Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Single downtube CFL frames.....

A rarity even when West Coast Choppers was in full swing, the WCC CFL frame in a single downtube configuration is something you may never see in person, so few were the build numbers.

Never offered to the general public as an option on a CFL frame, you either had to have one built as a shop bike, or "have an in" at WCC to obtain one.

Because WCC wouldn't sell one, a lot of independent shops took a customer's regular CFL frame, and converted it to a single downtube. But, considering the thousands of WCC CFL frames that were built, a genuine WCC-built single loop CFL frame is as rare as hen's teeth. Every once and awhile, a bare frame will show up on Ebay with the WCC pedigree, and commands a pretty good penny to obtain it. Right or wrong, the last one I saw on Ebay went for 9 grand......

Photos 7 and 8 aren't shop-built bikes, but all the single loop frames, and every bike in this post are WCC-built single downtube frames.






Mark Nelson's single loop CFL. It was at the end of this photo shoot for Hardcore Choppers Japan that mark earned his nickname "9 1/2". It's a widely-known story, but if you haven't read or heard about it, you'll just have to ask Mark. This is another one that's in my shop-built "Top 5 CFL's" list.

I saved this one for last. The photo was taken "upstairs" at WCC soon after the move to the Anaheim St. shop. From what I understand, Jesse did this frame at the beginning of the CFL frame manufacturing as a prototype design. As far as I know, there were only two of this exact style frames built - this one, and the one below.......

This is my single downtube CFL frame. OriginallyI had asked Jesse if WCC could build this frame for a client of mine in Santa Fe, and Jesse said, "Yeah, sure....". Well, I kept asking, and Jesse kept saying "Sure...", but it was through the persistent lobbying of Mark (9 1/2) Nelson, that it was finally completed in '05.

It was funny, at the time this was assembled, WCC had a "showroom" and a "shop" cam operating, and you could see what was going on in those locations on Jesse's website Chopperdogs. The shop camera happened to be pointed just right, and you could see the guys assembling this frame in the jig all that week. Everybody was positive it was a frame for Jesse Rooke. I never said anything different. Originally, I had the go-ahead to buy a couple of these style frames, but money ws tight, and I only had WCC build this one, with an option to get one for myself later on.

Well, it turned out that my client in Santa Fe decided to forgo his new build, and bought a KTM or something instead. He offered the frame back to me, and I didn't hesitate buying it, vowing that it wouldn't ever leave here again. I've had some pretty outrageous $$$$$ offers to sell this frame over the years, and I've turned them all down.

The specs on this frame are 1" up, 2" out, with a 35 degree rake, with a special spiderweb gusset cut to match. The curved downtube and backbone are 1 1/2" dia. x 1/4" wall tubing, with the remainder of the frame tubes at the standard WCC 1 1/8" x 1/8" wall tube. It was originally set up for a 200 tire, and a drop down battery box, when that battery location was a shop CFL built-only offering.

I have the original MSO (signed by Pearl) for the frame, and the original custom order build sheet for it. Another strange thing about this frame is that the VIN # for it is stamped under the front engine mount, not on the mount's front surface like other CFL's are.

You might just see this frame on the road this year, that's all I'm coping to.........

8 comments:

9half said...

Cool little thing.. we were talking about that shit the other day, as if twenty years from now if people will remember any of that shit we did... and hey don't ask me what happened, just learn from my mistake and keep your gloved fingers away from a moving belt drive..

Irish Rich said...

Mark, 20 years from now, people will remember.

J-Rod said...

You left off pics of the one I had that I sold to some rich guy in Texas. I wish I could say that I regret not finishing it, but I rather like the other things that came after that...

Jahluv said...

If the single downtube bike is half as nice as the white Twin Cam you built, it will be a stunner. Born Free3?

Neil said...

And the tank in the top photo is one of my favorites. Thanks for the pics and stories.

The Hate Factory said...

That tank in the top photo is without a doubt my favorite WCC tank/bike ever. Period. Hetfield?

kurtlieb said...

Rich, the purple and rootbeer bikes are the same bike and also for sale.

Irish Rich said...

Well, how about that...I thought they were two different bikes. Either color, either way, still nice.