Etta, the Harley Davidson Sportster

The story of how, exactly, I got her back is not worth telling, but she came back in bad shape after being left outside for a couple of years.

2013-12-22 11.06.32

_BeforePoor Etta

I’d asked around to a few shops if they were interested in restoring my old bike, but the whole time had one friend in mind who would be perfect for the project.  When Mike consented to take her on I literally jumped up and down.  Len and I brought her over to his garage in January of 2014, with the request:  “Get her running and give her a little fluff, please.”

Mike’s a really meticulous guy. If he’s working on something, you can sleep very well at night knowing it will get done right.  We were both super excited about the project.  I had a couple of unexpected bucks and some simple ideas.  Mike had his garage, spare parts and a headful of ideas, and what he did to that bike in the next 5 months was a miracle.

CoyCrop

Of course, every time he tried to do something simple, he’d find something wrong with it.  She ended up naked and bony.

0202141703

He painted and powdercoated everything.  EVERYthing.  Sometimes in terrible temperatures, as the winter was super cold.  He got bronchitis, no doubt from all the powder flying around his garage.  He wouldn’t sleep.  I’d tell him to go to bed and he’d say yup, just one more thing …

IMG_20140125_162649_648

Then the mockups started.  Color?  Where?  Wait … those bullets look good.  Let’s do more of those.

0212141927

You need new wheels, those spokes are bad.  Craigslist has these, what do you think?  Not sure where to cut the fender …

0203141639

 

2014-03-08 15.00.37

This went on for months.  I was indecisive.  Mike wanted me to be happy.  I’d bring over cases of Yuengling Light and he’d send photos and videos.  The only thing I was 100% sure of was no flames, no skulls, no bones, no snakes … nothing stereotypically “badass.”  Not my style.

He even found a PERFECT seat, and got some donated vintage parts from friends.  Lots of people sent bullet shells, too.

10365370_10152499443949363_8149315848570370145_o

Etta came out FANTASTIC.  100% thrilled with her, and Mike (and his wife, who didn’t hurl him out of the house for forgetting about his other chores).  There’s no way I could pay him what all that work was worth, but he was a gentleman and stuck to the original deal, and the friendship has remained intact.  Which is all I really wanted.

Mike introduced me to Chris, who pinstriped her.  And look how gorgeous.  Running fine, no issues, turn the key.  Happy gal!!

10516403_10152627779819363_998206285_o

10258238_10152499442694363_7955356624905983442_o

10293587_10152499442044363_5326090747769147388_o

2014-04-19 13.50.17Helmet matches, too.

52141_10152545818789363_742375184771065710_o

 

1061530_10152627783514363_593763920_n

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *