Serving It Up

Article By: Roadside Marty

Photos By: Chris Callen

Originally Published In The July 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

Feature 5a

Some of you reading this may have seen a few Harley Davidson trikes at a few bike shows or maybe even in some of the many coffee table books out there but take a good look at this 1935 Servi-Car. It’s owned by Michael Barbato Jr. and his brother Anthony of Barbato Cycles. What you’re seeing here was one of the Factory’s strong sellers. Other than a sidecar rig I don’t think there’s another H-D factory motorcycle that garners more attention than a Servi-Car. Most of these Servi-Cars were sold to local police departments where they were used by the traffic patrol division to issue parking tickets. This was a good fit due to the low compression and the ability to carry whatever equipment the officer might need. Another use, although lesser known but just as important, were automobile dealerships and gas stations who used them to deliver parts or their mechanics rode them. In some cases, they towed the Servi-Car behind the customer’s car and after delivery rode it back to the dealership. As you can see this ‘35 has the original tow bar in place on the front as this bike was originally purchased by a Pontiac dealer. This one was listed in the local classified ads and that’s where Michael’s father and grandfather Aliando Barbato picked it up in 1971. They were looking for a father and son project and this fit the bill perfectly.

Feature 5b

Michael’s grandfather was a welder who often did side jobs for extra money for the family and one of those was doing repair work at a bowling alley. They put a deposit down on the bike and after the bowling alley closed for the night they worked all night and the next day picked it up and took it to his grandparent’s basement in Dunellen New Jersey. They worked on it in that spot for the next few years. About this time Michael was born so the trike had to be put on hold while his Dad moved out of his parent’s and got a job to provide for his new family. It didn’t take long to get the Servi- Car to his new place and he and his father finished it up while his uncle Frank Butrico dressed the sheet metal with the Orange and Black paint you see here. Now that it was up and running good they decided to take it to its first show at the AMCA meet in Hershey Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, something happened with the wiring that caused the bike not to start and they were disqualified from the competition. Not long after that (76-77) his brother Anthony was born and the family moved to Texas. Aliando held onto the bike until everyone got settled in the Lone Star State. When Michael’s dad drove back up to Jersey to pick the bike up Aliando had two conditions: 1. He had to promise to stay out of trouble so that he wouldn’t be forced to sell it and 2. He had to put the title in Michael and Anthony’s names with the never sell condition passed on to them as well! 40 years later this trike is still running and giving this family nothing but great times and memories.

In 2010 they decided to try their hand at another AMCA meet this time in Davenport, THE AMCA swap meet as far as most of their members are concerned, and once again they were disqualified. Not for the wiring this time since Anthony had done a great job rewiring the bike but for the paint because according to the AMCA judges Orange and Black were not factory option colors for that particular model. Michael’s grandfather said the bike was orange and black since day 1. The bike was originally purchased from Bound Brook Harley Davidson in Bound Brook New Jersey in 1935 and Otto, the owner’s son, actually pulled it from its shipping crate and assembled it for sale in ‘35. Michael’s dad talked with Otto in the 70’s while he was buying parts from him for the restoration and Otto told him that’s the color scheme that came from the factory. He also had the original tow bar which was a really nice touch as the bike is pretty much all original. This Servi-Car has been in the family for over forty years now, Michael’s father is the 3rd owner and since him and Aliando restored it in the 70’s Michael and his brother have long been fascinated with it. They each take turns riding it every chance they get whether it’s to work or just for fun. In November 2012 they showed it at the Autorama show in Houston over Thanksgiving weekend and that was the last time his grandfather got on it before he passed away on June 30, 2013. His memory lives on and so does the Servi-Car he loved so much that brought the family together way back then and the way it still does now!

Feature 5c

Barbato Servi-Car Tech Sheet

Owner: Barbato Cycles

Fabrication By: Barbato Cycles

City/State: Cypress, TX

Year: 1935

Model: Flathead

Value: Not Enough

Time: 4 Decades & Still Wrenching


Year: 1935

Model: 45” Side Valve Flathead

Builder: Barbato Cycles

Ignition: Points

Displacement: 750cc/45ci

Pistons: Harley-Davidson

Heads: Harley-Davidson Cast Iron

Carb: Linkert

Cam: Harley-Davidson

Air Cleaner: Harley-Davidson- Stock

Exhaust: Harley-Davidson – Stock

Primary: Harley-Davidson – Stock

Oil pump: H-D Total Loss Oil System


Year: 1935

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: Tank Shift

Clutch: H-D Stock Rocker Clutch


Year: 1935

Make: Harley-Davidson Servi-Car

Front End

Year: 1935

Make: Harley-Davidson

Type: I-Beam Springer W/ Tow Bar Option


Wheels: Harley-Davidson Spoke

Size: 18”

Brakes: Harley-Davidson Drum


Painter: Butrico’s Autobody

Color: Orange / Black

Type: Imron

Graphics: Butrico’s Autobody


Bars: Harley-Davidson – Stock

Hand Controls: H-D-Stock

Fuel tank: Harley-Davidson – Stock

Front Fender: H-D-Stock

Rear Fender: Harley-Davidson – Stock

Seat: Harley-Davidson – Recovered

Foot Controls: H-D-Stock

Headlight: Harley Davidson – Stock

Taillight: Harley Davidson – Stock

Speedo: LOL

Photographer: Chris Callen

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Want more information on advertising with Cycle Source in Print or On-line? Email us and we’ll send you info today!