Friday, August 9, 2013

Sam Oppie "Special"

Greasy Kulture is the only chopper magazine I still like enough to subscribe to. The magazine is challenging to find except at full-blown newsstands or via mail order places like Lowbrow Customs. The magazine is well worth checking out in my opinion.

GKM recently began running a monthly column I've been enjoying quite a bit called Dr Sprockets. This months focus is Harley JD cut-downs. I've heard claims that some guys buying new Harley VL's in the early 1930's came back demanding to get their old JD's back. If that's true it's not really a surprise the JD's developed a pretty major hot rod reputation.

I was surprised to see mention of one of the original founding Seattle Cossacks, Sam Oppie. Oppie was member #32.

I was unaware of Oppie's legendary cut-down association. I had to see if I could find out more about him.

The Sam Oppie Special

Sam worked for the Seattle HD dealer and built about twenty to thirty of these cutdown two-cammed specials.

Luckily Sam's (and others) formula for the twin cam cut-down is not completely undocumented. This early Modern Mechanics article can help to build your own state-of the-art 30's hot rod. Feel free to run right out to your garage to start chopping up your restored JD.

I'm secretly kinda hoping JD cut-downs will be the "next big thing" 60's show bikes craze finally fizzles out again... You can't get more "traditional chopper" than these bikes.

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