Monday, February 21, 2011

Foot's South Bay Survivor, All's Well That Ends Well

When Bruce Parrish first started sending me photos, he also included the shot below of his old friend Foot's bike. He then added, Foot still has it and wants to sell it. As you might imagine, that got my attention!

Bruce's photo from 1979. This immediately made me want to see more!

Later, around mid January I got the following email and photos from Foot:


Been watching your web site with great interest. Every time I look, you have another friend of mine posted. I met Joe Hurst when he first made his transition from the low rider scene. Dick Allen and I, Tiny, Washmachine Charley, Red bearded Bob and later Joe all lived on 167 th St. In Lawndale in the late 60's early 70's. I wound up with Dicks shop when he went to jail. (its a long and sorted tail) Anyway I can trade lies with the best of em. No joke though, there are about 10 years that are kinda fuzzy and blurred together. We used to get after it pretty good!

Foot's bike today. Joe had toyed with buying it, meanwhile, I was trying to think of ways I might buy it myself. The Dick Allen springer was originally about 20" over but later cut down to 15".

Bruce tells me you might know of someone that would be interested in my old sled. Shes been sitting a long time and slowly gaining that (as the gun collectors like to say) "fine brown patina." More pics and info available if needed. Keep doing what your doing man, its pretty cool to re-live the old glory days.

I told Foot that I would post it on my blog, but to send more information when he got the chance.

About a week later Foot sent this:

Here is some info about my bike: The engine is a '56 Pan bottom end with a set of '66 shovel heads. Its been a long time but I think its .070 over on the bore 9.5:1 compression, 4 1/2" stroke S&S flywheels,(works out to be about a 86 incher) S&S carb, Andrews B grind cam, Joe Hunt mag, Phil Ross belt drive,and Barnett clutches. Trannie is a 4 speed with a ratchet top (jocky shift) and its polished pretty nice. Chassis is a 1957 straight bar Pan frame, Dick Allen front end (15 over if I remember correctly) Front wheel is a magnesium 18" 12 spoke mag. Rear wheel is a 12 spoke 15" American Mag (aluminum) I bought it from Dick when he was partnered up with them although I don't remember what their association was.

The bike's overall look, the chrome fender, the mags, and bead blasting of the engine makes it quite similar to White Bear. You even might even call it White Bears' cousin... or maybe sister. As a matter of fact, Joe says the flywheels came out of White Bear!

The oil tank is a rare 1938-39 seamless. Also has a pretty nice custom clutch peddle and plate we used to make at my old shop (Arm & Hammer Cycle) Looks like a mirror image of the brake assembly on the other side. There's probably more but you know how it is, over the years as I let more stuff into my head I had to let other stuff go.

Dick Allen built the engine and Foot estimates he clocked about 30,000 miles on the old gal. Other than 3 years ago when he took her to a swap meet to sell, she's been in storage for the last 20+ years. Foot says she fired up and sounded good and strong that last time.

Later we talked on the phone and told him I would post it For Sale when I got the chance. I got busy and then left town for 2 weeks. A couple days after my return, while getting ready to post it, I received an email from Rich Ostrander with the same photos saying how Foot sold his bike to their mutual buddy Chuck.

The left side showing off a good stance. Note how the front wheel's magnesium patina has darkened compared to the rear's aluminum.

It was really good to hear the bike went to a friend. Not only that, but Chuck lives really near where the bike was born. So, the bike is returning to it's old stomping grounds in the South Bay.

Update: Last I heard, Chuck has sold the bike and it's gone to Japan. All the good stuff is going there. I can't fault the guys in Japan. We seem to be quickly selling out our past.