Thor’s Pan – A 1958 Rigid Pan

From The Pages of The September 2014 Issue of Cycle Source Magazine

Article & Photos By: Chris Condon

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Thor Tamberg has been around motorcycles his whole life. When Thor was a child his father rode a Norton and a KZ650. His father taught him to ride a Honda 50 at the age of 10. When he got a little older he would steal the KZ 650 out of the garage and tear up the streets. His father used to get mad because Thor was burning through his tires very quickly doing burnouts. When Thor turned 19 he bought his first Harley, a stock 1984 sportster. He rode it around stock for a long time, then he started hanging around a local shop here in NY that would forever change his motorcycle ideals. Dudleys Basement was the place for all hardcore motorcyclists on Long Island. Many 1%er’s and independents brought their Knuckles, Pans and Shovels there for everything from oil changes to a complete rebuild. Dudleys was a crazy place back then and not for the weak or timid. Thor befriended Eric Best (R.I.P.), one of Dudley’s sons. In 1997 Thor, Eric and Dudley’s other son, James Best, who still owns and operates the shop, started hitting the swapmeets for parts. Thor scored a nice set of 58 cases and that was the start of this classy pan. He hit every swap meet he could. He bought the tranny from a local guy. He bought a Paughco frame and oil tank. He threw a 6 over wideglide with a drum brake and a superglide tank on it. He painted it rattle can black like any good chopper jockey would. He learned how to lace and true wheels and built the front and rear wheels including a Sun aluminum 18 inch rear.

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By 1999 Thor had the bike up and running. He had made the jump that many of us did from stock HD to hand built custom. The old sporty would take a back seat for a while. Thor rode that pan around in that configuration for many years. I had heard about a nice local pan while I was working for another magazine back in 2001. I met Thor at a local bike Bar and we tried to meet up for a photo shoot, but we could never manage to get it together. 14 years have gone by and he and I now live in the same town and ride together frequently. I figured it’s about time we shoot the pan that has eluded me for the last 14 years. Thor has rebuilt the 58 a few times since its first inception back in 1999. Back in 2005 he decided to give it another overhaul. He dropped the motor off to Bob McQueen to rebuild. He took the frame and tin to local painter Mike Calderone and Mike added a nice Candy Brandywine finish to the old girl. The Pan now sports a V-Twin replica wishbone frame, a Paughco springer frontend and 5 gallon fatbobs. Thor decided to add a set of PM front brakes and late model, since traffic here on Long Island has tripled since he first started riding, and that old drum brake just wasn’t cutting it. This is its classiest existence yet. Thor is done with this pan for the time being. He still has his Honda 50, his 84 sporty, a Dyna that he logs lots of miles on and of course this sweet Pan. He is going to put together a 57 Pan/Shovel and throw it in the old Paughco frame that this pan started out in. Hopefully I won’t have to wait another 14 years to shoot that one! Thor would like to dedicate this shoot to the memory of James Floyd Best and Eric Best of Dudleys Basement. Thor says he learned a lot about motorcycles and even a little about life hanging out at the shop with The Old man Dudley.

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Thor’s Pan Tech Sheet
Owner: Thor Tamberg
City: Long Island, NY
Fabrication By: Thor Tamberg
Year: 1958
Model: Rigid
Value: The price of a .45 caliber in your dome piece
Time: Various Years
ENGINE
Year: 1958
Model: FLH
Builder: Bob Mcqueen
Ignition: Stock Distributor
Displacement: 74 C.L.
Pistons: Wiseco 8.5-1
Heads: Harley
Cam(s): Andrews A
Carb: S.U.
Air Cleaner: S.U.
Exhaust: Straight Pipe
Primary: Belt
TRANSMISSION
Year: Early
Make: HD
Shifting: Foot
FRAME
Year: Early 2000 V-Twin Replica Wishbone
Make: Paughco
Rake: Stock
FRONT END
Type: Springer
Builder: Paughco
WHEELS
Front Wheel: Late Model Dual Disk
Size: 21”
Tire: Bridgestone Battleaxe
Front Brake: Performance Machine
Rear Wheel: Star Hub laced to Sun Aluminum Rim
Size: 18”
Tire: Bridgestone Spitfire
Brakes: Stock Mechanical Drum
PAINT
Painter: Mike Calderone
Color: Candy Brandywine
ACCESSORIES
Bars: 12” Baby Apes
Risers: 4”
Hand controls: Arleen Ness
Fuel Ttanks: 5 gallon Fatbobs
Rear Fender: Stock FHL
Seat: Le Pera
Oil Ttank: Paughco
Headlight: Bates
Taillight: Beehive
Speedo: Aftermarket
Photographer: Chris Condon

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