Helen Wheels

Discussion in 'BUILD OFF 14 - CLASS 1 - FINISHED BIKES' started by OddJob, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. OddJob

    OddJob

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,690
    Location:
    Maplewood, MN
    Final Photo.jpg

    Helen Wheels started life as a 1953 Columbia 20" kids cruiser, was modified in the muscle bike rage of the '60s, and resto-modded and brought back to her glory by this guy in his 60s this August.

    Named after my grandma Helen, who was a bit of a 'hot rodder' in her 60s when she 'freed' this bike from the school playground where she was the janitor and grounds keeper for a little grade school in a small Southern Minnesota town. We used to ride the bike at her house when we'd visit. She later gave the bike to us when she moved in to an apt and didn't have room to store it.

    Helen's ride in those years was a 1970 Ford Torino, in the iconic color Anti-Establish Mint green. For real. She had a lead foot, and proudly declared, "I can beat anybody off the light in this car." And then she did.

    This build is dedicated to my wild and crazy grandma Helen, and her Ford Torino.

    Build thread can be found here for build process, and a few other funny stories about Helen.
    http://www.ratrodbikes.com/forum/index.php?threads/helen-wheels-crossing-the-finished-line.109217/

    And some highlight photos along the way....

    Here's how the bike looked when we rode it back in the day; and how it was when we resurrected it out of my brother's garage attic in early August.
    66817800_2757545174320021_8366388420485840896_n.jpg

    The original Columbia bike would have been similar to this model:

    Helen wheels columbia.jpg

    And the inspiration, the Ford Torino :

    Ford Torino mint.jpg

    There were 4 colors of paint on her frame : 67413299_855833354790249_4920978385917706240_n.jpg

    Three more colors, wouldn't hurt...

    67082123_2329916063764150_243230195610288128_n.jpg 67375186_464402524345736_1327812345266700288_n.jpg

    The seats and upholstery in grandma's Torino were a spruce green. So this seat got the same treatment:

    67818491_356303228599386_2605738387692322816_n.jpg 67371976_2253944018056365_4521978462444978176_n.jpg

    Because it had a Schwinn badge on the head tube, and it wasn't a Schwinn, it needed it's own brand. I created the 'BACK40' head badge using a etching process on aluminum sheet metal.

    67193007_2250363571707410_9019789728030916608_n.jpg
    Back40 head badge FLIPPED.jpg 67641061_374850573201181_4630495076080943104_n.jpg 67870678_464289987459111_3019792558084587520_n.jpg 67716872_360896051245285_6234154431827410944_n.jpg 67627830_677163366136768_6666354078836064256_n.jpg 68500007_2940381432853972_3945418337483227136_n.jpg

    Thanks for joining me on this trip down memory lane. There's nothing better than a spin on your muscle bike through the neighborhood park. Till next time....

     

    Attached Files:

  2. Machine Age Victim

    Machine Age Victim

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Kansas City
    Very well executed! Love the head badge, I'll be remembering that for future builds.
     
    Troyminator, ratttrike and OddJob like this.
  3. ifitsfreeitsforme

    ifitsfreeitsforme

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Messages:
    5,409
    Location:
    South Meriden, Connecticut
    nicely done.
     
    OddJob likes this.
  4. A.S.BOLTNUT

    A.S.BOLTNUT

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    5,476
    Location:
    Corning, Nor-Cal
    Nice transition, I dig it !
     
    OddJob likes this.
  5. Scribble

    Scribble

    Joined:
    May 14, 2013
    Messages:
    1,871
    Location:
    Boise, ID
    :cool2:
     
    OddJob likes this.
  6. sdframe

    sdframe

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2013
    Messages:
    1,058
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Somehow I missed the head badge process in your build thread. Until now. Dang, you're good!
     
    Troyminator and OddJob like this.
  7. OddJob

    OddJob

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,690
    Location:
    Maplewood, MN
    Steve, I always enjoy a new challenge. I felt like a mad scientist with that Muriatic acid / hydrogen peroxide cauldron brewing up a toxic fumed atmosphere in the garage!
     
    Troyminator likes this.
  8. Chad T

    Chad T

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2014
    Messages:
    3,133
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    Awesome fun build! Love the stories and history. Fade looks great.

    Is that a pic of Aunt Helen in the Torino? That car is SWEET!
     
    OddJob likes this.
  9. OddJob

    OddJob

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,690
    Location:
    Maplewood, MN
    That was exactly what my grandma Helen's car looked like, and it spookily looks like her in the drivers seat with the door open. :43::13:

    But, yeah. That was a very cool car. We have been trying to unearth it, but my aunt's brothers who bought it from Helen in the 80's aren't talking.
    :D
     
  10. MazdaFlyer

    MazdaFlyer

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    Messages:
    3,466
    Location:
    KS
    Nice headbadge!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
    OddJob likes this.
  11. ratttrike

    ratttrike

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2016
    Messages:
    42
    Head badge, super sweet. Love the back story too. Those Torino’s were awesome. Starsky and Hutch awesome! Great bike!
     
    OddJob likes this.
  12. ParkRNDL

    ParkRNDL

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2006
    Messages:
    795
    Location:
    southern PA
    Great looking bike on its own, and the back story makes it even better.
     
    OddJob likes this.
  13. kingfish254

    kingfish254 CHECK OUT MY SALE THREAD FOR COOL STUFF! Pro Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    Messages:
    25,670
    Location:
    Historic Savannah
    Coolest backstory! Excellent fade paint and that badge is wicked!
    Well done my friend!!!

    You probably already know this, but Don't forget that when the Voting thread is created we will use the first pic from your Finished thread. I'm not suggesting anything is wrong with the current pic, just making sure everyone knows.
     
    OddJob likes this.
  14. OddJob

    OddJob

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2012
    Messages:
    6,690
    Location:
    Maplewood, MN
    Thanks man! When the bike has a significant story line, it makes it all that much more exciting for me to build and be creative!
     
  15. uneasy rider

    uneasy rider

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2008
    Messages:
    215
    Location:
    lo cal
    x2 what has been said - great story, badge, build skills, love the bike, looks great!
     

Share This Page