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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The AEE Covair Trike sold a few years back and ended up supposedly in LA and was to be restored. I could never make contact with the new owner at that time. I would like to find it and the owner and see how the restoration is coming along , if at all.
I figure if it's in LA someone must know where it is. I'd love to put info about it on my AEE web site and blog.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
We had nothing that was a pure show bike. No trailer queens.
I saw every single bike we had on the street at one time or another. Some got more use than others. The Big Twin 5 wheeler got the least amount of use. The red SuperSport and the Purple Shovelhead got a lot of use. Early on the Mindbender got most of the use. The bike that ended up with probably the most miles on it was the yellow Sportster kit bike,it was a test and prototype mule big time. They all were to some extent but that one in particular had many incarnations and because of that got ridden. When I was at AEE we had 7-8 bikes in the show room all the time, it was quite the sight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
rich: Tom sold Mindbender while I was there, broke my heart let me tell you. I have never been able to run down who he sold it to. I remember seeing an older guy with a young woman with him the day it left. rumor was he was some rich German but who knows. Tom did shit all the time and no one knew what was going on. No doubt it was for cash and later that week it ended up on the tables in Vegas!
That Watson painted bike is not it. Tom bought his knuck from Ed Roth and it was fully chronicled from that day forward and never looked like that bike.

cycle: Great idea on the Brothers of the Third Wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter · #22 ·
Sorry Carl but Corvair Trike was built at AEE's shop in Buena Park in 1968, they opened it in February of that year. Tom had no way to give him a break on advertising since Street Chopper didn't even exist until January of 69 and then for only four issues that year. This information comes from the guy that helped build it, Jim Clark, and AEE's head engineer/designer Dave Brackett who also had been Tom's room mate.

Driveline is all Corvair, flipped third member. due to front location of engine the trike just looked right.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 ·
I just know what the guys that were there told me including Tom. And their shop was new to them but not new by any means.
Tom was known to pinch a penny with his employees but I never, ever, saw him cheap out on a build. His bikes, planes and famous 32 ford reflect that.

I know the Big Twin 5 wheeler had a C4 in it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
well for sure some of that is way wrong.
The twin Sportster engine trike (actually 5 wheeler) from AEE was built by one guy and that was Dave Brackett who I knew at AEE and talked to yesterday. It was well documented in Street Chopper.
They may have done some machine work for both projects (our engine work was the only thing farmed out other than paint and chrome) but they darn sure didn't build them.

Lots of guys have claimed to do lots of stuff that they didn't. Either bad memories, confused or just wrong. It is 40 years later, it's understandable.
As an example, I can't tell you how many painters have claimed to painted for AEE.
 

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Discussion Starter · #29 ·
I don't doubt that others participated in the engine/driveline portion of the Corvair build but they did not conceive of nor build it, Tom and Jim Clark did along with a couple other guys. Kind of like a lot of builds, plenty of help but there is no doubt who built it.

Pictures I have seen and stories I heard on the Mindbender from Tom and others at AEE lead me to believe it had been mildly warmed over by Roth before Tom got it. It was not stock. Pretty rough and in fact Tom's first shot or two at building it pretty much sucked too (ever see the spiderweb paint or the spotted paint which was on it when he got hit?). He hit it out of the park when he did the molded removable banana tank though. That bike was just so perfect. I about cried the day it left. That god damn bike hadn't run in a month or two and little ol' Tom came out and kicked that bitch to life with just a couple kicks. Ya should have heard that thing running inside our showroom/warehouse...fucking awesome.
My buddy Lenny ,our parts manager, got to ride it one night and he said it was one of the best moments of his life....cruising in SoCal on the Mindbender headed to the LA Rattlers clubhouse with Tom beside him on the red Supersport.
 

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Discussion Starter · #33 ·
Truly amazing thing is Tom knew everyone and not just in the chopper world but in the hot rod world too. One day we would have Jerry Magnuson visiting, then Jerry Branch, then Tex Smith, then Molly, then Sugar Bear, then I swear to god one day Dan Gurney! It was a never ending parade of stars in both the cycle and hot rod world around AEE.

We gave away the Corvair Trike in a contest. It disappeared and then showed up a few years back and went to someone in SoCal and I want to find it. Everyone ask around for us. We just want to locate it and keep track of it.

www.aeechoppers.com
http://aeechoppers.blogspot.com/
 

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Discussion Starter · #42 ·
thanks Danny, those pictures are from the build up featured in Cycle Guide unless my memory is creaky. I can say this, with the 6 giant pipes it had and the wheelie bars it was jsut the coolest looking thing from behind and the sound was sublime. Tom loved wheeling that thing. Day it left he fired it up, drove out of the warehouse and put it in the air one last time.
 
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