Saturday, October 29, 2011


Ed is just one of those people that can transfer the images in his mind into tangible objects. Or fix just about anything he lays his hands on. About six or seven years ago, he built his first guitar, in the classic Martin style dreadnought. That guitar turned out incredible. I have a friend that is a professional Blue Grass musician, when he played this guitar, he said he couldn't believe it. Ed's guitar had the feel and sound of his classic Martin's and he has a couple valued in the twenty to thirty thousand dollar range. High praise indeed, but Ed, always modest, was like, I did nothing special, anyone can do it. This was not a kit guitar, he built it from scratch. Enter Ed's first attempt at a arch top guitar. He has always admired the style and craftsmanship of the D'Angelico New Yorker. So it was a New Yorker or nothing for Ed. The guitar pictured above is an Original 1947 New Yorker. Originals are highly prized and worth a fortune. John D'Angelico hand made 1164 guitars in four different designs New Yorker, Excel, Style A and Style B before he passed away in 1964. The New Yorker is copied by several guitar makers and some of the high end builders get large sums of money for their versions.
Money was the last thing on Ed's mind when he decided to take on the challenge of building an arch top. He had more selfless ambitions in mind, but we will get to that later. He started this project, again, not from a kit but from a storm damaged maple tree. He did buy the sitka spruce as a solid piece from Alaska, and hand formed it for the top of the guitar. As any luthier will tell you, this is no simple task. It has to be shaped to not only the right form, but the right thickness or you will not be able to get the proper vibration to produce the sweet tone you are striving to achieve. He took the best pieces of the maple and quarter sawn it and then book matched and carved the back. He also made veneer from the same cuts of wood to make the sides. And made the neck from a solid piece. He used ebony for the fretboard and hand carved all the inlays and abalone he filled them with no dremel tool for Ed.Sorry about the quality of the pictures, I only had my cell phone on me at the time. I will post better pics later as these don't do the instrument justice. It took him about two years to build this beauty and the results are stunning. I had a chance to play it yesterday and have to say, it plays as smooth as butter, and sounds as good as any hollow body arch top I have ever played. I'm not in the same league as our buddy Richard, hell, I'm not even in the same sport when it comes to the quality of my playing ability. But I can play fairly well and have been playing for more years than I care to remember. I am truly impressed by the quality and sound of both guitars Ed has made. Oh yeah, I almost forgot I got so caught up in hyping Ed's latest creation. The reason Ed was compelled to build this guitar in the first place, He built it for his son Jeremiah's eighteenth birthday. Happy Birthday Jeremiah, here is one present you will never forget.

Till Next Time...........

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Eldorado Barn Find

Well not actually a barn, more like a garage. My buddy Todd got a line on a '72 Moto Guzzi Eldorado 850 back in July. This is a true survivor bike, it had not been modified in any way since new. Todd was friends with the owner, who bought the bike new way back in'72.He rode the bike for a few years, and as with a lot of people, parked it after a small accident. That was way back in 1986, and it has stood silent in a corner of his garage ever since. Todd's friend passed away this spring. His widow, not knowing what to do with the bike turned to Todd. They weighed several options, and decided the best course of action would be to sell the bike to Todd for a price they both felt comfortable with.
I went with him to check out the bike, and could tell, under all that dust and cob webs there lurked one fine example of a vintage Guzzi. The bike showing only 13,616 original miles bristled with promise. We loaded her up and headed for the hills.

This is exactly how we found the bike and where it had rested for the last quarter century. Todd's friend always intended to get his old Eldorado back on the road. But as is with a lot of things in life, time passed him by before he could get her road worthy again. Todd would see that she was brought back to her former glory. He immediately set about diagnosing the problems and setting them strait.
As with anything that had sat in one place for so long, there was a laundry list of items that needed either changing or replaced. First on that long list would be all the fluids and tires. The coil was out to lunch, along with the cables and a few of the seals. The Dell'Orto carbs were in need of a thorough cleaning and tuning. As I have absolutely no experience with Dell'Ortos or flat slides, Todd turned to a professional to sort them out. The pro even had a bit of trouble with them, but after a while she was running like a champ.
With everything in it's right order, Todd found himself in a quandary. He really liked the bike, but was not sure if he wanted to keep it. He had been out of the riding game for quite some time and as much as he wanted to keep the Eldorado, he decided to sell her instead. So with mixed emotions, he placed an ad on both eBay and craigslist. A bidder soon won the bike on eBay, and the bike will be picked up Monday by a vehicle transport company. The new owner has already sold it to a collector in Japan. Too bad, it would have been nice to keep such a unmolested example of a Vintage Guzzi here in the states where it had spent it's entire existence. I'm sure it's new owner will lavish all the care and attention on her that she deserves. Even though it's not my bike, I'm sad to see it go.

Till Next Time..............

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

It is Beautiful

I wish I had the extra cash to spend on a 1000 Monster to just sit around and look at. I do find motorcycles to be objects of beauty, and yes I do spend time just looking at my bikes from different angles. but what I really like about motorcycles besides working on them, is riding them. So when a desirable bike such as a 2006 model Ducati S2R1000 come up for sale with only 684 miles on it, I find it hard to wrap my head around it.

2006 Ducati S2R1000 600 Miles

This is the ad copy "Mint condition 2006 Ducati S2R1000. Awesome bike only has 600 miles! Not a scratch or a flaw. No time to ride hate to sell:("

I would hate to sell such a nice bike too. But better he sell it to someone who will appreciate her for the fine instrument she is and not only drink in her sensual good looks. But ride her like she deserves to be ridden. To me, it's a crime to leave such a Thoroughbred tied to the hitching post.

Till Next Time.........
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...