FL-UGLY

So damn ugly it’s cute

Street Chopper - - Contents -

Look­ing at this Pan­head, I’m re­minded of a spawn­ing sal­mon back in Alaska. Grow­ing up there, you look for­ward to sal­mon sea­son al­most as much as the first day of sum­mer va­ca­tion— partly be­cause they start at al­most the same time. Not the fun part of reel­ing in a big king sal­mon af­ter an hour’s fight on a river or how your hard-won bounty tastes. I’m talk­ing about the fish that got away and man­aged to breed then started to die. Spawned- out sal­mon are butt-ugly.

Trust me when I tell you that’s the po­lit­i­cally cor­rect way of de­scrib­ing them to spare their feel­ings. How else to char­ac­ter­ize a half- dead fish that’s two-toned jaun­dice and red with mot­tled gray “graph­ics”? If you see one float­ing(ish) down a river af­ter it’s made sweet love for the first and only time in its life, they look hor­ri­ble. But at the same time, you can’t look away.

That’s the first re­sponse I had when I saw Trey Winslow’s rat­ted- out 1948 Pan­head here. It’s not the pret­ti­est bike ever, but the rust, crust, and funk of 40,000 years draws you in to re­ally ex­plore the ugly. “When I was grow­ing up if my mom saw some­thing she thought was ugly, she would usu­ally say it was ‘ fugly’ or that it ‘was as ugly as a mud fence,’ ” Trey says. “Well, I never did see a mud fence un­til I fin­ished piec­ing this thing to­gether a cou­ple of years ago. It’s kind of like when you see a dog that’s so damn ugly it’s cute. That’s what this bike is to me.”

Go­ing into the project, Trey’s ini­tial in­ten­tions were

good. He ab­so­lutely planned to spiff the Pan­head up a bit. Even­tu­ally, what­ever hell spawn pos­sesses this bike won the bat­tle of wills though. The bike’s bad looks grew on him like a fine coat of rust on ne­glected metal af­ter a mon­soon.

Trey added in some of his own fab­ri­ca­tion to get it run­ning. Most no­tably, that rear wheel. It’s a 19-inch spoker he made for this “beauty.” As it turned out, hav­ing a rust mon­ster like this was a bonus for him. “I’m not that into keep­ing my mess clean,” he says. “As long as it goes and gets whoas, I’m good!” SC

“IT’S KIND OF LIKE WHEN YOU SEE A DOG THAT’S SO DAMN UGLY IT’S CUTE. THAT’S WHAT THIS BIKE IS TO ME.”

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