A long, long time ago, before Cable TV shows & the Internet, way back in the 1900's guys would just build cool hot rods & choppers for the pure love of it! No one was trying to be famous like they do today. No matter what or where we all came from, the one common thread that ran through all of us was the thrill of the build and the love of the project! The lower east side of New York City was ground zero for choppers as the rest of the country was blinded by the pink & turquoise colors of the PC softail yuppie invasion. There was no OCC, no biker build off, no hipster white nights, just a rag tag group of black sheep doing their own thing. Sure we all didn't see eye to eye then, we all had our own point of view, but that one thin thread is what helped pave the way, we are all a bit older & wiser now. English Don ran S-D cycles up in hell's kitchen, and some other unknowns worked at psycho cycles in alphabet city. Steg Von Heintz, Indian Larry, Paul Cox, and my self Fritz Schenck. Little did we all know that some 15 plus years later what a magical time that was back then.
I could go on and on the stories are endless the experiences priceless, maybe another day.
My time at "Iron Horse Magazine" is how I came to know all these crazies and I am damn glad for it. As time went on we all went our own ways and did our own thing. Then "Iron horse Magazine" again kind of brought some of us all back together. English Don has some medical issues and may or may not have so much time left on this earth and wanted to have one "last ride" a long story short, he was trying to get a bike built, a copy of his famed "Babylon Taxi" that appeared in "Iron Horse Magazine" issue 134 June 1995.
Friends new & old came together to donate parts, cash, or just lend a hand to help make it all happen for their friend Don. My friend Todd Ingram put me in touch with my old Friends that I had lost touch with many years ago and I offered to do what I do best, copy the old paint job onto the new bike. The "Babylon Taxi 2" got painted black with yellow checks and the name laid out in gold leaf. Don & Steg built the "Babylon Taxi 2" in Seattle Washington loaded it & Steg's "Maxine" in an old Ford pick up truck, and drove out to Kansas City to pick up the painted tin. I'll tell ya it was like time had not passed at all. Kind of weird and kind of normal, if you know what I mean. it was good to talk about the old times, how we missed Larry, and some of the crazy shit that happened and why, like how Larry's bike "Voodoo Chili" got its name (that's a story for another blog post for another day). 24 hours later the visit was over and I was sad to see them leave, it was too short a stay but they had to make it to Indianapolis by that night fall so the push was on.
Here's a few pics of the visit and the finished painted tank & fender.
Safe travels Steg & Don, I hope to see you both again.
Steg Von Heintz, English Don, Fritz
Gold Leaf on New tank
Fritz, Steg & Don in the garage catching up on life and sharing stories
Steg video tapes Don for Don's movie "The Last Ride"
Fritz polishing out the finished tin.
English Don on his first "Babylon Taxi" from "Iron Horse Magazine" June 1995 issue#134