Old choppers like Tony Dunn's Triumph are good for building street cred. Where else but a shop called Classic Cycles are you more likely to see a machine this rich with history and patina? As the elder partner at Orange County's most prominent and popular tune-and-service enclave for old iron, Tony knows a good piece of window dressing when he rides one. It's why he bought this peach several years ago, and why he's showing it to us today.
Tony is an old friend to both British and ChopCult loyalists, and his father-and-son operation in the heart of the OC is a reliable haunt on our frequent visits inside the Orange Curtain. On a recent journey we dropped in on Tony and company to assay his current stable of shop and customer bikes. On this visit two bikes caught our eye: a chopper named Grace, and a unit Triumph whose owner is stil MIA on the details related to his machine. I'm not sure what they put in OC water, but drinking it appears to turn everyone into a Brit bike fiend. Every week Classic Cycles services dozens of machines like this one, so many that the rattiest get parked outside so Tony's crew has room to move.
Tony regaled me with a dozen interesting tales of Grace's amazing journey, but of course very few of them stuck. I'm a uni-tasker when it comes to playing photojournalist, and if I plan to shoot pictures, something's got to give. In this case it was the story about Grace's carb, and its rebuilt race-spec motor. Tony said something about both technically siginificant upgrades, but I was too enamored by the change dispenser on Grace's top tree to remember what Mr. Dunn said. About said change dispenser, I can tell you this: the money inside it was the same pocket change that came with the bike when Tony bought it from a retired circus clown in 2009. Or was it a one-legged house painter from Encino? Suffice it to say, anyone who installs a change dispenser on his chopper's handlebars has a story worth telling. I only wish I could remember it.
If you know anything about Tony's graceful survivor, please share your story in the comments below. Thanks to Tony and the crew at Classic Cycles for letting CC readers peek behind the curtain.