Thursday, March 17, 2016

Dick Allen's Time Machine/ The Chrome Frame Chronicles

I've been sitting on this photo for some time and it might just be the oldest known photo of Dick on the chrome frame. But I kind of hesitated to post it.

In Sept. 2014 Dick Allen's daughter Darcy came to visit the South Bay and brought along a scrapbook. Inside was this photo, only it wasn't exactly a photo. The original was disintegrating and too fragile to transport so Darcy brought a color photocopy. I was pretty bad with bits missing, cracks and lines everywhere, plus purple colored ribbons running through out. She let me borrow the copy to scan and later I spent many hours (off and on), restoring it the best I could.
It's pretty cool to see this early stage in this bikes development. It still retains the Sportster fork boots, alloy wheel and brake. After working on this photo so long, I wonder how many times it will be copied and re-posted all over the internet without anybody realizing what a pain it was to restore? I guess I gotta share.

A Time Machine you ask? Well, I've seen the photocopy on another site stating that it was taken in 1959. Well if it was 1959 then Dick must of had invented a Time Machine since the gas tank is from a '66 Harley Sprint. It's much more likely that the photo is, at the earliest, from 1966.
Here's a 1966 H-D Sprint for reference. 1966 also happens to be the first year for this style of bar and shield logo which is faintly visible on Dick's bike. 

Around the same time, I also scanned an original print of this now famous photo. My archives have it marked as 1967 which may be correct. I never really thought about the paint's design origins, but clearly Dick liked the basic design from the 1966 tank.

The high res scan reveals some details that are interesting to see up close.

It also revealed this message on Dick's button.