The cover of the February 1975 issue of STREET CHOPPER sported a dolphin soaring through a flaming hoop with a gold-colored chopper in the foreground. You gotta admit, that was a pretty snazzy cover even by today's standards. The feature article on the bike, titled "Sunrise," was just as impressive. Owner Frank Bongiorno trained and conducted animal performances at Japanese Village in Buena Park, California, making for the dynamic combination of a customized '68 Triumph and dolphin tricks throughout the bike's feature.
"Lady" was "a panhead endowed with a figurehead" - the profile of a woman graces the tank, her hair flowing into traditional hot rod flames. The front wheel is attached to a 12-inch-over Durfee girder, and the seat was a custom-made unit designed to fit the custom-made sissybar, which supports the 5-inch flat rear fender.
Just like the current STC staff is in the midst of its own bike-building projects,so was the magazine's staff back in 1975. Although by the February issue, the "Chopper Building Series [was] Nearing Completion" with the installation of the front wheel to an ultra-long custom springer front end, exhaust pipes, footpegs, headlamp, and taillight, and a Weber carburetor. The staffers still promised more building tips to come in the next issue - sounds like they could use the "Nearing Completion" title more than once.
Maybe you'd like to know how to convert your panhead motor with an easy-to-install manifold conversion kit from Gary Bang? According to the article, "For a little time, and some knuckle-scraping energy, your old pan can begin to take on a new look. Besides, this conversion will help any vacuum loss from occurring in the intake system of your Harley." Yes, you too can have decent intake manifold brackets.
Ahhh, the art of cruisin'. In "They Call It...Van Nuys Boulevard," "Van Nuys Boulevard is somewhat like Main Street USA...this isn't the only place this type of action occurs. It is happening close to you whether it's Trenton, New Jersey, Daytona Beach, Florida, or Omaha, Nebraska. Street cruising is in, and it is certainly one of the 'hot spots' for the bikers." They certainly captured some of the highlights of the past time with shots of tricked-out bikes testing each traffic light, girls sitting on bus benches watching as well as being a part of the action, and the eventual congregation in the burger joint parking lot for talking about bikes and showing off rides.
We even checked out the 2nd Annual Autorama and Motorcycle Show as well as the Daytona motorcycle event, Run to the Sun. Personally, we liked the pyrotechnics and marine life best in this issue, but we'll see what we can come up with for the next edition of "Back In the Day.