Tuesday, June 29, 2010

A Good Issue

It's been a while since I've posted any of my old magazines. This one has a ton of "out of sight" images. The American Chopper Enterprises/Himsl Custom Paint Studio ad came from this issue and so did one of the photos of Roth's Mail Box trike.

These cover bikes were not featured, but here's what it said on the index page: Jammin' is what it's all about. In front is a bastard '57 lower end in a '56 frame, topped off with a '62 shovelhead upper end. Close behind is a '49 Pan bored .030 oversize, raked, and running a 12" overstock extension.

The tape on the bound edge of this issue is testament to how many times I looked through it. I'll be posting more from it soon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

A Few From Pops Day

You can' tell from this photo, but there seemed to be more people than usual.

This KR was one of the highlights of the event to me.

Original Bikes Rock. In this case, a 1969 XLCH

There's no white wall on choppers!

I believe I overhead the kid with the family that owns this trike say it was a '38. I didn't see anything '38 about it. The tanks are '47- 50, and the engine was stamped '59. The rear box may have been the smaller early one.

It's nice to see old relics (27 Henderson 4), being ridden, but watching him almost lose it getting into traffic was scary. He popped the clutch, got squirrely, and ended up on the wrong side of the road. He recovered quickly and was really lucky that nobody was in the lane at that moment.

Garage Co. bikes. Nice stance. This shovels swinging fender, frame and springer combo reminds me of Roth's Oink.

Leave it to me to only photograph American bikes at a British shop. The truth is, I was disappointed at the turn out of Brit bikes this year. Maybe it was my timing.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Fathers Day Party

Sorry for the late notice... I almost forgot.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of them doing this. It's basically an informal ride in event and free. I've gone a few times over the years and plan on being there. I've heard, that in the past, Jay Leno has come by early in the day.

A One, and a Two, and a Three

I've been going to the Long Beach Swap Meet since it began (1989?), and would often see bikes that I really liked but, never took a camera. One rare occasion, in the summer of 1996, I did take a camera and shot the following photos as I was preparing to leave.

A One. I really dig this old road warrior. How about that passenger seat?

I call them Blend Bikes (made up from a unique blend of different year's parts), or Swap Meet Bikes, since their owners have built them up or keep them going by using whatever they find at the swap meet.

A Two. What's this... another cool flathead parked along side?

A bit more of an original survivor. There is nothing cooler than old bikes that are taken out and ridden.

And a Three. This one's blend of parts isn't really working for me but, you don't often see three UL's being ridden together. I assumed they were all buddies since they were just about the only bikes left in the lot. This one could very well be the same bike a friend of mine bought a few years later (at Long Beach), and restored to stock.

I never saw them again. I can't help wonder, where are they today?

Friday, June 18, 2010

Young Punk

Ruby Duby Doo! I wasn't aware of this early Hopper film until seeing some images on the Nostalgia on wheels blog. A quick search turned up this cool poster. That's DH on a glide fitted Knuckle.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Born-Free 2 Part 1

For anyone (in So Cal), who's truly interested in vintage choppers, the show last, Saturday was a must attend event. For that matter, it drew people from all over the country and even Japan. Also, no one could make the excuse, they couldn't afford it, as everything including food and beer was FREE... unheard of in today's world!

Here's some random shots from the show.

The focal point in the closed off street was at Pacific Coast Cycle in Signal Hill Ca.

Quite a few Triumphs came out and many were amongst the cleanest of the bikes in the show.

I got so caught up in taking photos I missed the chance to really take in this sleek knuckle.

This cool '35 VL took home best Bobber. You can blame me for that, I judged the category.

Another really nice bike that I didn't eyeball enough. Anybody know if it won best Shovel? It must have been a contender.

A Lovely line up from Jeremiah.

I spotted this nice Panhead early in the day. It didn't stick around long enough to contend the Bobber class.

Future Chopper Jockey. Lucky little fella, I wish I could have attended a show like this when I was his age.

Best Panhead went to Mark Drew's period piece.

Max's Knuckle. Is it just me or does the peeling chrome on the Roth air scoop look like a hand flipping the bird?

Update: Dave Smits sent a photo. It is indeed the '"birdie" , it jogged my memory, I do now remember seeing it on Max's or some else's blog.

This is one of the nicest unit Triumphs I've seen in awhile. Not too much stretch or gap in the hard tail section like many. Gives it a real vintage look. I believe it took a trophy home.

I got to admit, I had some reservations about the show this year. With all the early promotion I was concerned that it would get too big, out of hand and would be shut down like some other events in the past. With many hundreds or thousands more in attendance than last year, all went very well and I didn't see or hear about any problems.

It was truly an unusually cool event. They basically just threw a bike party and everyone was welcome. Again, a BIG THANKS! for having us all goes out to Mike, Grant, Harpoon, and their whole support team.

More pics to come....

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Good Ride

A card I made for our anniversary last week

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Month's Header

The Candy Box
What do models have to do with Summer? Well, when I was a kid, if we couldn't go to the beach, or playing various games in the street, we built stuff. As a matter of fact, my brothers and I were fairly avid car modelers. Most of the time we just couldn't help but modify them to the extent that they rarely resembled what was on the box cover.

I built this model sometime around 1970-71. It was it's second build and was loosely based on Roth's Mail Box.

When my interest shifted, I stopped building cars and started building bikes. The first one I remember was Revell's "Chopped Hog". At first it was built as it came, but since it was a lousy depiction of a chopper, I quickly tore it apart and customized it. I added a hard tail, a molded in peanut tank, new pipes, sissy bar, rear fender, seat, and scratch built a brass springer.

The next victim was Revell's CHP model. I don't recall ever building it stock. Instead, it became the raw material for a chopper based on Jim Breo's trike from the first issue of Big Bike magazine. I posted Jim's trike here last January.

As in real life, a cop bike becomes a donor.

Here's how it looked the first time around. In someways I wish I left it alone.

Like most of my models, it didn't stay intact long, and soon it was apart for a new build based on Roth's Mail Box. Since, I had already modified the Shovelhead frame and engine to look like a 45 c.i. Servi-car. The new mods consisted mainly of stretching the down tube, molding a cut down gas tank, building a body, and adding a longer springer.

The Real Deal. The Crosley engine really only looks good from this side. Roth didn't want to use another flathead 45 since he had already built the Candy Wagon. Each trike project was built to gain more experience. The Crosley engine was an experiment for using a water cooled engine with the radiator mounted in the back and served as a stepping stone towards the later V-8 powered trikes.

Roth's original Choppers magazine used Ed Newton's Mail Box drawing at the top of the letter's to the editor page. For fun, I took a shot at replicating it.

Engine and frame mod details. The cam cover was cut down and the timer centered. The barrels, heads, and push rods were cut down and filed to resemble flathead cylinders. Drag pipe were fashioned from other pipe pieces. This is the second oil tank and was made from a rear shock capped on each end with a spotlight. Now, the only part of the frame left intact was under the engine and trans and the seat post. The drive chain was moved to the right side. Rear fender mounts were used as 45 brake and clutch side straps. Some parts, like the kicker, brake pedal and foot pegs, have broken off over the years. A top engine mount was never made.

The finned heads were scratch built from sheet plastic. Cutting and fitting each fin and the bolt pattern was the most tedious chore. The carb was moved to the left and a working choke was made from a pin. The primary cover was also reworked to resemble a 45's. The left side engine case was the biggest omission, it should be finned. The spark plugs wires and coil have since come off.

The body was made from balsa wood and the interior is covered with vinyl. The gas tank is from a Triumph kit. To create the indents, the knee pads were cut off and glued inside on the opposite sides. The fork was scratch built out of brass and was from another model I built. I don't remember ever seeing a color photo of the real trike back then, but read it was fogged in various colors. My attempt at custom paint was fogging some red over the green Testors metal flake and was never very happy with the result.

The Candy Box. Another fun exercise, a Photoshoped Candy Wagon/Mail Box combination for comparison. You can definitely see the Candy Wagon's influence on my model.

I still have remnants of other chopper models but, somehow this one survived. It was tossed around and stored in a box for about two decades but has since been on display in my studio for about the last 6 years. I'd like to rebuild some of the others, but that will have to wait for a future Summer.... perhaps in a second childhood?