Just An Old Panhead

Article and Photos By: Chris Callen

Originally Published In The March 2016 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

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This year marked the ten year anniversary of Steel City Harley-Davidson and along with a few of the hooligans we know in the industry they invited the staff of Cycle Source down to celebrate the occasion. We host their bike show and like most of the shows we hold in the area where we started the magazine, the bikes that came out were off the hook! One such motorcycle was the incredible ‘51 of Tom Hollowood. This Pan is what I like to call an original custom. Back from the time when I was old enough to lay my peepers on a copy of Easyriders, this was the type of custom bike you would see. It’s a working class special that probably would have started life as what we today know as a cut down. It turns out that Tom is one of those individuals we proudly do this magazine for, he’s in it for the long haul. A mechanical contractor by day Tom carries on the work of a four generation company that is nearly celebrating one hundred years in business. He fills his free time with everything motorcycle, be that riding, building or dreaming. In a little workshop located in the garage behind his house Tom goes about the craft of amassing an impressive collection, one bike at a time. Sitting right next to this ‘51 you can see a ‘59 Duo Glide, a ‘77 undressed Shovel and an ‘81 frame that he’s starting to piss around with after having it hard tailed by Jeff Cochran.

When it comes to the ‘51 the story is short and simple, over the course of a quick 18 years that is. He had been on the hunt for a Panhead for some time when he ran into this bikes original owner, Rooster. Rooster has a little shop in Virginia and was running a rebuild motor in the ‘51 for about a year when Tom made him a deal for it. He quickly swapped out the 21 inch front wheel, went back to floorboards, and modified the rear fender, a favorite part of mine. You see, this was a signature part for the kind of bikes I looked for as a younger man. The big empty fender with the tip kicked up high in the air. It was not a stock look that you could spot a mile away back then, not many people were doing it. One of the other key features is the CV carb, yeah that’s right… It’s a CV carb. Tom has a Linkert on his other Pan and has run just about every carb known to the Pan universe but when it comes to all-around performance, starting and strong pulling, the CV is the only choice for him. Of course there were the typical re-building demons along the way. When he first pulled the top end off the bike he quickly learned that the pistons were as far out as they could be. Luckily he had socked away a good set of jugs and pistons for just this occasion and with the help of his motor man Stroker, the mill was made new again.

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Tom likes old iron for the simple fact that they make you pay attention. When you have shitty brakes and a foot clutch, you don’t let too many things distract you from the operation of the motorcycle. This is a passion that goes all the way back to his first memories of bikes. Tom started riding on a Honda Super 90 before graduating up to a Hodaka that he raced. If you’re reading this and don’t recognize names like Hodaka, Montessa and Bultaco, go in the other room and ask the old man, he will explain about the time when only big husky sons a bitches who smoked cigars and ate steaks raced motorcycles. Once we got on the subject of old woods and motocross bikes we talked each other’s ears off, that’s what you do when you have a bunch the bike he quickly learned that the pistons were as far out as they could be. Luckily he had socked away a good set of jugs and pistons for just this occasion and with the help of his motor man Stroker, the mill was made new again. Tom likes old iron for the simple fact that they make you pay attention.

When you have shitty brakes and a foot clutch, you don’t let too many things distract you from the operation of the motorcycle. This is a passion that goes all the way back to his first memories of bikes. Tom started riding on a Honda Super 90 before graduating up to a Hodaka that he raced. If you’re reading this and don’t recognize names like Hodaka, Montessa and Bultaco, go in the other room and ask the old man, he will explain about the time when only big husky sons a bitches who smoked cigars and ate steaks raced motorcycles. Once we got on the subject of old woods and motocross bikes we talked each other’s ears off, that’s what you do when you have a bunch of memories from days gone by in motorcycling. Eventually we came back around to the ‘51 and Tom’s words summed it all up perfectly “It’s just the bike… just how a bike should look… It tickles my fancy and has been a hell of a machine.” And that’s what I meant in the beginning of this article when I said he was the type of man we do this magazine for. Yeah it’s a hell of a bike, yeah it’s damn impressive but the real value of the bike is that he enjoys it and probably always will… And that’s exactly how it should be!

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Just A Old Pan Tech Sheet

Owner: Tom Hollowood

Fabrication By: Rooster & Hollywood

City/state: Eighty Four, PA

Year: 1951

Model: EL

Value: ???

Time: Never Ending

ENGINE

Year: 1955

Model: FL

Builder: Stroker

Ignition: Harley Davidson

Displacement: 74”

Pistons: V-Twin

Heads: Harley Davidson

Carb: CV

Cam: Crane

Air Cleaner: Snoot/None

Exhaust: Paughco

Primary: Harley Davidson Tin Can

TRANSMISSION

Year: 1951

Make: Harley Davidson

Shifting: Jockey W/ Door Knob

Frame

Year: 1951

Make: Harley Davidson Wishbone

Rake: Stock

Stretch: Nope

Forks

Type: Repop Springer

Builder: V-Twin

Extension: None

Triple Trees: None

WHEELS

Front Wheel: HD Star Hub

Size: 16”

Front Tire: Shinko

Front brake: W&W Duplex

Rear Wheel: HD Star Hub

Size: 16”

Rear Tire: Shinko

Rear brake: Drum

PAINT

Painter: Rooster

Color: Red Metal Flake/Flat Black

ACCESSORIES

Bars: Owner

Risers: Flanders

Hand Controls: Almost None

Fuel tank: Harley Davidson

Front Fender: Nope

Rear Fender: Bob

Seat: Small

Foot Controls: Rocker

Oil Tank: Harley Davidson

Headlight: Small & Dim

Taillight: 2Maltese Cross

Speedo: V-Twin

Photographer: Chris Callen

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