Monday, February 1, 2016

Wauseon swap meet!

Hot, Rainy, and vintage motorcycle parts! All things that were at this years Wauseon swap meet! We worked for days packing the truck and trailer. Everything was going great except I forgot I planned a big party the night before at my bar. Jack Daniels was sponsoring it so, you can imagine how Josh and I were feeling the next day. I don’t think he ever went to bed, I know I didn’t. That didn’t stop us! The ride down was wet, hot and sticky. I was driving my 1980 custom van which has no ac. In addition to no ac my super cool van has tons of velvet and shag carpet; my personal hell!!! We drove just over 2 hours to find the sleepy town of Wauseon was alive! I found our spots in the back row. I guided Josh into our spots and the trailer got stuck in the mud!! The fairgrounds had flooded just before we got there. It took us an hour to get the trailer un-stuck and by that time we had done a number on our booth. Our spots looked like a mud bog just let out. Lucky we had some cut down plywood sheets, so we laid some out so we could walk over the all the mud. We worked all afternoon setting up the booth laying out each part and placing them where we thought they might be noticed best. The sun was high the sky that afternoon we were selling a ton of stuff! I ended up selling that UL motor and trans. I called back to the shop and had Michelle send Don to the swap with more wood and tons of ice. By the time Don and little Don, got down to us Josh and I had what was left of the parts spread out. Later that night they had scheduled the flat track races, I took the boys to the races. Little Don had never seen anything like that before and he loved it! The races were going great until a racer fell and hurt himself. While we were waiting for them to clear the track, a rain storm came in and washed the track away. That was it, they shut it down. Night fell so we cooked hot dogs over a small fire, talking about how we would go out and meet up with some friends but the sun had done its job and we were all ready for bed. Josh and I headed for the custom van. You wouldn’t believe how hot the inside of a van, full of shag carpet would be on a 90 degree summer night. The seventh layer of hell might have come close! So after sleeping maybe an hour, I peeled myself off of the crushed velvet bed and got Josh up. We fired up an old shovelhead up we had bought, and headed for the showers. Now I was not in a right state of mind and didn’t think about how I was in my bright red underwear, with a young guy on the back of my motorcycle wearing only pants nothing else. How might that look to someone just waking up, to see us go by? We got breakfast and worked the booth until another rain storm came in and washed away our booth. That was it! I told the boys to clean up I’ve had enough! The ride home was a long one I was tired and kind of mad that the weekend hadn’t gone the way I wanted. As I was collecting my thoughts, I looked in my rear view mirror only to see Josh driving the SWAT van with the biggest cowboy hat on that I had ever seen (what’s wrong with that kid?). That made my day and got me thinking how it wasn’t so bad. We made some money, got to see a lot of old friends, and tons of cool stuff. Wauseon you can bet I will be there next year and for any one reading this you should make it a point to get out there and see it. Ok gang I’m pulling the velvet hell into a Waffle House for some good food, and then make my way back to the Bike Shop to get ready for the next adventures

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Parts in your back yard

Its amazing what you can find in your own back yard. Not every bike comes from a driving 100 miles just to find it, sometimes they are 5 house down the road. My buddy Howdy, had been a customer of mine for as long as I could remember. He has been working on a 1969 FL generator shovelhead for a long time, restoring it frame up. I had known for years that howdy had been riding since the 60’s. What I did not know was that howdy still had his bikes from the 60’s. So when he asked me about buying his old bikes I was happy to stop by and take a look at them. It was a cold and rainy day, Josh and I headed down to Howdy’s house. I didn’t know what I was going to be looking at, I headed for the garage but he headed me off and pointed me towards the shed. (I would later find out why he didn’t want me in the garage, I hope to come back and get that gen shovel Howdy!!) I’ve dug old bikes out of old sheds before, but not one with no roof. Underneath a few traps were a frame for a triumph and a 500 triumph. I’ve bought and sold a ton of old Harleys but never really got into the triumphs. So I wasn’t to sure what I was looking at. Lucky my buddy Ryan is a triumph nut and knows a lot about them, after only a few pictures Ryan was able to figure out what everything was. The frame with no motor is a Maltess frame and Ceriani front end. Very cool vintage flat track racing parts. Howdy had told Josh and I how he had raced that bike on the jack pine run but stop after coming down a hill and hitting a rock. Lucky the bike was fine but that was a enough for him to call it quits. The other bike is fairly stock 500. Howdy also gave us a bunch of parts to go with the bikes. It was a great score but I found it funny, I would of never guessed there were two bikes hiding in that shed. It just goes to show you that you never know what is hiding in that shed out back of the neighbor’s house. Well I’ve been dieing to tell you guys about this one… Just a few weeks ago I was talking with a guy at the shop named Ken, he was building a old shovel up and as I always do I asked him if he had any old parts for sale. He did but he also knew of a guy selling a whole garage full of parts. So late one night Josh and Don followed me out to the country side looking for Harley parts! When we arrived at the house there was no garage in sight a young guy was there waiting for us. He pointed me though a small opening though a fence, it was so small Josh and don almost didn’t fit with the van and trailer. We went way to the back of his property where a barn sat. The barn was full of antique Harley parts, a 37 UL and matching trans sitting in a frame, a 47 G motor sitting in a corner. 4 or 5 springers all from the 30’s and 40’s all over the room. Old 4 speed trans parts, carburetors, wheels, motor cases, heads. It was crazy; I haven’t seen a collection like that in a long time. The person selling the parts was named Kyle; his dad was the one that had collected all these parts over the years. Kyle wanted to sell off all the parts for the simple fact of he has had this stuff for over a year since his dads passing, none of his dads friends or anyone he knew wanted any of it. So he wanted to put the parts back out into the world so other people could enjoy them as much as his father did, along with making some money for himself to go and do thing that he wanted to do. It took us an hour and a half to pack up everything in the barn, but we got it. The ride home was a long one; we were all tired but excited to go through all the parts. The Wauseon swap meet was just around the corner and I think between both of these scores we will have more than enough for a swap space. (by the time you read this article we will have been to Wauseon and back, should have a few shots of the event, and we will let you know how it all worked out.)

Friday, January 15, 2016

SINS OF STEEL

>Twisted metal, smoke, fire, burnt rubber, live music, pretty girls, fast cars, vintage bikes. Sounds like a good time right? Well…IT WAS!!! SINS OF STEEEL (SINS) is a vintage hot rod show packed with tons of cool customs, rat rods, and gassers. The kinds of cars this show attracts are far from trailer queens. These guys pride themselves in parking their classic machine in the dirt. They do what they are supposed to do with cars, drive them. You might be asking why is Boomer talking about a hot rod show in the pages of a motorcycle mag, well in the last few years this show (SINS) has gotten bigger and with it came a new part of the show; vintage motorcycle show. I love most anything that isn’t stock. Along with custom Harleys I have some (what I’d like to think are) cool cars at my house. 55 Chevy gasser and a 1930 model A just to name a few. I started the SINS show with a few friends over 12 years ago. When most everyone walked away from the show over the years, I stayed with it. As time passed Josh, Heidi, and my wife Sandy started helping out at the show. So with everyone that was left we had an idea to add on a motorcycle show. There just aren’t a lot of quality motorcycle shows in our area so this being “Sins of Steel” why not bring bikes into it? As always I am nerved up before the show, but as the day progressed, I was very happy with the results! We always average 200 to 300 cars, and maybe a handful of bikes. This year sure was different though. We had over 75 vintage choppers, Barn finds, and full on restored show up for this year’s show! I even saw E man out there on his new panhead. My wife Sandy rode her old chop “cheap Trick” out to the show. As the day went on I started to lose track of all the cars and motorcycles piling into the show. We had all kinds of fun tearing up the track for the mini bike races, and lost some wheels at the burn out contest. The pin up contest is always top notch dubbing the winner Ms. Sin. Even had Josh and his buddy Norm dancing at the first and probably last due to crowd vote, Mr. Steel title. Its lot of work to put on the show, but what really makes it, is all the people that come out to SINS. Most of them help at the show or help spread the word about it. I like it because I see friends that I don’t get to see every day, and that’s what makes it such a great show, for both car and motorcycle guys. There is something out there for everyone from the car show, bike show, pin up girl contest, mini bike racing, model car contest, pin stripers panel jam, the live bands, old friends and new.
>~Boomer