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Tom wrote for cycle Guide and did the Corvair Trike for an article and put it in the Oakland Roadster show and won. He also had articles in Cycle Guide about his Mindbender knucklehead. These two bikes formed the genesis of AEE Choppers.
Takehikes, you mentioned the Mindbender, and I always wondered what happened to that bike as well. As far as I've been told, it's supposed to still be in the L.A. area somewhere, too.

Can you tell me for sure (because I've been told this, too), wasn't this Watson-painted bike actually the base that McMullen built the Mindbender from?

 

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The DeFrances' (Sr. and Jr. the "D&D's" in D&D) most definately did the machinework and set up McMullens' engine/trans/axle on the AEE trike.

That was kind of their "specialty" - putting Corvair engines into motorcycle applications. That's where everybody went when they had applications like this to do, nobody else was as sharp as the DeFrances' when it came to this stuff. They not only did McMullens trike, in that same time period they also did both of Norm Grabowski's Corvair-powered bikes 6 Pack and PP&Vinegar, Joe Alphabet's Boneshaker, and they also did the final drive and transfer on Joe Teresi and Mil Blair's transverse mounted, Buick-powered drag bike The Italiano. That's how Teresi and Blair hooked up with D&D, and decided to form D&D Dist, to sell the DeFrances' frames, springers, and other parts they made.

I put this all down in my article on the DeFrances' and D&D in my article for Greasy Kulture, and there's an article in I think the April '74 issue of Custom Chopper on D&D that also states that D&D did all the setup on the AEE trike's drivetrain. Larry Kumfermann and McMullen were friends, and Kumfermann did several articles about AEE in his magazine over the years, he was probably spot-on when he gave D&D credit for the drivetrain machining and setup on the AEE Trike.

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.

And, in addition, Takehikes, you said that McMullen got the bike for The Mindbender from Roth. When he got it from Roth, was it a stock bike, or was it already chopped? My understanding from asking around out there in L.A. about The Mindbender was that McMullen had purchased an already chopped bike, and reworked it into The Mindbender. I know that Watson painted most of Roth's cars, is it possible that Watson set up the deal (on that bike I posted) for Roth, and he in turn sold it to McMullen?
 
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