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I was in Vietnam with the 1st Marines when the Corvair trike was being built. I got a hold of several issues of Cycle Guide showing the construction. The articles kept referring to the guys at AEE did this or that or whatever. The photos clearly showed the inside of the old D&D Cycles on San Fernando Road. When I got home, I bought a 57 Pan, the very next day. I ended up at D&D for something and asked Boyd DeFrance Sr. about the trike. He said that he did the lions share of the build, but Tom McMullen wanted him to give him a, considerable, break on the labor in exchange for free advertising. Boyd refused, said he didn't need the publicity since his business was taking off with D&D Distributors and, later, Jammer. So all of the build credit was given to AEE instead.
 

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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.
All I know is what I saw and heard. I have no particular love or hate for Tom McMullen or Boyd DeFrance. The pics in the articles were absolutely taken at D&D. If you have copies of the mags, you will see an old, well worn, long established shop, not a brand new one. I spent a lot of time there and knew the inside of that shop like the back of my hand. The break on advertising was the mention of his shop in the write ups. Tom McMullen had a lot of friends in the magazine business and made sure that AEE was given credit in Cycle Guide. Boyd also mentioned to me that Tom was so cheap that when the engine was rebuilt, he bought a head set and cut out the rest of the gaskets by hand. He left out an oil passage hole and spun a bearing when the engine was fired the first time. I later saw the trike at a show in L.A. Tom was there and I asked him about Boyd's part in the build. He said, "Boyd helped" and turned and continued to talk to his buddies.

Had a C4 trans,,from what I hear,,with a flipped third member
No. Corvair, flipped diff and short chains to sub axles to give it some extra wheelbase. It would have looked stubby otherwise. Gary Littlejohn's Cinderella Cart used the stock final drive. It always looked oddly proportioned, to me
 

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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.
Heres' an old quote from 2006. Hank's wrong about the ownership deal. The Boyds owned D&D Cycle, Teresi and Blair owned D&D Distributors, later called Jammer.
Too bad Boyd Sr is gone now. I know that Jr. was president of the L.A. Roadsters way back when. He would probably be in his 70s now.
Time, death, failing memories and egos do have a way of revising history.

Apehanger Hank
03-07-2006, 04:13 PM

Boyd Defrance and his son Boyd Jr. Owned a D&D machine shop, they did fabrication work on several well known customs (bike and car), Norm's 6 pack with sidehack, the McMullen corvair powered trike and the twin Sportster powered trike. Their products including your springer were sold out of the old D&D Cycle (Jammer) owned by Mil Blair and Joe Teresi(sp?).
Hank
 

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I'm thinking that CarlLaFong's recognizing the inside of D&D's shop in Burbank in the Cycle Guide articles was probably right. It's been a long time since I read those Cycle guide articles, and I don't have those CG issues anymore to compare the shop's interior shots with the photos I have of the inside of the D&D Burbank shop. D&D moved into the Burbank shop in '65, from their previous shop way out in The San Fernando Valley.
I had the mags until 5 years ago when I sold my collection. Five 5 drawer file cabinets full. I wish now I'd saved a few. Someone has copies, somewhere. I'd sure like to see those pix once more. I don't want this to turn into a pissing match, but as I stated earlier, I know what I saw and I know what Tom and Boyd both told me.
My knees ache and I need to rest more often, but my mind is as sharp as it ever was. Of course, this was the 60s and 70s so there may be some chemically induced memories.
I do recall D&D, Moore's, who was across the tracks from Boyd, old Charlie Wilson in Burbank, who helped Dick Hirshberg with his shovel, Pelton's, a formed HD dealer, Casey's (still there), Jungle Jim's in Lynwood with the most amazing stash of bikes that I ever saw. We have lots of Cycle Boutiques now
Oh yeah, I'm sure a few people painted for AEE, but Molly was their go to guy
 
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