Saturday, November 28, 2009

The FXRDG and the FXDG

After I mentioned the FXRDG, and the FXDG in my post below on the solid wheel equipped FXB Sturgis, I recieved a bunch of Emails asking for more info on them, and photos if I had any. I told everybody it would be easier if I did a post here on the blog with the requests. I hope you find this interesting as well.
A great photo of the '84 FXRDG Disc Glide. Total production for the FXRDG was 863 units, including 10 FXRSDG's with the longer Sport front ends.

The '84 FXRDG is a pretty interesting link in the development and history of the FXR. By '84, the Evolution engine was ready to go into production, and from the beginning of the FXR program, the FXR (and the FLT) frames were constructed for Evo power, with the Shovelhead filling the interim. Harley wanted a Factory "custom" FXR platform for the Evo, and the FXRDG Disc Glide was designed to fill the bill.

The Disc Glide got it's name from it's unique 2pc. 16" spun aluminum rear rim, something that had been around in the custom bike world for a few years, but in the form of an adapted automotive 15" rim. Along with the rim, the Disc Glide received the first chrome and silver engine package available from the Factory.

The Disc Glide also received one of the first paint packages that were developed by H-D in unison with PPG's Custom Paints Division. The color was a black powdercoated frame, with a killer candy Blackberry and Brandywine two-tone for the sheetmetal, applied over a gold 'flake base. The "blackberry" was accomplished by applying a coat of candy red with a slight hint of red pearl over Harley's Vivid Black as a base. The result was a very deep black, until you had it at the right angle, and then you could see bright, almost burgundy highlights on the rounded surfaces.

Finishing off the Factory custom paint was a single hand-painted gold pinstripe to seperate the panels, and the old "Genuine Harley-Davidson" decal for the tank panels. The whole paintjob was then overcleared to remove the "steps" in the decal and the pinstripes. Overall, it was probably Harley's best finish they had applied up to this time, and set the Factory standard in this department for all their bike from there on out.

The FXR Disc Glide's 2pc. spun aluminum rim by Centerline, and final chain drive. Note the riveted construction to join the wheel halves, and the factory .750" offset rear sprocket that was unique to the chain driven FXR's.

Factory photo of the '84 FXDG Disc Glide, or the "Willie G." or "Willie Glide", as it was more popularly known. Total production on the FXDG model was 810 bikes. Willie G. and Louie Netz rode a pair of prototype belt driven Wide Glide FX's VERY similar to this FXDG, from the Factory in Milwaukee to Sturgis in '82. I saw them both parked on Main St. by Gunner's Bar that year, and Willie G. was taking everybody's comments on them, and putting them in his mental notepad.

H-D refered to this model as their "ultimate Wide Glide". It was a Harley Factory custom in every sense of the word. The bike's sheetmetal was painted a dark oxblood (along with the dash and outer primary cover), with the frame being black powdercoated.

The complete Shovelhead engine, transmission, and the inner primary were done in both black wrinkle, and gloss black powdercoat. The exhaust received a matt black ceramic coat, and the lower sliders received the gloss black treatment, as well as most of the rest of the parts on the bike that would be traditionally chrome.

The big news in the styling department though, was the addition of the 2pc. spun aluminum 16" disc wheel out back, which it shared in '84 with the FXRDG that you saw above. Along with the wheel, the back of the Disc Glide got an 11 1/2" rotor, and the front end sported two 10" rotors, which were on their way out by '85. A piece of trivia for you - the front end on the FXDG was 3 1/2" longer than stock, vs. the standard Factory Wide glide extension of 2" over.

Also part of the package was a custom 2up seat, sissy bar, and two hand stitched and laced leather bags, which Harley referred to as "Stash Bags" - one on the front fork, and a larger one on the sissy bar. Can you imagine Harley calling those bags by that name today? In my opinion, the FXDG was one of Harley's best early factory custom efforts ever rolled out of the factory.

Harley gave the FXB Sturgis' primary and secondary belt drives one more encore performance, and included both of them in the Disc Glide's drivetrain - the last appearance of the primary belt drive on any production bike from H-D. Also getting one more hurrah was the inclusion of both kick and electric starters
The L/H side shot of the FXDG. Unfortunately, this bike is missing the factory sissy bar, and rear "stash bag", but still has the front fork bag. This color picture almost makes the paint look brown, it was really a darker oxblood color.

In a way, both these bikes mark a passing of one era, and the beginning of another. Both the big twin chain final drive, and the old 4 speed swingarm frame (and the 4 speed itself) were on the way out. In '84, the FXR Lowrider already had a secondary belt, with the FXR Superglide II, and the Disc Glide having a chain drive. By '85, all the FXR line had a secondary belt. And, in '85 the only big twin models to have a rear chain (aside from the FLT line, with enclosed rear chain) were the Electraglide Classic, the FX Fatbob, and the Softail.

In '85, the last vestage of the old style 4 speed swingarm frame (along with the 4 speed transmission) was available, and it wasn't exactly the same frame, either. With their gas tanks on, you would be hard pressed to see the difference. To retain the old look of the 4 speed frame, and allow the Evo motor to mount in it, the factory took the rear section of the old 4 speed frame, and added it to the front section of the '85 Softail frame. Harley used this frame on the chain driven Electraglide Classic and the FX Fatbob, the FX Low Rider, and the FX Wide Glide - the last two being secondary belt driven.

By the 1986 model year, all of Harley's big twins were 5 speeds and secondary belt driven, and only three big twin frame configurations were available - the FLT, and FXR (both designed by Eric Buell back in 1975), and the

Thursday, November 26, 2009

I have never seen this photo before.......

Like I said, I've never seen this photo before, and you probably haven't, either. What it is, is a H-D Factory studio portrait of a 1980 double-belt drive Sturgis, resplendent in it's blacked-out glory, with a couple of additions that never hit production.

From looking at the photo, you all ready know what they are. "They", are a pair of 2 piece, bolt-together aluminum rims, in 19", and 16" respectively. Click on the photo, and you'll see that the blacked-out centers have chrome Allen bolts fastening the wheel halves together.

It looked like Harley was comtemplating offering these wheels for the '81 Sturgis model, and passed. The 19" solid front was never offered for a production bike, but Harley did offer a true 2pc. spun aluminum rear wheel on their '84 FXRDG Disc Glide, the all blacked-out '84 FXDG Willie Glide, and on the FXSTC Softail Custom in '86-'87.

The 2pc. rear wheels on the above later models weren' the same as the wheels on the Sturgis pictured below. Those wheels offered were made by Centerline Wheel, and they were just like the automotive Centerlines, 2 spun halves, with the halves rivited together with rivits, that have washers on their "clincher" side.

I'm going to take an educated guess here, and say that Motor Wheel & Rim was tapped by H-D to prototype the wheels that we see on this Sturgis. MW&R did a lot of wheel prototyping and initial run manufacturing on Harley's 9 spoke and 16 spoke aluminum wheels in the '70's-'80's, until Harley had them cast at the Winters Foundry (which, by the way, was owned by GM!). The 2pc. wheel halves below appear to be a machined casting, not a spun wheel.

"Dick Allen?? No, can't say we've ever heard of this guy........."

Was there ever a doubt?????

For Hammer's editorial column in the latest issue of The Horse-Backstreet Choppers (#94, Dec/Jan '10), he picked what he felt were the "Top 5" editors of all time in the custom bike world.
From the bottom up, they were:
#5 - David Snow
#4 - Keith "Bandit" Ball
#3 - Ed "Big Daddy" Roth
#2 - Lou Kimzey
And, the #1 editor of all time was (drumrolls, horns blaring, and people cheering)........

Frank Kaisler

Was there ever a doubt about this? Frank's a good friend of mine, but more than that, Frank has helped me out too many times to count when I had journalistic questions. Mr. Kaisler has never been too busy to spend a 1/2 hour on the phone, getting me lined out.

Frank taught me how to deal with magazines and editors, what magazines wanted for content in my articles, how to compose my articles intelligently, lay my stories out, and how and what to photograph to supplement my verbiage. If you like what I've written in the magazines, there's a lot of Frank in those articles.

I still sit here and wonder why the fuck Frank is not the editor of of a custom bike magazine today. The custom bike magazine world needs a Frank Kaisler for an editor, like a fat kid loves cake.

I cut and pasted Frank's part of the editorial here, and you can read it for yourself. Whatever Ralph said, it goes double for me.......

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I got this picture from Bikernet, but I'm sure Keith snagged it from someplace else.

Here's hoping that everybody has a good Thanksgiving. I know I have plenty to be thankfull for again this year.

Oh, and anybody that's going out shopping for Christmas this Friday - I take a large in most everything, 42 for jackets, 9 1/2 for shoes/boots, 7 3/8 for hats, 34/32 for pants, and a size 10 for rings.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Von Dutch Monday X

George Barris had a '50 Ford woody wagon that was bought to use as a "gofer wagon" for parts and supplies. After everyone in the shop banged it around for several years, Barris had the shop repaint it, and add some flames. Barris doesn't remember who actually did the flames, but he says they were done in-house.

After driving it around for a couple months, Barris had Von Dutch come in to do the pinstripe outline on the flames, some other "simple" striping, and letter the doors and tailgate with the shop name, address, and phone number. But, as with all things Von Dutch, nothing was ever a "simple job"......

Here's George Barris' account of Von Dutch striping the wagon:

" Von Dutch came in one afternoon to do a little striping on our flamed Ford woody wagon. It was supposed to be a simple small striping job. He opened up a bottle of wine, and started striping away, while we worked on other projects. The next thing we knew, it was Midnight and he wasn't finished, so I left him in the shop, and went home.

"When I came in the next morning, he was still striping. He had written a story into the pinstriping about the shop, and in doing so had turned a simple job into an art project that worked its way around the wagon. It was pretty wild, but typical of Dutch".

Here's the less common completed R/H mural shot, although there is a pretty good, more straight-on shot of this side in the Feb. '56 issue of Car Craft. In that article, done by "Jack Baldwin" - which I've heard was a pen name for Bob D'Olivo, who shot the photos, told his readers Dutch said this mural told the story of "....a man who eats a bowl of chop suey, while walking through a valley of mountains, contemplating a terrible suicide plot".
Here's the more common shot, the L/H side mural, but this time around, it's in color. In the previously mentioned Car Craft article, they said they didn't ".....want to go into the meaning of this mural at this time". I think that was a little editorial "fluffing" to add to the Von Dutch mystique for CC's readers. Barris says that there are caricatures of all the Barris employees in both murals, including Barris himself.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I got a note......

I got a note from Part-timer Steve's Dad on the photos of his '71 Superglide that I ran here a couple posts down, and I thought you'd all like to read what his Dad shared with me. This is straight from the source, and thanks Gary, for filling in the story, and I'm glad I provided you an opportunity to stroll down memory lane again:

Rich, Just a note to tell you that I had no idea that Steve got hold of those old '71 Superglide photos. Yea, back in my younger days I had alot of energy. Tore that Superglide apart the first winter and went to work. Threw out the boat tail rear end (what a mistake!), traded the fat bobs and other items with a friend, Dennis Crowns, who had a custom motorcycle parts license, for custom parts that were needed. (Dennis had his chopper featured in Easy Riders Magazine back in the early 70's).

My wife's younger brother, Mark, was about 11 years old at the time and what a worker he turned out to be. He helped me grind all of the welds, sand, body-fill and mould all imperfections in the frame. I sent the sheetmetal and frame down to Madison, Wisconsin to a friend, John Carden, who did all of my paint jobs. John also hooked me up with a chrome plater in the Madison area for my shiny stuff. We had to make do with local welding shops, home-made tools and ingenuity in order to get it finished.
In all, I tore that Superglide down 3 times during the early 70's.
Yes, Rich - that was a Minestroni seat - man, you know your stuff!
My wife, Sandy and I had a great time on that bike.
Thanks for the memories...
Gary Glennon

Greasy Kulture #12

Greasy Kulture #12 is on it's way out, time to order your copy if you don't have a subscription. Check out my column on Dave Strociek and Strociek Engineering, plus first print coverage of the Born Free Show, and the usual quality features that make GK a must-have each issue.

And, another killer cover shot by Mark Kawakami/Joyrides Art Co., of John Edwards' Panhead, with some new, not yet seen changes to his bike.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hey, how cool is this?

If you've followed my blog, you know all about Part-timer Steve, who helps me out here. You've seen Steve's custom in this blog, and in Street Chopper last fall. What you might not know is that Steve comes from a long family line of motorcycle riders.

When Steve came over today, he handed me these photos, and said "Hey look, my Mom finally sent me pictures of my Dad's bike that he built in '71". I had to scan them, and put them up here for everybody.
Steve's Dad's bike in 1971 - 6 over front end, no rake, no front brake, spool hub, cobra seat, and a Sporty tank.

If I got the story right from Steve, his dad took a brand-new(!) '71 Superglide apart to give it the treatment. He didn't have a place to do the work, so he dis-assembled the bike at his now wife/then girlfriend's house, and did the work in her basement.

The bike is period perfect for a swingarm bike in '71. I also want you to note that the frame is painted to match the sheetmetal, this was no half-way project. Steve also told me that when his Mom and Dad got married, they took their honeymoon aboard this bike!
Same bike, 1974 - new paint, rear fender, and the Superglide's OEM fender is on the front. Check out the Paughco electric start diamond outer primary, and the Minestrone king & queen seat!

Steve's dad still rides from his home in Wisconsin to Sturgis every year (on a later model H-D, the Superglide is loooong gone) and still camps out when he gets there. Steve and his brother ride up and stay with him in Sturgis - all three of them have a group of friends that they reunite with in the campground, and have a great time every year. I've met Steve's Mom and Dad, and they are really genuinely nice people.

Like they say, the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree........

Monday, November 16, 2009

Von Dutch Monday IX

Von Dutch wandering around Lance Reventlow's Scarab racing sports car pits at Riverside in '58. Dutch did all the scalloping, lettering, striping and the "Scarab" emblem on all of Reventlow's cars.

Quotes from Von Dutch:

On striping and painting, in 1958: "Too much of the same thing, and nothing new in sight. It was interesting to go from cycles to rods, then to Detroit cars, then to sports cars. Now where? About the only new things for me are bicycles, and there aren't enough of them".

On changing his name to Von Dutch: "Who'd ever remember a name like Kennith Howard? I needed something unusual - a tag the customer would only have to hear once to remember".

On what he charged, and why: " There's a struggle you have to go thru, and if you make a lot of money it doesn't make the struggle go away. It just makes it more complicated. If you keep poor, the struggle is simple".

"That's why I never overcharge anybody, and never made this thing commercial. You can't do good work if you're thinking about the money angle all the time. To me, the work is important, that's the number one".

And finally, Von Dutch just being Von Dutch: "The easy thing in life is realizing that everybody else is full of bullshit. The hard thing in life is realizing you might be full of bullshit, too".

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Benji Rabanal....

Benji Rabanal (circled above) then, around '67-'68......

So, who is Benji Rabanal? Benji has been a boxer, a surfer and a shaper of boards for Bing, Stoner, and Noll, a motorcycle flatrack racer with the likes of Savage, Tetter, and Mann at the old Ascot track, a bare knuckle brawler, and a builder of rods and custom bikes. He's also the father of Superco Trevelen, who Trev affectionately refers to as "Pops".

I've spent more than a couple hours talking with Benji, when Trev had his shop in Downtown L.A., and Benji is one of the most facasinating guys I've ever run across. Although not in the best of health these days, the guy is still hard as nails, works along with Trev on his projects, and can come up with an old story to match any topic you can think of.

Benji Rabanal today....

You need to do yourself a favor and get ahold of Garage Magazine # 16 while you can, and read Eddie Jolly's excellent article he wrote on Benji. Plus, there are some priceless Rabanal family photos you'll only see in the article anymore, unless Trev decides to put them back up on his website/blog. There's a really cute photo of Trev when he was a tiny guy (in a diaper!), sitting on the gas tank of one of Benji's custom Triumphs.

The Bikro - wave !

I don't exactly remember which year in Sturgis I took these pictures of the "Bikro - wave" , I think it was in the mid-'90's.

It was on one of the entries in the rat bike class, when The Rat's Hole Show was still held in City Park. I talked to the guy who owned the bike, and he claimed it worked great. I didn't bother to ask how his garden tractor tire saddlebags worked, though......

Check out the "cooking times" on the front of the Bikro - wave: burrito - 5 mi., hot dog - 2 mi., beans - 8mi

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Does everybody know..........

........that Jeff Decker has a blog?
Why am I the last guy who knows this stuff?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Von Dutch Monday VIII

"Nothing is original....."

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Robert Tessier

Robert Tessier was an interesting man. He was an Army paratrooper during the Korean War, who saw more than his share of combat, winning a Purple Heart as well as a Silver star for his actions.

When he got out of the Service, he kicked around a little, and wound up as a circus stuntman, with his specialty being motorcycle stunts. It wasn't until he was 33 that he got his break in the movies, and it really wasn't a planned career move for him.
Robert Tessier as "Que-ball" from Born Losers.

In '67, a friend of Robert's had heard that a movie company was looking for riders - especially stunt riders for an upcoming "biker" movie. This friend persuaded a reluctant Tessier to go and answer the casting call, and because of his experience, was instantly hired as both an actor and stunt rider for the Tom Laughlin movie Born Losers. Tessier had been given the role of "Que-Ball". Pretty ironic, because Tessier's character sported a full head of hair! Robert had yet to adopt his trademark shaved head look.

Right rear: Jody McCrea, left rear: unidentified actress. Front: a younger Hal Needham. No mystery here why Needham was (among others) Richard Boone's stunt double.

Because of the exposure from Born Losers, Robert was able to pick up stunt work from time to time, along with un-accredited bit parts and extra roles in other movies. This lead to another biker part - that of Magoo, in The Glory Stompers.

Jody McCrea (son of western star Joel McCrea), at this time, was mainly known for his re-occurring character "Deadhead" in the Frankie Avalon/Annette Funicello beach party movies. During the filming of Beach Blanket Bingo, Jody had made the acquaintance of Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, while Roth had his Surfite car on the set. Ed dug the fact that McCrea's character always wore one of his "RF" hats in the series, and they became friends during the movie filming.

After the beach party movie fad had passed, McCrea had picked up on motorcycles about the same time Roth did. It was Roth's suggestion that McCrea cash in on the biker movie craze, which McCrea did. He formed a partnership, along with some unlikely people as Bob Crew and Kasey Kasam, and produced The Glory Stompers for American International.

Robert Tessier answered the casting call for Glory Stompers, along with another stunt man named Hal Needham. During the filming, Tessier became friends with both McCrea and Needham, and after filming McCrea and Needham both were a good source of steady employment for him from then on out. After his role as Magoo, he also appeared in other biker films such as The Hard Ride, Run Angel, Run, The Sidehackers, Outlaw Riders, and The Jesus Trip.

Shortly after Glory Stompers, McCrey sold out his part of the production company, and mostly retired from acting and Hollywood, but Tessier and Needham remained fast friends, both on and off the screen.
Tessier as Verdugo, from Sword and the Sorcerer

It was around '70 that Robert Tessier ( himself an Algonquin Indian) was cast as a Mohican Indian, and was asked to shave his head for the part.
It was here that Tessier developed his trademark bald head, which he kept throughout his career. He was affectionately called "Q-ball" by his friends after that, for both his bald head, and from the name of his character in his first role as an actor.

With his 6'4" frame, bald head, and rugged "bad guy" looks, Tessier was the man all the studios now called whenever they needed a "heavy" or a "tough guy". Tessier was in demand for almost every TV series that needed a tough guy that was filmed during the '70's to the '80's. Along with those TV roles, he was asked personally by Charles Bronson to play opposite him in both Hard Times, and Breakheart Pass. And, Needham was able to secure Tessier roles and stunt work in the Burt Reynolds movies The Longest Yard, Hooper, and Cannonball Run, along with many other movies that Needham was involved in as an actor, or stunt coordinator.

Robert Tessier and Roger Moore, from the "biker scene" in Cannonball Run

From Here, Needham and Tessier formed Stunts, Unlimited, a very well known company in the industry, supplying stunt people and stunt coordination for both the movies, and television. Tessier continued to actively take on many movie rolls himself up until the late '80, when cancer finally forced him to slow down. He fought his cancer relentlessly until the disease finally took his life in Oct. of 1990, at the age of 56.

Another interesting trivia piece on Robert Tessier, is that he was the only "flesh & blood" Mr. Clean to ever appear in Proctor&Gambles' television commercials. All the other Mr. Clean's were animated. I tried to find the commercial with Tessier as Mr. Clean, jamming his head thru a tile bathroom wall, for Mr. Clean Tile and Tub Cleaner, but I couldn't find it anywhere. Too bad, because Tessier looked like he was hardly able to keep a straight face when they filmed it, and I used to laugh my ass off when I used to see it on TV.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

The King Of Cool

Marge Simpson: Ok Homer, I want you to take this test, to see exactly how much you actually know about Bart.
Homer: Oooooaaaahhhhhh.......
Marge: Here's the first question. Who's your son's hero.......
Homer: STEVE McQUEEN!!!!!!!!
Marge: Oh Homie, that's YOUR hero....

Ever wake up in the morning, with some random song playing in your head, and it sticks with you for the rest of the day? I know you have. Yesterday morning, I woke up with The Windmills Of Your Mind playing over, and over as I went thru my day. I also kept thinking about what was important about Nov. 7th, and what was it I was forgetting I needed to do tomorrow.

Well, I was listening to the news this morning, and the newscaster mentioned that today was the anniversary of Steve McQueen's death, 29 years ago, in Juarez, Mexico. Yesterday all made sense to me now. The Windmills Of Your Mind was the movie theme to McQueen's movie The Thomas Crown Affair, and what I was forgetting to do was to write this post in my blog last night.Weird, huh?

Steve McQueen, Homer Simpson's hero, and one of mine. The King of Cool forever. I read a little while ago, that Brad Pitt "....was almost ready" to ink a deal to play McQueen in the upcoming biopic of his film life, with a minor inclusion of McQueen's women, cars, bikes, and consumption of illegal substances.

The operative word here is "play". Brad Pitt wouldn't even make an ingrown hair on Steve McQueen's cheek.
The King is dead, long live the king.......
7/24/30 - 11/7/80

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Elective surgery II

We're moving along with Randy's swingarm frame. Got it all bolted down, got all the plug welds finished up (all 28 of them), and bent and fishmouthed the tubing sections to mate the seat area tubing back with the new backbone.

We dropped the engine in for a look-see, and everything is copacetic. Now all we have left is to make the new gusset that will connect the backbone to the seatpost, make the top engine mounting bracket, and weld up the seams.

See that white arrow, that's pointing to that chinga at the bottom of the downtube? That's a sleeve (one for each side) that's cut to an angle, that match the sleeve for the underbackbone tube. They'll slide up to the neck, and get welded in place after the seams are finish welded. Just a different "touch" Randy wanted added, after he saw my VL frame.

I'm pretty certain.....

........that Von Dutch had met his match when he was squiring Cindy Rutherford around. The Harbortown Bobber is worth the price just to see her part in it. She was a very cool lady!
Photo courtesy of Kristina Marie, Glitterfist Productions

Monday, November 2, 2009

Von Dutch Monday VII

This is Von Dutch's lathe. The photo is from a Von Dutch article that Ed Roth did on Von Dutch while he was in Calabasas, CA, for his April '68 issue of Choppers Magazine. The print quality wasn't really good on the original magazines, so I've cleaned up the photo as best I could.

All of Von Dutch's shop equipment, like his band saws, bench sanders and grinders, louver presses, and this lathe were all works of art in their own right. Dutch would take old shop equipment (the lathe was said to be close to 40 years old at this time in '68), and disassemble, rebuild, refurbish, paint, pinstripe, and engine turn panels on them, and they were as beautiful as they were functional.
Now what strikes me as strange, is that the photos Roth took for the story clearly show all of Dutch's equipment installed in his shop. The story goes that somebody from the Calabasas building codes dept. came up to Dutch's shop, and told him he couldn't have a "machining facility" on his property, so Dutch is said to have procured his "ex-Long Beach Transit Co." (actually, the bus came from McDonald Douglas' sprawling plant in El Segundo, and was used as an employee transport bus) '53 GMC bus, and Von Dutch said he installed his equipment in it to beat the property codes.

Now, I was up in this area in '70, and at that time the Calabasas area was pretty much tumbleweeds and rattlesnakes. I find it hard to believe that on property that was zoned agriculture to begin with, that Calabasas came up and told him he couldn't have a "machining facility" on the property, when they did tolerate mechanical work and spray painting, a transit bus parked on the property, a horse, some goats, and Steve McQueen's White-built WWII armored halftrack parked there - which Dutch would be prone to tear all over his property in. And, add in the fact that Von Dutch was always firing off rifles, pistols and cannons at all hours of the day and night, that story seems far fetched. But, who knows?

It's my guess that Dutch got the bus, installed all his equipment in it, and already had a future plan in place to split in it, and earn a living from it on the road. I think he invented the cover story to throw people off, and cover what he was really planning. He eventually did split from California in his "shop bus", when fate forced his hand, and he left for Arizona in it, and stayed there for 3 years. But, that's another story.

Here's a good closeup of Von Dutch's lathe, as installed in his bus. The picture has a little sun glare on the R/H side, because of the light coming in the upper windows. The inscription on the mounting pedestal, in German translates out to Von Dutch's Weapon and Motorcycle Factory of Calabasas.

Here's a picture of Dutch at work inside his bus at his Calabasas home. You can see his lathe set up in the background, at what would have been the right front of the bus. Again, photo from Sundays With Von Dutch. The interior floor of the bus has been described as ".....littered with metal shavings, cigarette butts, and beer cans".
And, here's how Von Dutch's lathe was presented for pre-inspection, lot # 038, at the Brucker Collection Auction at the Peterson Automotive Museum, in May, of 2006. The winning bid for Dutch's lathe was $21, 275.00 Seems like a bargain, when you consider Dutch's Snap On screwdriver that he engraved with his name on the handle, went at that same auction for $1,700.00 I'm really surprised the Bruckers didn't sell Von Dutch's old socks and longjohns at that auction.

I have a photo somewhere of the lathe set up on this very table inside the Santa Paula workshop, but I'll be damned if I can locate it.