Thursday, September 9, 2010

Puzzle Solved

This ad always puzzled me. I remember seeing it and wondering, could this possibly be White Bear repainted with some minor cosmetic changes or just a very similar machine? It seemed too soon to be the same bike but, at the same time, too similar.

Full page ad from the back cover of the Nov. '73 Custom Chopper. White Bear was in the Aug. '73 Street Chopper, not much time had passed between seeing both bikes published.

Same stance, mags, forks, bars, magneto, and tank with indents. Some other things while similar, are a bit it off? Sportster headlight wasn't chrome, exhaust are slightly different, the engine was not bead blasted but polished in places and sporting a SU carb. But, there was a small nagging similarity. It had exactly the same Harley-Davidson decal on the top edge of the oil tank.

37 years later, puzzle solved. I showed Joe the ad and finally got the answer. He sold white Bear for $1800 as a rolling chassis to Bob Olsen, owner of E.M.E so he could buy a Porsche 911. Pretty decent money for a roller back then.

Final Notes: Joe did later run a SU on White Bear. He knew and still knows the girl (Cindy). in the ad. He never saw the photo of her that they mention in the ad. The wheels advertised (U.S. Mag Corp.), aren't the same as the ones on the bike. They are the original American Racing Wheels.