I never knew I was going to be building bikes for a living, but here I am. It all started when I was six years old; I received my first model car and loved it. I have built models all my life, and still do. When I was about 10 my older brothers were always in the garage, building hot rods with their friends. I would be building and painting bicycles next to them, trying to fit in any chance I got. I was also always drawing and when I was about 13 I picked up my first pinstriping brush and loved it. By then everything in the house was pinstriped. Let’s just say my mom did not like that at all. At 16 I got my first car; a ’62 Chevy Impala, which was given to me by my dad and brother. I really wanted a motorbike but wasn’t allowed. I stuck to cars and after high school I got a job at a restoration shop and worked there for two years restoring old muscle cars. After leaving there, I bounced around to a couple different body shops. When I was about 20 years old, I found myself working at a top-notch restoration shop painting high-end cars like Ferraris, Lambos, and Rolls Royces.
After a while I got tired of working for the man and started working from home for myself. Fast forward now eight years later. Having built many bikes for friends and customers, I decided it was time to build a bike the way I wanted.
I bought this Triumph two years ago in Daytona, then started it in January of 2010. At first, I wasn’t sure what style I wanted to go with. I always loved the board track style bikes and was fascinated at how these men were racing bikes without any brakes around a wooden track. So I told myself that’s it, I was going to build a board track style Triumph, a real stripped-down scoot. Everything on the bike was all hand-formed and made in-house by me. Not wanting to spend a whole lot but still wanting to make it nice, I made the frame with leftover parts from past hotrods I built. The whole bike was metal finished, that way I would have less work when I painted it. I made the foot controls and license plate bracket from scrap steel. The Brooks seat is from a ’72 Raleigh bicycle. I used ’36 H-D Knuckle buddy seat springs and wanted to hide them behind the transmission, so the seat looks stationary but it is fully functional. Pipes were made from scrap from take-offs and the tank is an original Wassel, made in England that had been used as an ashtray in my buddy’s shop. The rear fender came from Pat at Led Sled Customs. The wheels are from Warren Jr. at Jr. Cycle Products; headlight is a Bates. The handlebars are custom stainless steel with the clutch and internal throttle being from Cook Customs.
I did not have paint on this thing until Friday and was trying to make it to Daytona by Monday. So a couple of friends came over and helped out. I built the motor up Sunday night, went to bed, and left Monday for Daytona. I would finish it there by Thursday for the Willies show. Well, with the help of all my friends I got it done around 6 o’clock in the morning and rode it to Willies.
After all the headaches, no sleep, and trying to keep the girlfriend happy, it was award time and they called my name for Best British Bike. I was so happy that I finally accomplished something for myself. I was really honored.
The next day I took it to the Limpnickie show not expecting to win. Well, it did again with Best Euro. I was super excited, but no more than five minutes later I hear my name for Best Of Show! I guess more people than myself liked the style of my funky little bike. STC