Thursday, May 31, 2012

some AEE parts laying around my house.....

Here are some AEE parts I have. I was rearranging the AEE archive and thought I'd share a shot or two.......I also am not going to be able to post for about 10 days or so...hang in there back with more soon!

Last page 1975 dealer catalog

A page full of mostly handlebars. Some of them we always produced a couple of these were purchased. What is interesting is the "direct" mount bars, common now but not back then, a new thing. The folding pegs were a good idea but came far too late to help AEE survive. Basically the moment had passed, growth was waning in the chopper world by 75. The loss of Street chopper to help promote the AEE products was huge loss too. The combination of the splitting of the businesses between Tom and Rose, the interest waning and the loss of a promotional mouthpiece all helped signal the end for AEE. I'd also suggest that the loss of Dave Brackett designing and building parts and prototypes (bikes and parts) had a long term effect.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Page 7 1975 dealer catalog

This page has a a few odd items much like the others. The tach and speedos were purchased items. The Traveler seat was for the AEE softail that we can find no record of sales so doubtful any of the seats got sold. Only pictures are of the prototype seat on the softail bike. The swing arm K and Q seat and the solo pad set for swing arm were produced in small quantities. I don't think anyone has ever seen one of the t-shirts, looks like a Dave Bell (he recently passed) picture. When I was at AEE we sold t-shirts and sweatshirts but not many and a different design. Remember 40 plus years ago t-shirts weren't that big of deal compared to now.

Page 6 1975 dealer catalog

This page has a few interesting things. First up is a Hayden oil cooler, a straight off the shelf item you could buy anywhere. The Streamliner gas tank and wedge oil tank never made it past prototype and in to production near as anyone can tell. The AEE Sportster oil tank we sold some of but not many, great fit on our frame though. One of the genius things AEE did (Dave Brackett thought it up) was using a square center post. WAY easy to mount to square tube instead of round.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

45 pipes

These pipes for an HD 45 recently sold on Ebay, thought everyone would like to see how good AEE chrome was....40 years later!

Page 5 1975 dealer catalog

A very odd page, literally everything on this page was purchased from vendors. Nothing was made by AEE. so yes, AEE may have sold some pike nuts right at the end but we didn't make them.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Page 4 1975 dealer catalog

We start off with the sissy bars. This selection is fairly boring. If you look most of them are variations of the same bar. Early on we only had the fork bar and a few others. It and the rams bar were the biggest sellers as I remember it. During the middle years of AEE we had a decent selection of models. Eventually though due to the amount of different models and types the inventory got pretty crazy and I presume that is one reason why the selection got cut. Remember we made and stocked all of this so it was a lot of inventory. Nearly no such thing as a back order from us.
Tthe fenders listed is interesting as it shows chromed fenders something we did not do previously except for cheap front fenders we purchased from a vendor. We had a wonderful reverse rib fender that went on all our bikes that no one makes these days, it was a sweet piece and different in a subtle way. Somehow though it isn't listed here. The swing arm sissy bar mounts was a nice addition. Mounting a sissy bar to a swing arm was always a problem. I know I had a one-off AEE bar mounted to a Honda 350 I owned at the time with hose clamps! Oh, how I wish I had that bar back. It was made for me by Bill Brundage our head of the welding department and there was no other like it. It was payment for letting AEE using my 350 as a prototype mule for our pipes, sissy bar and a few other 350 only parts. Enjoy another piece of AEE history.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Big Twin barrels

Check it out, Big Twins barrels have been chromed to within an inch of their life! I only have spotty info on the rebuild of this AEE classic built by Dave Brackett. More coming though.

Page 3 1975 dealer catalog

Another page of mystery! First the spool and brake wheel assemblies we always sold. At times in the catalog they were offered as an assembly and other times as component pieces with the option of us lacing it up for you. The "Tracker Wheel" shown appears to have been prototype only along with the softail frame its on. Virtually the last bike built at AEE was this yellow Sportster softail. AEE also at one time had 50 of the first cast wheels made up for motorcycles. It predated even the motorcycle manufacturers. It shows up  only briefly in a catalog or two and was put on the rear of the Supersport (red Sportster) for a while. the pipe shown here were built and sold but in limited quantities. Of all of them I think the Side by Side are pretty nice. None of the pipes were ever marked as AEE so it's hard to identify any as being ours other than by a unique design such as this.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Page 2 1975 dealer catalog

This page is very interesting from my standpoint. It has three front ends on it that are quite unique and only one ever got in to production. In the middle is the very cool AEE girder that Dave Brackett designed. Slim, sleek and very trick. Never was near as popular as out springers but a very fine piece and well engineered. On the left is something the would not normally catch your eye unless you read the description. It looks like its just an ad for extended tubes or shaved legs. In reality it's a complete glide front end from AEE BUT with no oil in it. Taking a cue from the AEE square glide front end it uses springs and teflon buttons. No history on these at all and believe it was zero production. Last on the right is something else that never went any further. Basically a square tube springer with the tube turned 45 degrees to make it diamond shape. Interesting idea and tough to build but again none around. Enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Odd parts, 1975 dealer catalog

This catalog I am going to be posting the next few days is a dealer only issue during the very last gasps of AEE. You note there are part numbers but no pricing (I have the price sheet too). Many of the items are literally "one off" as none ever were sold and the only one produced were the prototype piece. Here is page one and it has a number of interesting items. first up while AEE sold some of the trike kits along the way the trike frame was something no one knows much about, same with the swing arm sections, the KZ900 frames and suspension frames. Even more odd is the fiberglass trike body (the tank did not come with it, it's on another page of the catalog). Other than the 45 rigid frame and the trike kit a lot of this is a mystery.
Probably the biggest thing shown here is a Softail frame 9 years before Harley "invented" theirs!!!
AEE was faltering badly and grasping at straws by this point. Without new bikes and Street Chopper magazine to publicize new parts they didn't stand a chance. Enjoy a blast from the past.....more to follow.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Carroll Shelby races in to the skies....

Carroll passed on a couple days ago at 89. I was fortuante enough to meet him a couple times. He kindly signed a shirt to me once. As he signed I leaned down and whispered in to his ear "thanks for the cars"....he lit up, turned to me and smiled, invited me to shake his hand and have my picture taken with him...golden moment for this Shelby fan. He brought us not only the Cobra but the GT 350 and 500, whipped Ferrari's ass, won Le Mans as a driver and owner.....he did it all.

I was lucky enough in the 60's to go up to Shelby's plant in LA and his tire distributorship many times and just hang out...sometimes outside the fence! I got to see new cars and even better I got to see the GT's on the transporter a couple times. Cheap thrills for a kid. He will be missed by those of us that mailed in a buck for his first catalog...if I only still had it......

Monday, May 7, 2012

Nice round springer...who owns it, I want it!

Got these pictures from Dave Brackett but we lost the guys email who owns it. He needs to contact us again about it. Very nice original round AEE springer. You will note in the pictures the etched logo under the tree, this started in 1971 but was later changed to stamping of the logo. On the bottom of the leg is stamped the length, also something that started later on. Also the AE number on the lower tree is not a serial number but rather an assembly number and it too began after 71/72. You will also see the bolt that holds in the stem. the tang washer is supposed to key in to a hole in the lower tree to help hold it in. Early AEE springers all had welded in stems. They were changed to bolt in for sake of assembly, inventory etc. Other than some dust on this it's amazing the shape the chrome is in 40 years later. More proof of AEE quality.