“Big Twin” Trike at SEMA 2016
The famous “Big Twin” Trike, on display in the Valspar automotive paints booth at the 2016 SEMA (Specialty Equipment Market Association) show to show off their "Matrix FX" series of paints, has a lengthy history which included being considered as lost for many years.
This wild custom was originally built during December 1969 from a design by Dave Brackett for Tom McMullen, the publisher of Street Chopper magazine and the owner of AEE (Automotive Electrical Engineering) Choppers.
The “Big Twin” trike with its signature side by side chromed Harley Davidson Sportster engines connected to a Ford automatic transmission which delivered the power to the four rear Goodyear racing tires debuted at the 1970 Grand National Roadster Show to much acclaim.
In 1971 McMullen sold the steel-bodied ‘Big Twin’ trike to Ray Fahrner a motorcycle and car show promoter who later sold it to fellow promoter Don Connelly. The “Big Twin” continued to appear in shows until it was dissembled sometime in early nineteen eighties for an update which was never completed.
The “Big Twin” was not seen by the public and considered lost until the remains reappeared on an internet auction in 2011. The new owner commissioned Paul Ponkow of Bones Legacy Motorcycle Shop to restore the trike and Ponkow in turn enlisted the help of the original designer and builder Dave Brackett.
The paintwork was completed using Valspar products in 2015 by Ryan Evans an employee of Count’s Kustoms, the shop featured on the History Channel reality show “Counting Cars.” The painting of the “Big Twin” trike was featured in one episode of the program before it made its triumphant public return at the 2015 Grand National Roadster Show.
Photos by the author