Monday, January 31, 2011


This ad is from Hot Rod magazine late 69 early 70 or so. Tom was selling his world famous 32 Ford as he had lost interest when AEE took off. Later on he realized his mistake but was never able to repurchase it. It is arguably the most famous 32 there is. Cover of Hot Rod magazine, on album covers, in TV shows, won on the lakes and drag strip, the history is incredible. Luckily it was bought and restored at Brizio's a few years back and appears to be in goood hands. One day I was fortuante enough to sit with Tom for an hour while looking at the very issue of Hot Rod magazine that it was on the cover of. He talked non stop about the car as we sat on two AEE king and queen seats in the back of the warehouse.

Our AEE shop truck

At some point not too long after Tom started Street Rodder magazine he took what had been our Dodge D100 shop truck and made it in to a project vehicle. Chopped, tubbed, blown big block in the rear, wheelie bars and so on plus flames and a hideous 70's gold fur looking interior. Not long ago it was up for sale on Ebay and here is a picture of it.

Me and Arlen

This is from a couple years ago. I was down at Arlen's place in Dublin. We talked AEE and old times and I managed to get him to throw me a set of keys to a new Victory to go wring out.
Arlen is one of many that emulated the AEE formula for parts sales success. He used to buy some of our parts early on but he was always about designing and building his own stuff later. I was not a great fan of many of his bikes from the late 70"s on, just not my cup of tea. Early though he built a whole lot of nice bikes.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Amani 3

Dave Brackett our engineer and designer at AEE continues to build wonderful machines. This is Amani 3 a conitnuation of a project from the 70's. You will note there is no visible frame....the exhaust pipes are part of the frame! Look close, lots of very nice touches on the bike. Here are some pictures and  a link to a story about htis bike and Dave (don't miss Dave's long history of AEE at the beginning of this blog):

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

40th Anniversary bike

Me with "Ruby" the Street Chopper magazine 40th anniversary chopper. I worked for AEE choppers and Street Chopper was part of our business. I even was on a back cover of Street Chopper and in a few issues back in the day.

Blown Sportster and brown seats

This bike like all of them at AEE were rolling test bed's for our parts. If you follow the history of the bikes you will see them change subtley. Different front ends, lights, seats, exhaust etc. The blower on this was if not the first one of the very first Magnusson blowers that Jerry Magnusson put together. Damn wicked sounding with that blower whine.

AEE Corvair Trike back in the day

You gotta get down with the hairdo's eh? Trike was a beast, it would wheelie pretty much at will. Nice wheelie bars out back that never get shown, it looked bad ass from behind.


Here are some of our seats. I thought the brown one's just flat sucked. But what did I know, sold a lot of them. T he small rear seat/pad we sold a ton of along with the one that went in front of it.

A frame that never was.......but it's very interesting...AEE Softail!

Yup they had a Softail in 75. I spoke with Lenny about it as he was the parts manager to the very end and he doesn't remember ever selling one. I do know that one Sportster was built by AEE using this frame and it was featured in one of the nude catalogs. Beat Harley to the punch by nearly a decade.

Ad for the new nude catalog

Late in AEE's life they went to a "nude" (topless) catalog to try to drive sales. I had left by then and I have the catalogs and they really should not have done that. Pretty lame actually plus at least one of them as I remember it had like newspaper quality paper instead of the prior high quality stuff. I never saw these two bikes in person.


Not sure where the first picture was taken but I assume in Toms' office. Second one is in his office with Robert Smith. Nice sideburns guys. Gotta tell you that he went through a phase of wearing really strange "hip" clothes. I'll never forget him walking in to the shop in real short leather shorts and grecian sandals with laces going up his calves and that was all. I tried not to laugh but that didn't work out so well. I'd love to have a picture of it but seriously doubt even he would pose for that.

AEE kit bike Sportster

This is the kit bike prior to the blower being isntalled, running a Weber carb. By the way I used to have to rejet the Weber's that we sold so if you ever got one that wasn't quite right you can blame me! I had no clue what I was doing. LOL
The kit bike was all AEE parts though it was marketed as a CCI bike (CC Industries). CCI was a way for them to market the same parts at typically a lower price without anyone knowing. It also allowed the magazine (Street Chopper) to not just focus on AEE though in essence it was. CCI had a limited amount of parts offered and the kit bike was one of them. It was great fun pulling every single part for a chopper and shipping it to one guy!
We had 4 buildings and 2 faced one street and 2 faced the other so AEE's address was on one street and CCI and Street Chopper were on the other! Not much got by Tom when it came to ways to make money.

First issue of Street Chopper

The Mindbender and Corvair trike graced the first issue.....not many original issues left out there but there are some copies....Street Chopper published a reprint some time ago. The Mindbender once it shed the tall pipes was one of the baddest rides ever. Looked incredible with dumps on it and sounded sick as hell. Never forget watching Tom fire that Knuck up. Tom was a very small guy and he could flat whip that thing in to firing in just a kick or two. My friend Lenny (our front counter parts manager)  got to ride it once and I have envied him to this day.

A great cover for the catalog

This is one of my favorite catalog covers. Tom and Rose with their Lincoln.....left to right...the Shovelhead, blown Sportster kit bike, Honda 750-4, Supersport.....shot in the parking lot at the shop......same yellow/gold and black colors as the company logo.....