Two of my favorite things in the world are classic automobiles and vintage motorcycles. And when you combine them both into one event… well, that’s a pretty good day. Today I made my way to The Factory in Franklin, Tennessee for the 27th Annual Antique & Classic Car Show, sponsored by the Battlefield Region of the Antique Automobile Club of America. But it get’s better… this years show was held in conjunction with the Music City Chapter of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America. That’s right… a beautiful day filled with classic automobiles and vintage motorcycles…. all in the same place. I could go on about how heavenly that is, but I’ll just shut up and let you enjoy some of my photos.
Please allow me to brag on my hometown for just a minute. Widely known for county music, Nashville is much more than most people think and among other things, has a rich history in the hotrod and motorcycle culture. Those traditions continue today and there are a host of talented builders (of both the 4-wheeled and two-wheeled kind) that currently call The Music City home.
One of those talented individuals is J Ryan of Gusher Cycles. I first met J Ryan about 8 years ago at a local bike show and since then have seen him out and about once or twice a year. It’s to the point now that I look for him at any show I think he might be at… just because I know he will have something stellar on display.
Last weekend I attended a show at the Nashville Fairgrounds and sure enough, J Ryan was there with another one of his smokin’ hot creations. You’re going to have to believe me when I tell you that these photos don’t come close to accurately reproducing the gorgeous paint job on this bike (show lighting is always so awesome!) but even so, you can see that J Ryan has perfected his painting and fabrication skills to a level that most will never reach.
Take a look and then jump on over to gushercycles.com to see more of J Ryans creations. I’m jonesin’ hard to have him paint my Sporty project bike for me and if you’re looking for custom work yourself (paint, fabrication, bars, etc.) you should definitely check out what Gusher Cycles has to offer.
I love car and bike shows… probably a little too much since they seem to take up way more of my time than any normal person should allow. They are my obsession I suppose, but I just can’t help it. I love to see classic vehicles and all the things that their owners have done to preserve them. It’s educational, giving me a lot of ideas for my own projects. It’s nostalgic, reminding me of simpler times and the historical significance of the US auto and bike industries over the years. It’s therapeutic, captivating my thoughts for a few hours and allowing me to forget real-world issues and pressures that we all face in adult life. And it brings up fond memories of my youth that includes vehicles I’ve owned in years past and great times I’ve had working on them with my dad. IT’S FUN!!!
Yes… I’ve been known to wander a car or bike show from open to close many times, looking at the same vehicles over and over… but eventually the doors have to close and they kick me out for the night. Sometimes that’s when the fun starts though. I’ve noticed over the years that a lot of the best cars and bikes you will see at a show are not on the show floor but rather in the parking lot. All of the photos in this post were taken in the parking lot of shows I’ve been to. I hope you enjoy them and I also hope that the next time you’re leaving a show, you’ll keep your eyes open on the way back to the car. You might just see some of the best rides all day on the outside looking in.
I spotted this way-cool 1977 BMW R100/7 at a local show this weekend. The bike was modded into a cafe’ style by a chap named Bob Long in Sevierville, Tennessee. Here’s what he did:
- Completely disassembled the frame and cleared all unnecessary mounting lugs
- Painted frame and components with PPG PR4 Red.
- Painted side covers, tank and rear fairing in PPG WA600R Black and PPG GAN Silver
- Rebuilt forks and stiffened with 8mm bushings.
- Replaced rear shocks with Hagon SA adjustable coil-overs.
- Added Burley Cafe’ rear tail section and custom seat cover.
- Added Cat Eye tail light and BR sport mini turn signals (front and back).
- Added European spec “low bars.”
- Added “Pea-Shooters” slip on mufflers and header wrap.
- Deleted rear fender and shortened front fender.
I think the results are fantastic… I love this bike!
Issue #13 of Grease Monkey Magazine is in the stores now. Be sure to grab a copy and check out my photos of the DoMaCo Norton, as well as re-cap photos of the 2013 Spring Thaw bike and Rat Show. You can view the entire magazine here.
Here’s another bike that caught my eye at the Spring Thaw. The cool thing about it is… this bike was actually built in the ’70s. It’s the real-deal with a ’74 Santee frame and KZ1000 motor.
I made my way to a local bike show today. They call it the Spring Thaw and it represents the end of winter and the beginning of riding season for many of us here in Middle Tennessee. The show includes a huge swap meet as well, and for $30 bucks I scored what you see above. A low-profile mirror, a set of “coke bottle” grips, LED license plate bolts and a super-cool, old-school helmet! Of course the main draw of the Spring Thaw is the bikes… and here is one of my favorites on the day. Enjoy!