Saturday, February 20, 2010

'INSPIRATION L.A.' AND THE FUTURE OF THE VINTAGENT


Complicated tales take time to recount properly, and this one is no exception, with plenty of 'unfortunately/fortunately' personal tidbits thrown into the mix. I'll dwell on the fortunate, barring a note that my 6-year-old Mac PowerBook finally bit the dust... but Fortunately I had just purchased a fully supercharged MacBook Pro to replace my ageing but trusty silver Mac. Thanks are due to Mimi at Apple for the killer deal, and to a generous sponsor of The Vintagent for making it all possible. Now there's four on the floor, a blown hemi, and we're leaving long black streaks on the internet.






As scrutineers of my sidebar have noted, the massive pile of parts which supplemented my income for the past 25 years (used to refurbish hundreds of motorcycles) is rapidly shrinking, for I've steered my ship into the parlous waters of Motorcycle Writing. To answer a very common question about this website, I have always had a 'day job', and the answer to The Question is, 'no TV'. Yes, greatly ironic given my involvement with Classic Motorcycle Roadshow, but life would be dull without such paradoxes. I rely on friends to Tivo my appearances on the tube, however brief.

Last Friday witnessed the VintaSprinter fully loaded with 2400lbs of spares, bounding southwards for a powerhouse weekend of horsetrading, gladhanding, dealmaking, and visionary hard work.


First on the agenda was the 'Inspiration' event at Santa Monica airport, hosted by Rin Tanaka. I've long been a fan of fabulously obsessive books on motorcycle jackets, helmets, riding apparel, and obscure subjects like SoCal surf T-shirts from the late 1960s. His 'My FreeDamn' series has become the de facto handbook of the vintage collectible clothing movement, and a constellation of Japanese and American clothing makers hover around his star, making faithful reproductions or re-introductions of iconic shoe, motorcycle, or clothing designs. More on all this later, suffice to say there was plenty to marvel over at the event.
















My local representative of this Movement is Kiya Babzani (above), proprietor of Self Edge here in S.F., a shop stocked with limited-edition Japanese denim and other übercool stuff... including my '28 Sunbeam TT90, currently on display in the shop window!










Justin from Glory Sales & Service had a booth as well, with his Norton Atlas café racer standing guard over the period and modern gear on offer.




















My business wasn't with clothing per se, but with Ian and Amaryllis of Falcon Motorcycles.















Falcon and The Vintagent have teamed up to create new business, CafeRacers.com, which is already 'live', but will be filled with content in the next few weeks - again, stay tuned! We're very excited to offer a wholly new perspective on our favorite subject, combined with products we personally endorse as the very best available anywhere. We're roping the pinnacle of talent for the website, including Nick Clements (below), who among his other projects is a major contributor to Men's File magazine (they're doing it Right. Full review coming shortly). Nick's 'period' photographic setups are so good they boggle the mind. It's going to be very exciting to see what he comes up with for CaféRacers!












14 comments:

JohnQPublic said...

So the anticipation for the CafeRacers project launch is going just fine. When I saw it's announcement on the Falcon blog a couple of weeks ago I was curious. Now that I hear you are also involved I can't wait, and I don't even really care about new Triumphs.

gsglbc said...

Man, all that news sounds super-swell! Looking forward to it!

Grandpa Jimbo said...

Paul d'O: What ever you do, I support. I never knew anyone so passionate about such a narrow niche (things old, motorcycles) (except maybe Phil Hill and Packards). The closest I ever came to cafe racing was periodically riding my MSS twenty miles out of my way to race over Topanga Canyon on my way to school and at that I was alone. If in any small way I can contribute (including subscription if that's what you're planning) count me in.

thanks, i rmn & etc.. Jim A.

John E Adams said...

Congrats and all the best to you on your new venture -;0)

John

YJH said...

all my wishes and blessings for your new enterprise_let me be the first paying client_I was for Colette in Paris_see where there are now_this caferacers.com smells success_thank you all for bringing it to us

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

A great post on The Vintagent just now, and very interesting indeed regarding your future ventures. I hope it goes well.

Does this mean the end for The Vintagent, though?

Cheers,

Chris
BikeExif

Motorcycle Clothing said...

its really informative and very good post thanks for sharing us.

Lucky Monkey said...

: Congratulations and godspeed VIntagent!:)

Gordon McCall said...

Hey Paul,

Congrats on this great news...I concur with Grandpa Jimbo, your passion for bikes et al goes to the outer limits. I've tinkered with Phil on his Packard, and think the analogy is perfect!!

Wishing you all the best, you can count on my support,

Regards,

Gordon

David Himel said...

Crap...Paul,
I had a booth there and I didn't know you were there and never thought to introduce myself....perhaps next time

Himel

Occhio Lungo said...

Ahh Paul. You'll have to give us more info than that! Will you guys be building bikes, or making a magazine? TV show or T shirt sales? Hosting a rally/show/auction or writing books on cafe fashions?

Inquiring minds want to know. ;)

Ciao,
Pete Young
PS my new tag is occhiolungo, just to keep ya on your toes.

Anonymous said...

Hi Paul,

I'm a big fan of your blog, which I've been subscribed to for a few months. I just read your last post about you starting up a new site caferacers.com. Congrats, on the new endeavor. I'm a big fan of cafe bikes and Falcon Motorcycles, too. In the past, I've restored old triumphs and currently ride a '78 Moto Guzzi Police rat bike. I am a part of the cafe racer scene down here in LA. In fact, if you are still in town, there is a benefit movie screening tonight at the Cretins MC clubhouse to raise money for a member going to race at Daytona.

I just started a new company and I specialize in motorsports. Let me know Trackside can help you with anything and if not, keep in touch anyway.

http://www.tracksidenewmedia.com/

--
Thomas Kinzer
Trackside New Media
Client Services and Strategy

Anonymous said...

Re: Caferacers -

The collective talent of Ian, Amaryllis and you will result in nothing but quality. This should be a great collaboration and anticipation is building. Good luck and keep us posted!

-JZ

Railcar Fine Goods said...

man. looks like a pretty good event. too bad i missed it.