Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sutherland Brothers Chopper 1970

During my incarceration at Hughes Aircraft Co. I met my pal Gary, another illustrator in our Media Dept. While getting to know each other, he told me how he and his brother Larry had built a Knucklehead chopper from a basket case in 69.

Gary sport'in the look in 1970.

Gary sent me all these shots over 10 years ago.

Yeah, like lots of dudes, the movie Easyriders got them hopped up to do it but, they had been digging on the chopper scene for awhile. Being natives of Bakersfield CA, the Suth Bros. were exposed to outlaws on choppers who took over town on annual runs or while attending the US Fuel and Gas Championship Races at Famoso. In 1966 they went to town in the back of a Ford Ranchero on a mission to take pictures of the commotion.

Bakersfield, March 1966. Seems this outlaw didn't like his picture taken. He later flipped them off and held up a piece of broken concrete as a threat. Get a load of those springer forks!

One day at Hughes after talking about bikes, Gary started doodling during a staff meeting. After the meeting he dropped the sketch on my desk. Gary's a great artist and the drawing was done very quickly and from memory. Keep in mind that he hadn't drawn a chopper in over 25 years.

I hung on to the staff meeting drawing(1992). It shows how good Gary's memory was. I like that he wrote "Avon" on the front tire.

Gary says he'll dig up some more stuff to share.