Plum Crazy Pan

Article By: Clinton Wallace

Photos By: Missi Shoemaker

Originally Published In The March 2019 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine

During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

I first met Eric Vaughan a few years back at the Southern Throwdown and at that time he was like many of us, where he just worked on bikes in a little spot in his garage for about 5 years with a dream of one day maybe to do it full time with his name on the front of the building. One of the first bikes that I saw of his was this sweet scoot. This project started one day when Eric saw a Craigslist ad for a Shovelhead for $1500.00 just a few miles from his house. He rushed over to check it out. The woman that was selling it said that it was her brother’s bike and that he had been locked up and that he just got out and was staying with her. She was making him sell it to pay rent and help pay off some debts. Eric forked over the cash and got it back to his place, and first order of business was to get it running.

During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker
During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker
During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

Once it was a runner, he knew where there was a 49EL basket case that a guy was wanting to sell, so he went over a suggested an even swap. The guy told him that he must be plum crazy, which led to the name, but they shook hands, and a swap was made. The frame was a stock 48 wishbone that was in good shape, and no mods were needed for his vision of a cool chop. The first item on Vaughan’s to-do list was to rebuild the motor and transmission, which he did himself. Once Eric started building the bike, he had a tank that he had planned on using but remembered a tank was given to him by a good friend, Paul Posso. As soon as he set that second tank on the backbone, he immediately knew that was the one that he had to run. Eric had already welded the bungs into the already painted the frame for the other tank.

During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker
During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker
During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

So, instead of undoing what was already done, he decided to make some nifty stainless-steel mounts to utilize the tank with the mounts that were already in the frame. That’s what’s so cool about building true choppers; there is no restriction on creativity. Once the tank was mounted, it was off to paint, where Rat Daddy Customs was to lay down the base coat, and Blue Rooster Customs took care of the graphics. When it came time to decide the color for the base coat, Eric went back to his childhood where he spent many days with his grandfather building model cars. He remembered his favorite car they built, a 1970 Challenger that was plum crazy purple, so the color was set. When it came to the back fender, he took a Lowbrow Customs Manta Ray 4 ¾” fender and widened it 1”. For the pipes, he started with some stainless-steel, and crab cut them to make rad set of pipes, though they fought him every step of the way. The final detail of the project was given to him by his wife Nicole Lipari; she gave him a War Bird pendant that he made into the gas cap. Now that’s a good ol’ lady.

During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker
During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker
During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

This bike wasn’t built for just show, no sir, Eric rides this sweet scoot everywhere. This past summer Eric and some friends took out to go to the Catalina Wine Mixer in Winfield, Alabama. Eric and his sweet chop made the 1400-mile trip with no problems. As of April 2018, Eric’s dream became a reality when he opened Destroyer Garage in Houston, Tx. At Destroyer Garage, Vaughan does a little bit of everything from full oneoff builds to changing tires. He’s a rad dude with a great family that’s living his dream running his own shop. So, if you’re in the Houston area and are looking to get some work done on your project or a complete build, or hey maybe you just need a tire mounted, make the trip to Destroyer Garage, Eric will fix you up.

During the Lonestar Rally, Galveston TX, November 1-4 2018, Copyright Melissa Shoemaker

Plum Crazy Tech Sheet

Owner: Eric Vaughan

City/State: Houston, Tx

Builder: Eric Vaughan

Year: 1949

Model: Panhead

Value: ???

Time: 9 Months

ENGINE

Year: 1949 EL

Model: Panhead

Builder: Eric Vaughan

Ignition: Timer

Displacement: 74 ci

Pistons: Stock

Heads: Stock

Carb: S&S Super E

Cam: J Grind

Air Cleaner: Speed Club

Exhaust: Stainless Steel by Eric Vaughan

Primary: 1.5” Open Belt

TRANSMISSION

Year: 1951

Make: Harley-Davidson

Shifting: Jockey

FRAME

Year: 1948

Model: Harley-Davidson Wishbone

Rake: Stock

Stretch: Stock

Forks:

Builder: Harley-Davidson

Type: Servi Car Springer

Triple Trees: 7/8”

Extension: None

WHEELS

Front Wheel: Star Hub

Size: 21”

Tire: Firestone

Front Brake: None

Rear Wheel: Star Hub

Size: 16”

Tire: Firestone 5.00 x 16

Rear Brake: Mechanical Drum

PAINT

Painter: Rat Daddy Customs

Color: Plum Crazy Purple

Type: PPG

Graphics: Blue Rooster Customs

Chroming: Atlas Plating

ACCESSORIES

Bars: Roland Sands

Risers: Visionary Cycle Products

Hand Controls: None

Foot Controls: Foot Clutch

Gas Tank(s): Lowbrow Customs Alien

Oil Tank: Re-pop Panhead

Front fender: None

Rear Fender: Modified Lowbrow Customs Manta Ray

Seat: CyFair Upholstery

Headlight: P.M.CO

Tail light: Prism Supply

Speedo: None

Photographer: Melissa Shoemaker

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