Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Tank Art

A few of you who have suffered through my droning on about my plan to repaint the gas tank on my bike may have wondered if it would ever happen. I too wonder the same thing but my family made this wish come true. My friend Scott suggested to them that this was gift they could give which was sure to both surprise and please. The design I had focused on was originally painted on the 1933 Harley-Davidsons. Harley-Davidson's sales had plummeted from 21,000 in 1929 to 3,703 in 1933 and the art-deco "eagle" design was painted on all gas tanks that year as part of the Motor Company’s attempt to revitalize sales. This marked the beginning of a long history of Motor Company graphic designs on Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The tank art on my tank is now complete and the process was as amazing as the result. A slightly damaged used tank was purchased from EBay and repaired and repainted by my friend Forrest. I adapted the original design to the modern tank shape and Forrest laid the design out and made the magic happen, then we handed the tank off to Doug (the Striper) who applied the gold-leaf, lettering and pin stripes. Back in Forrest’s hands the tank was painted again, this time with clear; once dry it was color sanded, buffed and polished. In every way the result exceeded my vision and expectations. Many thanks to everyone who played a part.
Ready for new paint.
Base black covered and base red applied.
Gold and stripes applied over base coats, awaiting clear coat.
Clear coat applied.
Color sanding the clear coat.
Finished buffing and polishing.

On the bike in the bright sunshine.


Dan said...

Awesome Dave! I was curious how this would turn out.

Scott said...

Sharp. Now maybe some gold plating of the chrome pieces to match....

Anonymous said...

Rob says, I agree with Scott. The tank now outshines the rest of the bike. You need to get the stripper guy working on the bags and fenders to match the awesome tank work. By the way, how old were you in 1933?

Anonymous said...

Steve Says- That looks fantastic Dave.