Here's a good example of a cool but ugly bike turned into the coolest cruiser. An original orange and cream 1940 Firestone Pilot Long Tank. It is actually one of my favorite style of bikes in the very best color. But here it is as found:Exactly! So many original bikes have beautifully designed frames, only to be truly ugly as complete bikes as originally equipped.
Problems: Seat way up in the air, short bars pointed upward, ugly horn with a chain, ugly rear plaque, poorly designed rear rack, black grips, small black tires, and one of those terrible center drop stands that made the bike fall over into my '70 challenger within 5 minutes of parking it in the garage. Here's the updated version:
Corrections: Seat lowered and a different seat post, Ape hanger bars, ugly horn and chain gone, ugly rear plaque gone, rear rack removed, white coke bottle grips to match secondary color, big cream Fat Frank tires, and the center drop stand replaced with a correct side kickstand. Now the orange and cream are more evenly distributed and it's actually ride-able now. It didn't really take much effort to make this ugly duckling cool and beautiful. This Creamsickle Cruiser is absolutely my favorite bike now!
The orange fender struts and the white truss rods give it a very unique look.
Love that art deco chainguard! Moved the original rear reflector down to the fender. Simple and clean! Rides like a dream!