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Thread: 1935 VLD with Sidecar Restoration Advice

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,092

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    Beautiful VL, Jesse. For the sake of keeping it fun, I'd leave it alone and save your money for a top end job in the future In regards to paint; if a past owner didn't paint the insides of the tanks, then he may have been lazy and painted over the original color. There are quite a few posts on paint restoration by people who have done the gruesome archeological work of uncovering original paint.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,092

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    I should mention that VLs of 1935 were two-tone, so there may be a big surprise under that purple paint.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Posts
    4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jesse View Post
    So I need some advice on how far to go with my restoration. I have an all original (except paint) 1935 VLD with matching year sidecar. The paint is not original, likely repainted purple in the 60's - 70's. The only thing I have done to the bike so far is new tires. In addition, I plan to do some work to the heads/valves/pistons (I bought Steve's book) as it smokes quite a bit when I run it. However, it runs great and usually starts on first kick.

    The original color was blue as I can see it on the inside of the tanks and around bolt heads. I have attached some pics showing the bike. If the paint were original, I would not touch the bike. However, it seems I may need to to all the way or someone may have other ideas. I like the original "stank" of the bike and hate to ruin that. I also do not like the purple color.

    My question is, how far to go on a restoration? If I opt to do a full restoration, I want it to have one of the original paint schemes (likely brown and cream). If I wanted to do a true full restoration, I would have to: strip/bead blast frame and all tins, work out dents and imperfections, have it professionally painted, have the barrels nickeled, etc, etc.... which I would love to do but not right now. I also worry about losing the "original" look, feel and smell. (I do love the smell of an old original bike)

    Or maybe there is another option that would retain the original imperfections and give me an original color????
    - try to strip purple layer to get to original blue and then clear coat (kind of a rusty retro like the kids are doing these days)
    - paint over the purple with a flatter, original color. The idea is I would get the color I want without a clean restoration, thus saving the barn fresh current state.
    - some other idea????

    Final question. The bike has an original messinger #2 seat. It needs reupholstered. Does anyone know of an upholsterer who specializes in these seats? It has been difficult to find someone who can handle the riveting.

    Thank you for the advice.

    JesseAttachment 25211Attachment 25212Attachment 25213Attachment 25214Attachment 25215
    Thank you for the advice! I think I am going to follow you suggestions and just ride it. I will probably paint (not professionally) the tins but keep everything original. The side car is matching year. I will check out your seat recommendation. A guy with a 48 pan in Sturgis suggested Heather's Leathers for the seat. May look into that as well.

    Thanks again,

    Jesse

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