As my partner got up for work this morning, I looked out the window to a beautiful foggy morning. ‘What the hell’ I thought, threw on some clothes, and headed out for a cruise in the wagon along some quiet back roads. The air was nice and crisp, the red motor was purring like a kitten, and the fog made for some awesome photos.
The team from Lone Star Body Shop are once again throwing open the shed doors. They’re holding another of their open days on Sunday 19 May, and it’s shaping up to be an absolute corker. The day will feature metal shaping and metal working demos, talks about different projects in the shop, and a great impromptu show in the carpark. If you’re ever wanted to ask an expert for some advice or feedback on metal shaping, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better opportunity. I posted up some pics and a bit of a run down on last year’s event here, and this year’s day is shaping up to be even bigger. Click on the flyer below to see it bigger.
As an example of Stuart’s work, check out these ’34 Ford hood sides he recently made. The customer posted the pre-made hood sides, for them to be reinforced, louvred, and receive a swaged edge. If you’re wondering what the relief cut is for, these will be going on a car with a blown hemi, so they need to clear the rocker covers!
Just a few pics from last night, went for a cruise with my brother and his XY to Harry’s at Liverpool. Not a great turnout, but some gorgeous FB/EKs. A super tough Kingswood also sauntered in, complete with 12 sec dial in still on the windscreen.
The best looking beach cruiser frame around, in my opinion, is the Dyno. Originally a sub-brand of GT, the Dyno’s have a classic cantilever frame with sleek and smooth lines. They look awesome stripped down to their basics, or loaded up with full beach cruiser style guards.
The grand-daddy of the Dyno’s is without doubt the Roadster model. Coming in at a massive 2.2m of length, the Roadster is like a 9 foot longboard or a Cadillac, just laid back and cruisey. So how the heck did a mainstream bike manufacturer get the balls to build such an awesome bike? Well the guys were bike nuts, and Jeff Souceck one of the original guys involved posted this story below on a website dedicated to Roadsters, both stockers and customs. By the way Jeff Soucek is now the Director of R & D at Felt bikes, which I think explains part of the reason they’re the guys leading the current market in cool bikes. Over to Jeff:
“It is great to see an appreciation for this bike after all of these years. Let me introduce myself, my name is Jeff Soucek and I actually designed that frame while working for GT bicycles between the years 1992 and 1998. I thought I could share a little incite to the project and how it became.
The idea of this Roadster frame actually was conceived after Sean Flickinger (one of the other GT Industrial Designers) designed the standard Dyno cruiser frame. I was responsible for the geometry of that bike, and at the time we wanted a standard cruiser that would simply blow away the old Schwinn cruises that were so popular at that time. We kept kicking the geometry back and slacking out the frame until it had –what we called at the time “6 pack geometry” This meant you could be half lit and still ride it to the liquor store and them back with one hand on the bar and a six pack of beer in the other.
The next part of the story goes like this. Bill Duehring (Director of R&D at GT, and now President of Felt Bicycles) knew we had just designed a great cruiser, and wanted to create something to stir up the excitement of this new “standard” cruiser. We really wanted to highlight the new “six pack” geometry of the new bike. There was a small custom builder in the Huntington Beach California area where our office was, called HB CRUISERS. This guy had made some super stretched out cruisers that we had seen the locals riding down at the beach. This gave us the idea to take our standard cruiser design and “six pack” geometry and stretch it out to the Roadster length, creating a “show bike” for the Interbike release that year in Aneheim California. This would be such an obviously different bike that it would help draw attention to the “standard” cruiser line.
So I went to work hand building the first prototype of this Roadster with the help of Dan McGrew (master frame builder in the GT tooling room). We hand formed, bent, flared and machined everything from scratch. Next we had the front half of the frame chrome plated and painted it custom with classic chrome darts, electric blue pinstripes, and black from there back. Even the front fender and chainguard were half chromed and painted. It was a beautiful job done by the Custom GT paintshop in Colorado responsible for all of the Custom frames made by GT at the time. All of the other bits were triple chrome plated to car show quality, down to the 12 gage spokes and nipples. It even had an internal generator front hub with a headlight and internal wiring.
Once the bike was complete, everybody was freaking out about how cool it was, so it was time to show it to the boss Richard Long (owner and president of GT) We approached him with the bike the day of the yearly sales meeting where all of the sales reps from the entire country were in the building. We brought it up to the meeting and called Richard into the hallway were we had the bike sitting to surprise him, and as him for permission to show it to the Sales reps. I still remember his words when he came out and saw it “Are you Fucking serious, you actually think you can sell those”. We said “let us bring it in and show the sales reps and see what they say”. He reluctantly agreed, and we left the meeting with the Reps cheering. The bike was now set to be shown at the Interbike in Aneheim. Needless to say the bike caused quite a stir at the show. When we noticed the big guys from most of competition was in our booth checking it out, Richard had us pull the bike from the show after the first day and gave us the go-ahead to make a production bike. The rest is history with this bike surprising all with the numbers sold over the few years it was in production.
Pretty interesting side note: Bill Duehring the director of GT R&D during this time is now the President of Felt Bicycles. Some of the same guys who worked on these bikes at GT now work with Bill once again for Felt. It is cool to see that the Felt Forks/Bars, Tires, cranks and other misc. parts you put on your custom cruiser are actually designed all by the same people. It is almost like a continuation or evolution of the bike.
Thanks for keeping it alive and we would love to see more of your work. Let me know if you have any questions.
Best Regards. Jeff
Jeff Soucek / Felt Bicycles
Senior Design Engineer”
Anyway, here’s some pics of my Dyno Roadster I took the other day with our EK.
Sydney based band The Snowdroppers have released their new album ‘Moving Out of Eden’, and it’s another cracker. I’ve had their last album ‘Too Late to Pray’ on high rotation in the daily since I got it for the commute, so I was pretty stoked to hear they were releasing a follow up.
This album sees a slight change in vocals from frontman Johnny Wishbone. He’s now got a cleaner and crisper sound, as opposed to the more gravelly vibe he had on the previous album. If anything he comes across sounding more Aussie, with hints of Chris Cheney at times (which we mean as a compliment). The new album also sees some honking great riffs and harmonica solos too. I’ve got to admit it didn’t quite grab me as quick as their first album did, but after a few rotations it’s got me hooked good and proper. Another album that’s going to see more than it’s fair share of airtime in the daily driver!
Here’s a sample of their latest offerings (the first one is adults only if you’re a bit prudish).