grail of vintage chopper T-shirts. I find it interesting that it says California. Perhaps, so Dick could use the same design no matter what city his shop might move to.

I'm not sure if this is a dark photo of the same shirt or a black one. Bruce designed Dick's lettering and drew the art. Joe Hurst said Dick looked like the Zig-Zag man and says he suggested using his head on the art, but Bruce said it was from a cigarette (I never heard of and can't recall the name), that Dick like to smoke. I have to admit, it looks like the Zig-Zag Man to me. Bruce, send me the name if you get a chance.

I don't know about the T-shirt art, but....

Update: Joe called and said the cigarettes that Dick smoked were (sounds like), Shebeedees or Zabedees). That's what Bruce had mentioned. When Bruce told me I did a search, but came up empty. I now found Azadbidi, a brand of bidi cigarettes. That's likely it. Bidis (pronounced bee-dees) are small hand-rolled cigarettes manufactured in India and other southeast Asian countries.

These are not Azadbibi, but show the type. Azad's usually have an elephant on the pack. Bidis are tobacco wrapped in tendu or temburni leaf . Traditionally they are tied with string and come in flavors, like chocolate, mango, vanilla, lemon-lime, mint, pineapple and cherry.

NY South Bay Chopper?

In this case, NY means Neil Young. Vilmino of LoserRules sent an email reminding me of this photo. It's been floating around the blogs for sometime. (this version is a little larger than most). Since I've recently been very focused on the South Bay Style, it seemed like a good time to bring it up.

The sissy bar swoop and Dick Allen style springer pretty much say it's origins or influence are from the south bay. I found a version of this photo with the only credit being, circa 1992 near Sturgis. I'm guessing it's not Neil's bike, but rather someone asked him to pose on it. Can anyone provide more information?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Just'a Few

From yesterday's Long Beach Swap Meet.

Billy Panhead. This bike gets around.

A Servi-Car would be nice to ride to the swap. Great for carrying parts, but I'd have to leave even earlier to get there a decent time.

15k with a $5 seat.

These same funky tanks have been showing up for a few month's now. Must be asking too much $.

In retrospect, I could'a should'a taken more photos. It was a nice day with temps around the mid to high 70's (sorry to our comrades in cold places). Saw a few friends and bought a few parts.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Mystery Bike Part 2, Funny Bike 1

Since I started with the third build of Bruce Parrish's bike, working backwards, here's the second version called Funny Bike 1. Just to keep things straight, the first build of this bike (to be posted soon) wasn't considered a Funny Bike.

This version shown with a long distance auxiliary tank was built around 1975. The oil tank foreshadows Bruce's move towards the use of more aluminum custom fabricated pieces. Although the later version (Funny Bike 2), is a more sophisticated and trick build, I really like the paint and look at this stage.

Bruce looking relaxed as he gets it on.

Much of the basic platform was carried over to Funny Bike 2.

Maybe I should have used this photo for my old running gag, "What Sort of Man Reads MC art?" Bruce circa 1975 with his girl friend (now wife), looking proud of his accomplishment.

All photos courtesy of Bruce Parrish

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Nice Bike....

....for me to poop on!
All kidding aside, this bike (from Long Beach last fall), is a good reminder.

You might pick some other bars, style of sissy bar, or a different bend of pipes ....

....but it's hard to improve on the classic style of chop

....and no, it's not a bobber,

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dick Allen's Cobra, Shop, and other Wild Things

All photos taken by and courtesy of Bruce Parrish

This shot of Dick and his Cobra Trike is probably familiar to many of you. It was published in Garage magazine and I posted it myself from that source awhile back. This time it's a scan from Bruce's original photo so it's without the magazine's gutter running down the image.

Dick and his pet leopard. It strikes me as very bizarre to see a wild cat on Artesia blvd. I asked Bruce about it and he replied, "Dick was really good with animals". The conversation switch gears, so I need to get back to him on that subject.

A good view of the trike. The bike next to it served as inspiration for Bruce's first chopper. More on that to come.

While Bruce's interest was in shooting the trike and this bike, I really like the fact we get a rare glimpse of Dick's shop. That's Dick to the right talking to someone who's cutoff. Those are the beginnings of more cobra trike frames leaning near the tires. If you look carefully you can also spot 7 Harley frames.

This blown version never got further than this mock up. The Cobra Trikes were a joint effort between Dick and Ed Roth. Dick welded up frames and Roth glassed up the bodies. The frames and the bodies were $250 each. Dick also made and sold the motor mounts. The bike next to it is the bike Joe Hurst referred to as Dick's Rat Fuck. It has the old purple Loco-Motion 1 tank and is the bike (with a different engine), in the previous post (Freeway Jamming), that eventually became White Bear.

It appears there was some type of parts counter in the shop. I'd love to get a glimpse of the bike inside.

I'm very glad that Bruce took and kept these photos. As far as I know, he's the only one who has shots of the shop, and once again, want to say thanks for sharing them. Now, if we could only go and walk inside them.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

This Month's (late and temporay?), Header

I got hung up and really late on this month's header. The photo above was the first image/idea I had in mind to say, let's kick start this new year. I really prefer to use and did get started on a illustration instead, but since it's so late, this will do for now.

The photo is a from the end of the Devil's Angels, a movie that I hadn't seen in years and recently Tivo'ed. Styles come and go, but I keep coming back to this style of bike.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Funny Bike 2 Omission

I accidentally omitted this photo in the last post. It was in a separate email from Bruce and got overlooked. I did notice while setting up the last post that there was no right side shot of the bike, so I'm glad to have found it.

Bruce was smart. It's a good idea to build a bike and ride it before making it pretty. The black bike behind Bruce's belonged to Ben Stoner and the blue one, Gary French. Ben's seat was covered with denim. While the execution may be different, this photo illustrates some of the similarities among South Bay Bikes, and practically begs the question, did anyone with a Dick Allen springer not run a Sportster headlight? Photo: Corona, Ca Nov. 1977 Bruce Parrish

Monday, January 3, 2011

Mystery Bike Revealed Part 1 Funny Bike 2

This unidentified bike was recently featured in Irish Rich's post on Phil Ross. It looked familiar and had South Bay Style written all over it, so I made an inquiry to a good source and after a chain of emails it's owner and builder contacted me.

This photo from Rich's blog started the inquiry. The stance and style of the paint seemed all too familiar.

The man responsible for the bike is Bruce Parrish. If the name sounds familiar it's because he was mentioned in the Why White Bear? post as it's painter.

The following is the email I received from Bruce. I'll fill in what he later told me in the captions.

Chris, I am the mystery bike owner and builder. I still have it. That was the 3rd. build of the same frame over a 10-13 year period. I have pictures from most all the projects I have been involved with over the years. I was a painter for a lot of South Bay bikes. AKA Painter Bruce.

The running mock up. One reason the bike looked familiar, the handlebars were lent to Joe Hurst when White Bear was in the Trident's Show. See last August's Header. All photos courtesy of Bruce Parrish

I hung out, partied and road with Dick Allen and the like from the Redondo Beach area. For a few years my paint shop was in the back shop of Phil Ross's known as "Parrish Arts. " I later became a metal Fabricator and called my business "Parrish Parts", worked for several businesses for about 16 years.

This was the 3rd build of this bike and 2nd of what Bruce called the Funny Bike. Funny Bike?... it's because Bruce built it like one would build a Funny Car. Bruce fabricated both the gas and oil tanks plus all the trick goodies you can spot.

I have been back on my own since 1992 with my business now as Parrish & Sons Specialties. Do check it out Thanks for your interest and feel free to contact me. Happy New Year, Bruce Parrish

All laid out and ready to go. Something tells me this guy is meticulous.

The frame was altered to Bruce's specs. (2" in the back bone and about 3" in the front legs), by Kevin Daily of Zap Fab. Kevin started calling this style of neck a "Brucie -Neck". The South Bay Swoop sissy bar is unique as it's a true two piece type and mounts through the top of the fender.

More of Bruce's fine and tidy work. Most of the work was done while he worked at Dan Woods shop. Yes that Dan Woods. Prior to this he shortly worked for Steve Davis and largely credits him for learning and developing his metal shaping skills.

Bruce spent about two years (1976-'77), on the bike and was finished in '78. The bike was ahead of it's time. Note the attention to detail on items like the fender bracket, clutch linkage, the shifter and ratchet . This kind of machine work with these types of materials was pretty much unheard of in those days.

The bike could be run minus the top sissy bar section. Bruce knocked the center out of a 15" Porsche rim and had Buchanan's dimple and drill it for spokes. It was then laced up to a Kosman hub. The fork is an 18" over Dick Allen springer.

Here's the left side again, but this time all dolled up. The engine is a 1950 with S&S flywheels and Sifton cam. The carburetor was first an SU but was later switch to a Branch dual throat Mikuni.

It's hard to believe that this bike was never featured in a magazine. The bike was almost sold and disassembled many years ago, but Bruce still has it. Hopefully one day he'll put it back together as Funny Bike 3.

Bruce definitely played a part in the South bay bike scene and I'm honored to shed some light his contributions. He has since sent me more photos, some of this bike in it's other guises.... so stay tuned folks.... and oh yeah, don't forget to check out his website.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year

Be careful today too. Hung over drivers are almost as bad as drunks.