Tom Lovejoy's

1927 Henderson Deluxe Motorcycle

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06 June 2007

From Tom :

          I could not resist when I saw the Alternative Gallery. Here is my 1927 Henderson Deluxe. It's 80 cu inches of America's best from the good ol' days!!

          The machine was 90+ percent complete just completely disassembled. Some parts were not usable except as a pattern, but at least it had them.

          I got the bike in Costa Mesa from an old fellow who had a Henderson in high school before WWII. He had a worn out Henderson KJ, last of the line. But it made such an impression on him, that he has spent the rest of his life saving Henderson parts!!! He does not have a running machine and has not in 20 plus years - but he has a three car garage with Henderson parts all the way back to 1912!! All in neat order and placed by part number!!

          I went there to help another motorcycle friend in Europe trying to find parts for his 17 Henderson, when this guy from Denmark told me of a Henderson man in Southern California and he asked if I could go look for him. I figured I had to give it a try.

          The guy is very knowledgeable on them and quite a good fellow and a bit funny too. He does not advertise at all and he will usually only sell you stuff if he likes you, or you're recommended by someone - word of mouth, no advertising at all. He sells stuff at quite good prices, especially parts, again if you get his interest or he likes you. If he don't, it don't matter how much money you put in front of him.

          When he offered to sell me the machine, I laughed and thought to myself that guy's nuts!!!! That's a piece of junk But after reading a book about them and him telling me it would be 90+ % complete, I decided to go for it.

          It is the most expensive antique motorcycle I had ever bought and I was hard pressed to do it. But I am glad I did. I have fun riding it with my Dad or on club runs.

          The engine was a real problem but solved by one Andy Davies, a retired automotive machinist with 40 years experience. I would of been in trouble without him and he did a great job. Andy needed help with a machine he was working on. He was not pleased with his paint work. I told him I could paint his machine as partial payment for my engine rebuild. They are quite expensive, if you can find someone who can do it. He said he would give it a go.

          I painted his bike and at the first show he entered it in, he won Peoples' choice. He was so pleased, he gave me a big break on the cost of the rebuild. Needles to say we were both very happy. We shared some very fun times riding together. When he got to old to ride anymore, I use to call him up and tell him I just got off the Henderson and that it ran as new. It always made his day. I always think of him when I ride it still.

          This was a five year project. I have put 4,500 miles on it since done. It's a thrill to ride and watch peoples faces as you ride by. Most folks never heard of the bike. They have been out of business since 1931. But, OH what a machine they were and are!

          I appreciate what you folks are doing and I did get a kick out of it.

Take care,

Tom Lovejoy
Bolter # 13780
Gardena, Southern California

          Tom has a 1947 Chevy 2-Ton COE in our Gallery that he uses to haul his old bikes and Model T. Very cool ... all of it! ~~ Editor

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