Thursday, January 22, 2015

A Long Time Coming.

I had this pole barn built about 3 years ago and promptly filled it with projects. I became the guy I used to make fun of when I was much younger. A bunch of projects, and not really working on any of them, not really getting anything finished. Its not like I work for some spoiled son of a wealthy dad, who can piss money away paying me a weekly paycheck to build his pipe dream junk, to impress his fake friends. I had too many incomplete possessions, and not many quality completions. The funny thing is, I had the barn built so I could have a bitchin shop to build these projects, that were now in the way of that dream. Many factors come into play at the same time here. My day job that I loved was literally in a cave, an underground shop that was great, but due to my health and continuing sinus problems (body shop guys know what I'm talking about) I had to leave. I started another dream project the "Beatnik Bandit" clone, while some other things I have started still sat stagnant, waiting to be finished. While out of work, and with a lot of time on my hands, I did some hard thinking with star trek "Vulcan" logic, and the clarity of mind like a Kung Fu Shaolin Priest. In October my brother from another mother "Poncho Bill" dropped off his 57 Starchief for me to go through and give a make over. Bill was the final piece to the "get your ass in gear" puzzle. I didn't want to let my friend down, my wife, or myself. So, while fishing in the pond, sipping a few beers, chatting with Poncho, the harsh truth that came was the fact that if I cut loose those projects, that I have not yet started or was not really into, I could make room and money to build the shop I wanted, and finish up the projects that I love, and Bill's Pontiac. I took it several steps further and cleaned house of everything, old magazines, extra car and motorcycle parts, if it wasn't for a project I was working on, it had to go! I had a stack of old Barris "how to do it" books from the 90's sitting in my closet, that I had not looked at since I moved to Missouri six years ago. I sold them all, and got over $300.00 bucks! and that was just some old books sitting on the closet floor. I am still going through the many boxes of stuff I have in the basement of my house, and getting rid of it on ebay, Facebook and Chop Cult. To be honest, I have cleared just about $10,000.00 grand in my clean up (as a side note a good chunk of that went on the side for Mrs Fritz's new car) but I've spent well over five grand in the barn, and now have a 16 by 30 paint booth, a 24 by 30 machine shop and tool room, and a 30 by 30 work space. It feels good! It feels even better, mentally, to have unburdened my self of life's extra crap that accumulates as time goes on. I haven't posted much because I have taken my own advice. I got out in the garage and built something "A GARAGE" !!!!!! Do some early spring cleaning and clear your head, mind and soul, and a space in the garage for that project you have always wanted to do. I did it, and you can too! Qui Chang Fritz

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Bandit Post Nov.23, 2014

Yah you noticed huh? I haven't posted on the blog for a long ass time. I had nose sinus surgery. My sinuses were clogged, as in jam packed with polyps, to the point where I could not really breath out my nose, it was horrible. I had a hard time bouncing back from the surgery, a real hard time, to the point where I had to quit my job 'cause I just can't be around the dust and paint fumes too much for a while. At least at home I can control my body shop style environment, and get away to breathe some fresh air when I need to, or have to. That's it in a nut shell. I don't wanna bring you down with my silly shit. I have been working on the "Beatnik Bandit" clone a bunch! My friend Ellis Kendrick has even been helping mix the Plaster as I goop a body out of buckets! I am still waiting for the radiator shop to do what they have to, then I take it, and work on it, and give it back. Time . . . its all just time, but I can't work on the nose of the car until I get the radically shortened radiator back and mounted. Its a childhood dream really. I hope to share it with all you crazies when its done. Get out in the garage and build something! Fritz

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The beginnings of the "Beatnik Bandit" clone

I've been busy in the garage for the past few weeks working on the "Beatnik Bandit" clone. I have all my reference stuff spread out on the work bench, a Revell model kit, pics and notes I took when I was at a show with the real Bandit, and the hot rods by Ed Roth book! I want to get to a point, and then I will put it aside for a bit to work on the Knuckle chopper project. I want to get that on its two wheels and kickstand so I can roll it around. As you can see from the pics of me holding the model kit instructions up next to the rolling frame, its looks just like the plastic kit gang! I also will be doing some straight body work on my pal Poncho Bill's 57 Pontiac Starchief over the winter. Lots of good stuff guys, shoot me an e-mail,, lets see what you guys have going on this winter. Get out in the garage and build something! FRITZ

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Winter Projects/Getting Ready

I have had some stuff sit for far too long, things happen, life gets in the way, you know the deal. I have had this twin Carb Knuckle, chromed and polished, sitting in the corner of the garage, for the last 5 years, longer if you count the time it sat when I lived in Long Island New York. It is now covered in body shop dust and paint overspray. I am a very bad person. This never should have happened. it will be a dust collector no more. I pulled it out, and It will be one of my winter projects this coming season. Another project I have been collecting parts for, (and I am gonna spill the beans here gang), is "The "Beatnik Bandit" I bought the 1950 Oldsmobile frame from flat top Bob In Wellington Texas about eight or so years ago. Same thing with the olds V-8 engine. I drug the motor home to long Island from Door Michigan, and the frame from Texas, and then five years ago I moved it all to Kansas City. I never give up "NEVER". So, check back, it will be a slow couple of projects, I wanna enjoy them. I have gotten a few e-mail with pics of the stuff you guys are building. I'll have to do a blog post with them all. Quite a few of you guys have bought my "How to build a fiberglass body at home" DVD and put the info to good use. I think I can Honestly say that I single handily started a new show rod movement! One of you crazy guys is even building a custom one off nose for their Model A, very neat indeed. Get out there guys, turn off the TV it sucks any way and get out in the garage and build something !

Sunday, June 29, 2014

"6th Street Specials"

"6th street specials", a freaking landmark in New York City's lower east side. If you ride an English bike you know this place. When I worked at "Iron Horse Magazine", we were there a lot, Indian Larry and Paul Cox both worked there in the mid 80's. Hugh, who runs the shop, was featured on the TV show "Cafe Racer". Since 1986 Hugh and Dimitri (RIP) ran the shop. Now Hugh and his trustee wrench "Fumi" keeps all the cool kids up and running on their Triumph's - BSA's and what not. This is not some designer motorcycle shop like a Harley dealer, this is a knuckles down, bare bones bike shop. You will not see leather chaps and fingerless gloves for sale here. They work on bikes "THAT'S IT". You can buy parts and maybe a shop T-shirt. If you are ever in NYC, you should stop by and see what a real bike shop looks like. bBy a T-shirt so Hugh can have some pocket money for tea and cookies, and don't wage to much of the man's time, he has a shop to run for Christ's sake! You can find "6th Specials" at 703 East 6th Street, New York, NY 10009 My wife Carrol being patient while I chat with my pals. Hugh hard at work during my visit. That's how he rolls, he worked through our whole conversation The Amazing Fumi spinning wrenches in the basement on a customers bike. A fixture at the shop, Greaser Mike, a lower east side legend in his own right!

Saturday, May 31, 2014

A Day with Paul Cox

A lot of you might not know it but Paul Cox and I go back a long way. In the late 1980's, when he was over at 6th Street Specials with Indian Larry (Sportster Larry at the time I think), I would stop by with my riding pals and not say too much. Later on I was a staff writer and Assistant Editor for "Iron Horse Magazine". We all got to know each other better in those days, and as time went on we all sort of stayed in touch. I lived out on Long Island, so it was hard for me to get into New York City, especially as my painting business "Spritz BY Fritz" grew. A few weeks ago I stopped by Paul's new shop to say hello, catch up on life, and share stories about the old days in the Lower East Side, when we all worked together at Psycho Cycles. Paul is a real artist, bikes, leather, knives, paint on canvas etc. If I had to compare him with a historical counter culture figure it would be "Von Dutch", only without all the hate. Paul is still building beautiful bikes! I took a few pics to share with you cats of the work and awesome detail that was going on during my visit. Also, a few pics of the paint job he gave me to do for a new build. What are you guys up to? Lemme know. Get out in the garage and build something! FRITZ

Sunday, May 4, 2014

On the road to NYC via Carlisle and Oley, PA.

I spent quite a few days on the road the last week or so with the great "Johnny Sparkle" as my co pilot. We met up with Greaser Mike and Poncho Bill from NYC, at spring Carlisle in PA, and had a blast. I didn't buy much, some old tech books, a busted Mac air ratchet that I will hand in for a new one, and a dozen pair of socks for 10 bucks! Around the corner from our hotel was a fantastic arcade place where we loaded up on tickets playing skee ball, and ignoring the "do not bump" stickers on the motor go karts! That was two days of good fun. We then moved on to to Oley, PA for the antique motorcycle meet, that was better. Even though I can't afford anything at these meets, I love walking around looking at all the history, guys riding around on old 8 valve factory Harley race bikes, pre unit Triumphs, 4 cylinder Indians & Henderson's, belt drive Popes, you get the idea. I took a bunch of pics and will filter them onto the blog a bit at a time for you guys to enjoy. In my honest opinion, the Oley meet was way better then Davenport, there was just so much more stuff around. Davenport does have the flat track races, so maybe its about even. Get out in the garage and build something!