'53 Bel Airflow Shelby

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OddJob

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Final photo 2.jpg


The inspiration for this build came from my dad, and this photo of him standing with his hand on his new car, his 1953 Chevy Bel Air.

Dad's 53 chev.jpg



My dad has been gone for nine years now, and never got to see any of my RRB Build Off bikes. At least, in the flesh anyway. His spirit of fun and ingenuity, craftsmanship and creativity lives on in every one of my builds. I had picked up this '53 Shelby Bicycle Co. Airflow frame and fork to use for the BO 15, but then the gasser bug bit me and RaTs GaSs took the place of the Shelby.

This past Spring, right before our BO 16 began, the idea of combining my '53 frame and fork, and dad's '53 Bel Air into a theme, took hold. The rest, as they say, is history.

Here is the build thread for my build. It's fairly extensive, but will give you a play-by-play of all the custom steps along the way.



And a some photos of the process along the way. Thanks for all the input, ideas, critiques, comic relief, and shared nostalgia throughout this build.

I will kick off the photo montage with this really cool bit of graphic wizardry that my friend Jim pulled off. Pretty much says it all....


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rat rod '53.jpg
 

OddJob

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The one piece on this build that was the most challenging and rewarding was the chain guard. The following video and photos emphasize the building and fitting of this 'signature piece' that really brought it all together.


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Finished 4.jpg



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What can I say, Lee? Your builds are always personal, evocative and beautifully executed. I see now that your craftsmanship is , to quote your man Hank Williams , Jr., a "family tradition." Well done, as always. And your HW Jr. video got me two-steppin', just like your dad's Powerglide tranny.
 
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metalchewy

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When I hear the words Rat Rod Bike, I picture a bike like this one in my mind.

It Looks old, well cared for, a little rusty around the edges, that may have been resuscitated from someone's front lawn art or barn wall... As they are put back together with some cool customized additions they are set apart from the rest of the pack.

Rusty mixed with patina, and paint underneath to preserve it for the next couple of generations.

Excellent build my friend. Great Job!!
 

OddJob

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What can I say, Lee? Your builds are always personal, evocative and beautifully executed. I see now that your craftsmanship is , to quote your man Hank Williams , Jr., a "family tradition." Well done, as always. And your HW Jr. video got me two-steppin', just like your dad's Powerglide tranny.
Thanks, Steve! Your perceptive ability and literary skills make your comments especially endearing. "Family tradition" indeed.
 

OddJob

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When I hear the words Rat Rod Bike, I picture a bike like this one in my mind.

It Looks old, well cared for, a little rusty around the edges, that may have been resuscitated from someone's front lawn art or barn wall... As they are put back together with some cool customized additions they are set apart from the rest of the pack.

Rusty mixed with patina, and paint underneath to preserve it for the next couple of generations.

Excellent build my friend. Great Job!!
Thanks, MC! Your meaningful expressions are heart felt and make it all worthwhile. And I think you just came up with another 'rat rod bike' term: rust-suscitated . :nod: :wink1::bigsmile:
 

OddJob

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I'm trying out something new in my photo gallery features. I've only had this laptop for about 6 years now... old guys. Geez.

ride vid collage.jpg


The joy of riding your new old bike build! RaT oN ~!
 

OddJob

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You really captured the theme well! I like the photo of your dad with his 53 you used as inspiration!
Thanks Alan! The was a lot of inspiration into this build, that's for sure.
 

OddJob

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I really like this one. It looks classy, but comfy, like an old pair of 501's.
Haha! I get where you're coming from Dave! For me it would be an old pair of LEE jeans, if you, ah, know what I mean.... :wink1: :nod: .

Meaning I could put on a black button down shirt and ride this anywhere, eh? Thanks for the props!
 

OddJob

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Liked this bike from the get go just the right amount accessory's
Love that chain guard and the patina is perfect.
Thanks! I appreciate you following along on the build and the positive reinforcement.
 

kingfish254

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Way to go brother! Your dad would be proud to take a ride on that beauty!!
Epic chainguard too. Love it!
CONGRATS!
 

OddJob

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Way to go brother! Your dad would be proud to take a ride on that beauty!!
Epic chainguard too. Love it!
CONGRATS!
Thanks man! And I appreciate the pointers, helps, and pushes along the way! Probably my favorite build I have done so far.
 

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