Each year, as the days get shorter and the weather gets colder, our riding season here in the mountains unfortunately comes to a close. Its during these times that I have an opportunity to sit back and reflect on the year that’s gone by, hopefully with joy, happiness, and thanks.
As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches, we’re reminded of the great people, places and things that come into our lives and have an opportunity to recognize how those aspects have made us better people. I’ve got a lot to be thankful for….too much to mention in just a few words. The love and support of family, good health, great friends with whom I’m fortunate to share my passion. Its during this time of year that its so important to make the most of what you have and give thanks to those who care.
So, Happy Thanksgiving, from myself and everyone at Wheels Through Time. May the rest of 2009 be a great one, and may 2010 bring you all happiness, love, and joy.
This year has been a great one. The museum is currently bigger and better than ever, with more rare machines than ever. Some of the rarest bikes in the museum have made their way here this year, including the 1929 DAR boardtrack racer, Jack Pine endurance racers, several great dirt-track machines from the earliest days of dirt track history, and last but not least, a 1916 Harley-Davidson Sidecar….that you drive from the sidecar. Most of these machines have already been brought back to running and operating condition, and a few more are on the workbenches as we speak.
We’ve had a lot going on back in the shop this year. We’ve finished a total of 10 new machines for the museum so far this year, and have a few more planned to be finished by year’s end. Currently, I’m working on two Harley-Davidson VLs…one a 1936 hot-rod and the second a 1934 crustoration. They’re both going to be great project. Last year, I asked my friend Brian Haenlien to build a hopped up motor for our land speed racing VL — a task that Brian took with pride. He did such a good job on the motor, that I’ve convinced him to build another one to put in a road bike. We’re pretty excited about the build, and have all the confidence in the world that it’ll do a 100 mph when its done….full fenders and all.
Matt’s been hard at work in the shop on a great project that’s sort of new ground for all of us — building a genuine 1920s-era Harley Cutdown. "What’s a cutdown?" you ask. Its a customized, literally "cut-down" Harley from the early days of motorcycle customization (before choppers, there were bobbers, and before bobbers there were cutdowns). Matts made some serious progress so far. The engine, which came to us as sort of a mystery motor, with parts from different years, and combinations for a fast motor, has already been rebuilt as of last week, and the transmission and clutch will be wrapped up any day now. We found a nice frame in the back of the shop that’ll fit perfect with the project. Its a 1918 or ’19 frame, that needs a bit of straightening. Then the plan is to modify it to lower the engine and shorten the wheel-base. The original style teens and twenties Harleys sit pretty high, and aren’t your most agile bikes, so the plan is to drop it way down, get it closer to the ground, and make it more "race friendly". Matts really excited about this….."Its not too often that you get to chop a teens harley" he says.
We’ll be producing new videos on each of these builds as they progress, and will be posting them, as well as countless other shows about whats going on at the museum and in the shop, in the video section of our website. So stay tuned in….I know that you’re going to like what you see!