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.
A few days ago I posted a few pics from the Nashville British Motorcycle Clubs vintage bike show. There were some cool bikes there but none so cool as this one… at least in my opinion. I never did find the owner to get the details about it but I’m guessing this is a mid to late 20’s Scout model. I’ve never seen an Indian with an “in-frame” mounted tank like this in person. What a great bike and an important part of two-wheel history.
The Ton Up Nashville British Motorcycle Club held their 11th annual vintage bike show on Sunday May 20. I try to make this show every year because it brings out some bikes (all kinds, not just British) that you don’t see at the other shows around town. Here are some of my favorites.
Everyone that rides has a special place in their heart for their first motorcycle. Like many of you, I started with a Briggs & Stratton powered mini-bike but my first “real” motorcycle was a 1970 Honda CL100 “Scrambler”. My dad bought the bike for me in 1973 and the little red Honda probably had more impact on me than any other bike I’ve owned. You see, back in those days most of the guys in the neighborhood were still riding mini-bikes and the ones that did move up were riding Honda 50’s. But the CL100 was a “real” motorcycle with full-size tires, suspension, five-speed transmission and a blistering 99cc’s of raw power! And although I wasn’t… it was even street legal. This was the motorcycle that took me to the next level of riding and instantly crowned me king of the neighborhood motorcycle brats! You should have seen their faces the first time they saw that red beauty!
It’s funny to look back now and see how small it really was (and how young I was) but I owe a lot to that Scrambler. It taught me how to use a clutch which proved invaluable when it came time to learn how to drive a car. It taught me how to use a front brake and why using it while going down a dirt embankment is a bad idea. It taught me that wheelies without proper execution can result in scars. It even gave me my earliest inkling that bikers get the really pretty girls as evidenced by the sudden interest of the lovely neighbor girl. Ahhhh, to be young again!
In retrospect, I really didn’t have the bike that long before moving on to more powerful motocross bikes like my Suzuki RM-100 but I will always have fond memories of the Honda CL100 Scrambler that thrust me into motorcycle manhood! I wish I still had it.
There are still some around… Last summer I attended a motorcycle event in Nashville and ran into a guy who actually had a restored CL100. It was a different color and not the exact same year as mine but man did it ever bring back a flood of good memories. I’m sorry to say that I don’t remember the guys name but he was kind enough to let me snap a few pics. Some are posted here for your pleasure.
The February issue of Thunder Roads Tennessee is now in the stores. You can grab a copy at just about any motorcycle shop in the state… and the cool thing is that it is free.
My article this month features a bike I shot last summer. It’s a 1958 Panhead that was restored and customized by a guy here in Middle Tennessee… and it is WAY COOL!
Tonight I was archiving some photos from this past year and came across the shots of this way cool ’58 Panhead. This first time I saw this bike it was parked in a parking lot. I couldn’t locate the owner at the time but started asking around over the next few weeks and eventually found someone who knew of the bike and it’s owner. One thing lead to another and I eventually got to shoot it. It is without a doubt, one of the finest bobbers in the state of Tennessee… and there are awards to prove it. Anyway, I thought it was worthy of a re-post so here ya go… enjoy!