Tony Dunn's Triumph Chopper


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.

Classic Cycles

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Commented on 12-1-2010 At 10:27 am

pretty cool...I dig the coin holder

Commented on 12-1-2010 At 11:17 am

A true rider's bike! If it had to be explained, you wouldn't get! Plain and simple. I'm kind of bummed that you didn't get any wheelie shots of this sweet ride, it hangs that far out front wheel in the air on comand! I don't remember, but I think the change despencer was the major selling point on that sweet rode machine called "Grace"

Commented on 12-1-2010 At 12:28 pm

I saw Tony on the way to Slab City, he just blew his Top End, I offered him a ride to Camp, Very nice bike

Commented on 12-1-2010 At 06:11 pm

is the shifter on the right side? and the brake on the left?

Commented on 12-2-2010 At 01:05 am

I think this bike is cool

Commented on 12-2-2010 At 04:38 am

this isnt one of those dealership chops they made back in the day is it? they (chop cult) ran a focus on it like last year i think? either way the bike is ugly as sin, but dame it would be fun to ride.

Commented on 12-2-2010 At 09:26 am

I agree Grace is kinda ugly and she was really fun to ride until I blew a head gasket riding her at 80+ mph just outside Slab City. Now, she will undergo a major makeover and will return this spring once again as the 1957 beauty she was many years ago.
I've got the new front end done already and a new frame ready to go thanks to KT.
Here is some hints on the build....No peanut tank, no hard tail, no ribbed rear fender, ( sorry guys, I've seen enough cookie cutter choppers )
I will post progressive pics of the build for you all to see.

Commented on 12-2-2010 At 02:31 pm

i hope it's not too long before i can say, "that's not the color i would have painted it."

but looking forward to seeing things take shape!

Commented on 12-4-2010 At 02:56 am

Its about tyme you finally get to work on a bike of your own! Glad to see the spread of grace before she's changed back to her wholesome self. I'll be stopping by to see how she's doin and to bug all of you with some of my brilliant questions and ingenious design ideas. Good to hear you finally got out of the shop to ride, bummer to hear Grace's head blew.

Commented on 12-4-2010 At 09:49 am

Yup, she was a great bike. We all know if I'd had her shined up before the Born Free show nobody would have given those Falcon bikes a second look.
you guys wait and see, she's gonna be great again!
Pre units Rule !!!

Commented on 12-4-2010 At 02:55 pm

Awesome bike for a awesome guy dealt with tony a couple times he has sold me some stuff sold him some stuff but he is always willing to go through any questions I might have a true upstanding guy ...glad to see grace get some limelight

Commented on 12-11-2010 At 09:01 am

I'm looking forward to the direction she'll head. Looking into my crystal ball I see a perfect period swingarm custom with stock tank. Prove me wrong!

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