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Special Guests: Ken Campbell, builder and owner of the one-of-a kind V8 Indian
Motorcyclists around the world can agree that while the various motorcycle manufacturers have provided an impressive and unique field of machines to pick from when purchasing, sometimes it is the homebuilt machines that outclass the line-production items. More often than not, it is these handcrafted pieces of art that are engineered and built in method that far surpasses that of a factory, and leaves enthusiasts scratching their heads and wondering just why the manufacturer never created such a piece. This week on Classic Chrome, we are joined by a man who has built such a machine. Old motorcycle fans can all appreciate the appeal of an Indian Four; the sound, aesthetic qualities and performance of what is essentially a small car engine in a motorcycle frame speak for themselves. But what if the Springfield, Massachusetts-based company had offered an eight cylinder model? Unfortunately, with the death of Springfield Indian in 1953, that question was unanswered. However, New Zealand motorcycle enthusiast Ken Campbell has just finished engineering and building the first example of what such a machine would resemble.
V8 Indian Fanpage: www.facebook.com/v8indian
Special Guests: Jim Petty, three-time Motorcycle Cannonball rider, vintage collector, and owner of “Gentleman’s Choice Motorcycles”
Looking back to the early days of motorcycling, one thing was clearly evident: the style and taste of both motorcycle design and their riders was exceptional. Enthusiasts in the early days of motorcycling could be found quietly motoring in a top hat and three piece suit, or tucked behind drop handlebars blasting around the track in leather helmets and wool sweaters. Simply put, the classiness of the era was unparalleled; it was, after all, the era of gentlemen. The attire and attitude of the Gentleman’s era has taken its own form in today’s motorcycle enthusiasts. This week, we at Classic Chrome are honored to be joined by one man who exemplifies the persona and era of a gentleman and his mount. Our guest this week is Jim Petty, who is the man behind “Gentleman’s Choice Motorcycles.” Petty is a dedicated lover of all types, brands, years, and sizes of motorcycles. Alongside his brother Steve, Jim has undertaken the restoration and preservation of many different motorcycles over the years, as well as promoting their avid use. “Gentleman Jim” is a three-time veteran of the coast-to-coast Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Race.
Gentleman's Choice Motorcycles Website: www.gentlemanschoicemotorcycles.com
Special Guests: Joe Gardella, two-time Motorcycle Cannonball rider, vintage motorcycle enthusiast and collector
Old motorcycle fans who are active in the vintage bike world may not know this week’s guest personally, but “Slow Joe” Gardella’s list of accomplishments with old motorcycles is very long and very well known. Hailing from Michigan, Joe is a long time lover of antique machines and is a very skilled craftsman when it comes to restoring and repairing them. While his collection of old motorcycles consists of varied years, Joe is well known for his love affair with pre-1920 Harley Davidson Motorcycles. In 2010, Gardella rode his 1914 Harley twin from Kitty Hawk, North Carolina to Santa Monica, California, placing 12th overall in the first rendition of the Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run. He reprised his entry in 2012 by riding the same machine from Newburgh, New York to San Francisco, California, and took 2nd place overall in the second coast-to-coast race. Joe and his early machines can also be found on the track too; Gardella has entered and on several occasions won the famous “Race of the Century” held every year on the famous Barber Motorsports Race Track during the annual Vintage Festival in October. Joe has entered and ridden incredible pieces of motorcycle history such as a 1907 Curtiss, 1909 Harley single, 1911 Harley Belt Drive, and 1912 Harley twin.
Special Guests: Jim Walther, President of Indian Four Cylinder Club
Nelson Citta, Member of Indian Four Cylinder Club
Drew Crafton, Member of Indian Four Cylinder Club
Modern day motorcyclists are accustomed to the commonly produced twin cylinder motorcycles of various marquees. The sound of a v-twin exhaust note is heaven to folks all over the world. But, there is something incredibly special in hearing a motorcycle pass by with more than just two cylinders. The same holds true for the antique motorcycle industry, specifically four cylinder machines. Four cylinder motorcycles hold a mystique about them that few other machines can boast. Dating back to the early 1900s, the various manufacturers of four cylinder motorcycles always marketed them as the ultimate gentleman’s machine. This prestige still remains today, and this week on Classic Chrome we are joined by members of a club that celebrate exactly that prestige.
Special Guests: Sharon and Scott Jacobs, Vintage Collectors/Enthusiasts, Motorcycle Cannonball Finishers
Not enough people in the world are fortunate enough to share their passion for motorcycling with their significant other. Work, children, and life usually get in the way. For a select few though, motorcycles are a lifestyle. This week on Classic Chrome, tune in as we sit down with Scott and Sharon Jacobs from San Diego, California, who have the opportunity to be surrounded by motorcycling daily. Scott is the officially licensed artist for Harley Davidson and his work has been featured all over the world. Sharon is right by his side, with daughters Alexa and Olivia, running the day-to-day operations of the family art gallery. Most recently, Scott and Sharon rode a pair of early Harley Davidsons from Daytona Beach, Florida to Tacoma, Washington in the Motorcycle Cannonball.
Scott Jacobs Studio Website: www.scottjacobsstudio.com
Special Guests: “Panhead Jim” Mahaney, Historian, Blogger and Vintage Enthusiast
Ever since the widespread introduction of automobiles and motorcycles, their owners have set out to see the world around them from behind the controls. The early days saw most enthusiasts trying to cross the United States from coast-to-coast; not an easy task when the majority of the country was still unpopulated and lacking proper roads. These trips were often treacherous and long, but still the popularity grew. Today, the thought of touring the country is still exciting, but is nowhere near as treacherous. Cross-country trips today are usually done from the comfort of a climate controlled auto or large touring motorcycle. But, this week on Classic Chrome, we are joined by an old bike enthusiast who is setting out on his own to prove that old machines can still reliably make the journey. “Panhead Jim” Mahaney, who lives in North Carolina, is well-known for his antique motorcycle blog “Riding Vintage”. Jim is also a contributor to numerous magazines, such as American Iron, and has ridden many thousands of miles on old machines. Currently, Jim is in the process of building a 1933 Harley Davidson VL which he will be riding solo across the United States from California to North Carolina.
Special Guests: Lars Nielsen, Builder, Bonneville Salt Flats Competitor
For every motorcycle and car enthusiast, the Bonneville Salt Flats hold a special place near and dear to our hearts. The Salt Flats are the home of speed; every year, motorheads from all over the world travel to the state of Utah in an attempt to push their machines and themselves to the limit. Speed is the name of the game, and some of the most incredible pieces of engineering in the world are in attendance to play that game. This week on Classic Chrome, be sure to tune in as we interview our first international guest. Joining us this week from Denmark is Mr. Lars Nielsen, who is in the process of building what is undoubtedly going to be the world’s fastest Nimbus motorcycle. Nimbus motorcycles were produced by the Danish firm Fisker and Nielsen from 1919 until 1960. These machines were powered by a 749cc, single overhead cam, inline four cylinder engine that produced between 18-22 horsepower, hooked up to a three speed transmission with shaft final drive. A stock Nimbus is capable of cruising at 55 mph with a short top speed burst of 75 mph; Lars is in the process of building a rip-roaring example which he will be campaigning at Bonneville this year. Lars’ Nimbus is set into a custom, low-slung frame and the motor comes complete with a supercharger. No matter how fast his machine goes, it will likely become the fastest example of the Danish four cylinder in the world.
Special Guests: Wayne Hagler, owner of Heather’s Leathers
When looking at the styling of any motorcycle, new or old, your eyes are usually drawn to several things: the power plant and driveline, the paintwork, and the plating work. But, one of the most important aesthetic factors in the style of a motorcycle is the leatherwork; both on the seat, and the accessories to the machine such as luggage or leather wrapped control surfaces. In terms of restoring an old machine, the quality of the leatherwork plays a huge role in the comfort, aesthetics, correctness, and overall value. And, let’s face it: it can be hard to restore or replicate leather goods from motorcycles that date far back into two-wheeled history. This week, we are joined by the owner of one of the leading leather businesses in the motorcycle industry: Mr. Wayne Hagler of Heather’s Leathers. Wayne’s South Carolina-based leather company specializes in quality products for all types and years of motorcycles, though Heather’s Leathers has become known as giant resource for antique motorcycle enthusiasts.
Heather's Leather's Website: www.heathersleathers.com
Special Guests: Steve Klein, President of AMCA Cherokee Chapter, Greg McFarland, Vice President of AMCA Cherokee Chapter, Jon Neuman, Owner of Sagebrush Cycle, Kirk Sharp of Just Kickers, John Parham, Owner of National Motorcycle Museum, Mike Carson, Motorcycle Cannonball Finisher and Owner of Carson Classic Motors, Scott Byrd, Motorcycle Cannonball Finisher, Kyle Shorey, Owner of Shadetree Fabrications
This weekend, Classic Chrome is live at the Cherokee Concourse D' Pate show at the Pate Transportation Meet in Fort Worth, Texas. This event is being held at the famous Texas Motor Speedway, and is the largest transportion meet in the United States. We will be posting some photos of the incredible old machines on display at this massive meet, and will be broadcasting live with some of the industry leaders who are at this event.
This week on Classic Chrome, we sit down with friend of the program Buzz Kanter. Kanter is the owner and editor of American Iron Magazine, but more importantly is a dedicated lover of old motorcycles. A veteran of 3 Motorcycle Cannonballs, Buzz has also achieved many other feats in motorcycle racing. Hear about some exciting upcoming vintage events that Buzz is organizing, as well as hear some of his tales of racing on the track and across the country.
Special Guests: Stephen “Doc” Hopkins, Owner of Doc’s Harley Davidson, Vintage Motorcycle Enthusiast/Collector
Ask any motorcycle enthusiast in the Midwest to name their favorite Harley Davidson Dealer, and undoubtedly “Doc’s Harley Davidson” is one of the first on the list. Along with owning an incredibly successful franchise of the Motor Company, our guest this week is a passionate vintage motorcycle enthusiast who is all about promoting and preserving the two-wheeled history of both American and overseas manufacturers. Doc is well known throughout the vintage motorcycle world for his impressive collection of vintage machines, and fantastic adventures in racing, restoring, customizing, and promoting old bikes. Doc is the caretaker of such machines as the “Timeline Bike,” which is a representation of every type of engine produced by Harley Davidson set in one frame, as well as the famous “Road Dog” built by “Wild Bill” Gelbke!
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