By Sheri Oneal
For my series “Made in America” this time I traveled all the way to Ocala, Florida…my hometown. John has been a part of my family for many years and I have wanted to photograph him and his friends with their Harley Davidson’s for as far back as I can remember. While visiting over the holiday I finally had my chance to grab a few shots (I still plan to shoot images of his friends with their bikes so stay tuned)!
John Archer and Ron Ingram have taken a hobby and created a way to live out their dream when they are not working their day job! On their off time they can often be found in their small shop “Dos Hombre Cycle,” in Ocala, Florida customizing motorcycles. The image below is an example of one of their projects that took three years to complete. A 1957 Harley-Davidson Panhead with a custom frame, 1938 VL Springer front-end, 5 speed transmission, a custom built driveline, with hand/foot shift quick change set-up, the tanks and fender are hand made from sheet metal and all the wires, battery and electronics are hidden. Ok enough with all the Harley talk!
John’s earliest memory was around the young age of three when his father would drive him throughout San Francisco sitting him between his legs on the gas tank (probably something that would lend itself to the police these days but those were very different times). At the age of eight John received his first motorcycle from his father, a 1949 Harley-Davidson 125cc. The bike was originally his Uncle’s and has been in the family ever since, John actually has it in his living room! For 43 years John has enjoyed riding and collecting Harley Davidson bikes and he has traveled across most of North America exploring it all by motorcycle. He began building motorcycles while attending engineering school at the University of Arkansas and continued building them for himself until 1990. Eventually that led to his building bikes for other enthusiasts part time, working with close friends under the name Dos Hombre Cycle. Their shop specializes in restorations as well as customs and they take great pride knowing that their motorcycles are meant to be ridden hard not just admired.
John (opening photo above) is working on a 1959 Harley 45 inch, it is in the “mock-up” stage meaning that they put the whole bike together doing all the welding and fabrication work prior to the final fit and finish (paint, chrome, powder-coat). What makes this bike unique is the 4 speed foot shift trans, and it’s all hydraulic controls as well as it’s custom frame, exhaust, seat, fenders and gas tank. It is being built as a “shop bike” meaning they will ride it around a bit and then eventually sell it. This bike will be finished by early summer.
Ron Ingram served in the United States Air Force as a Flight Line Crew Chief in the late 70’s and around that time he had an interest in riding and working on motorcycles. After relocating to Florida his focus was on building and riding his own bikes. Since 1991 Ron has turned his hobby into a part time business working with John and other friends as a welder and fabricator at Dos Hombre Cycles. He enjoys the challenge of building fast and unique machines. Ron is currently working on this bike for a client, a complete custom design from the ground up. It has gone through the mock-up process and is in its final assembly. The motor and transmission are based on parts from a mid 1980’s Harley, everything else is custom. It will be fast, unique and is planned to be running out on the road by the time this blog is posted.
Both John and Ron are great examples of Americans taking a dream and making it into a reality. They are creating one of a kind custom Harley Davidson motorcycles that are made in America! If you have a project you would like to talk to these guy’s about feel free to send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I continue to look for interesting story ideas in the Nashville area and need help finding unique small business individuals. If you are a small business owner with a story, offer a unique product and/or service or know of someone please let me know! Message me with your suggestion and your phone number so I can review it and contact you if I feel it will work with this new blog series. If chosen I will schedule a photoshoot, write up a story line with your approval, post it within my blog and social media space and market it across the web. I will also allow you to use the blog link for your own promotion. I look forward to hearing from you soon!
*NOTE all Sheri Oneal blog posts are ©2013 by Sheri Oneal. Any use of photos or content (other than sharing the link) must be agreed upon in writing.
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