I got it real bad with this old chopper addiction. It's getting to the point where all I do is build and chase this old shit down. So one day, I'm banging away in my shop, and I get a call from my buddy Mario to look at this old chopper on a local Internet site. Thing is, it's not just about the money for the seller, it's got to go to the right home because his father built it back in the day. After tons of emails from clowns saying "it's not worth anything" and that they want to use parts from it for their café racer or something like that, thankfully, my buddy Albert sent one well-placed email stating, "My buddy Jason is the guy you need to sell this to." Al and the seller, Korey Ahlers, had a conversation first, and then I got a call from Korey. Needless to say, my buddy Jake and I flew out to get it that night.
When we got to Korey's house and that garage door opened, I just about fell down. I could barely talk. Now, I've found a ton of old survivor chops in the past, but when I saw that metalflake dancing under the street lights as the sun was going down, I said to myself, "Shit, I'm going to own this thing for the rest of my life." While I was looking over the bike Korey explained it was like a family heirloom. His father built it back in the day, and gave it to him and his brother. After relocating to Toronto from Saskatchewan, the hard decision was made to sell it.
Over the years and all the Harleys I've gotten my hands on, there are always interesting stories that I love to hear. Most of the stories are vague, loose and missing a lot of the details. Well, not with this bike. Korey gave me his father Doug's number, and I got a chance to have a few conversations with the man who built this masterpiece.
The story goes that Doug bought this bike in 1974 when it was two years old, and proceeded to start chopping it right away with his buddy Mark Gronvall in an apartment in Edmonton. For its first version, it had a coffin tank, king and queen seat, and girder. The bike was finished just in time for Doug's wedding. Mark accidently laid the bike down shortly after the wedding. That crash spawned the current state of the bike.
Mark went to a show in Anaheim, California, and saw the infamous Klingon Cruiser, a bike called the Magic Pan, as well as a bunch of Arlen Ness-style bikes. That and a few copies of Street Chopper were all the inspiration they needed to get this bike back together.
The boys ended up goose-necking the AMEN Savior frame and getting another Durfee square girder to replace the bent one. They proceeded to build a round rod skeleton of the shape they wanted the bike to look like, and formed it all out of sheetmetal. The tank, fender, and all the sheetmetal work were made using as little Bondo as possible; it's all metal. Being a fabricator myself, and really looking into this bike, these "kids at the time" did an amazing job. Many of the Honda diggers were running some crazy shit on them in the '70s, and this bike was no exception. Doug got the ARD Magneto setup off of a guy in Edmonton who was running a twin-engine top-fuel Honda to go with the Drouin Supercharger. While the motor was apart, the head got ported and received some stainless steel valves and Megacycle cams along with an Alphabet exhaust with some other go-fast shit.
Mark painted the bike for Doug in an Eudura paint with silver flake in a two-tone red and orange candy that is still in amazing shape after 30-plus years due to being kept inside a heated house. All the chrome and plating were sent to Brown's Plating Service in Kentucky; yeah, that's the same Brown's that was advertised in all the old chopper magazines.