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1979 Webco Replica. A love letter home.


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21 replies to this topic

#1
sodbuster

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I have always held deep in my soul that the geographical location of my birth, early life and formative years is some sort of point of convergence for the cosmos to come and play.  A point that is big enough to encompass a region of a major metropolis. It has always felt to me an honest to god perceptual point in the cosmic flux, where all manors of creative freedom are allowed to flourish and thrive. Where is this point I speak of?  It’s Venice California of course. Venice has always been known for its Artists and counterculture existence, its beach and Ocean Front Walk. It’s freewheeling atmosphere in general. Not to mention its heaping pile of social ills. Such as crime, homelessness and to a lesser degree these days, gangs.

 

 But some say things are looking up! Up like the cost of rent and property values but with it is another wave of “hipster” trendiness and an influx of gentrification that seems to continually have the community up in arms no matter what side of the issue they fall on. In short some things never change. My home town I still love it. Though the time came to pass when it could not support me in my ambitions, I hold no animosity or regret. When I moved away it was simply the ending of one chapter and the beginning of another. So many people I knew growing up did exactly the same.

 

But there was another side to this creative force that seemed to be all around on the Westside of Los Angels in my youth.  It was the same artistic creative drive, but applied to the black arts of steel and aluminum, oil, chrome and fuel.  While many toiled in obscurity others made their mark. Guy like Crag Breedlove and Mike Sorokin. Both were Venice high school students well back about the time I was born. Breedlove set land speed records and Sorokin drove for the famed “Surfers” drag racing team. It’s amazing in retrospect, just recalling some of the vehicles I’d seen as a kid while I was simply walking down the street. Companies like Shelby American and Vector motors found early homes in Venice. But whatever it was cosmic convergence or the cheap rents in those days, from the late 1950’s until 1981 Webco Inc. called Venice California its home too.

   

Growing up in that place in those days if you had any kind of fun on two wheels you knew Webco.  It was a major powerhouse in the motorcycle performance aftermarket before BMX was even on its radar. One of the first things I went in search of when I was bitten again by the BMX bug was a Webco. The one I found was nice survivor example of a 1979 Replica model. I had also found another Webco complete a little later but for reasons unknown I sold it. This happened 10 years ago. Since then I’ve always had the itch to find another one but circumstances never worked out for me.

 

Never that is until a couple of months ago. Website member, A-Falcs27 put up a post about a Webco he had picked up. When I found out it was available I jumped at the chance to get it. Most of what it took to build up this bike how I wanted it was already in my parts stash. I just needed to run down a seat a chain and a frame sticker set.

 

The bike you see is a love letter. A love letter as intimate and passionate as anyone could write to their first love, without falling over the edge of obscene.  I went so far as to take all accompanying pics for this thread in front of 218 Main street in Venice, Webco’s former street address. The location is currently occupied by a gallery selling vintage modern furniture and re purposed furniture as art.

 

So enjoy this love letter I wrote, a love letter to convergence of the cosmic flux. A love letter To Venice California. And love letter to Webco BMX. 

 

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*** All parts in used condition with the original finish unless otherwise specified. ***    

                       ** All parts original to the frame itself are listed accordingly. **            

 

 

Frame:  1979 Webco Replica mild steel frame in chrome #W55410                                       

Fork:  Tange TX500.

 

Bars: early Webco.

 

Stem: Ashtabula BMX non-stamped. Date code ‘79

 

Head set: Tange (unmarked and original to bike.)

 

Grips: Hunt Wilde BMX. NOS.

 

Seat: Troxel BMX plastic.  (Same style and type as on Replica completes.)

 

Seat post: Tange fluted Cro-Mo. NOS.

 

Seat post clamp: Generic steel chrome plated. (Same style and type as on Replica completes.)

 

Cranks: Ashtabula BMX 6.5 inch non-stamped. Date code ‘79 (Original to bike.)

 

Sprocket: Unknown brand. (Original to bike, same style and type as on Replica completes.)

 

Chain: KMC BMX. New.

 

Bottom bracket set: Tange (unmarked and original to bike.)

 

Pedals:  MKS rat traps black ½ inch.

 

Rims: Femco steel, chrome plated. 20x2.125. NOS.

 

Hubs: Front, ACS high flange Black. NOS. Rear, Bendix 70, black high flange coaster. NOS.

 

Spokes/nipples: .105 gauge stainless steel with chrome plated brass nipples. New.

 

Tires: Ching Shin 20x2.125 front  20x1.75 rear NOS

 

Extras and incidentals:  Reproduction frame sticker set. Aluminum axle end caps. Dirt cover boot for crank bearing, original to bike. “Preston Petty” number plate. Vinyl bar pads, “snap type.” 

 

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#2
reilley1

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Soul...



#3
S.Brothers

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Holy shit...   I feel really grateful to be a part of a forum where a thread like this appears.

 

:bowdownAll:

 

Sodbuster for G'uvnah!



#4
Jarvi

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Perfection!

 

Venice these days seems to be full of people wanting/pretending to be part of the early scene you talk about and it comes across as fake.



#5
sodbuster

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Perfection!

 

Venice these days seems to be full of people wanting/pretending to be part of the early scene you talk about and it comes across as fake.

 

Thank you for the good words gents. And yes Jarvi I agree. I moved away 25 years ago but still have many old friends there and visit often. The day I shot these pics was on a weekend and I couldn't take it for very long. For some reason that day the self absorbed were sticking out like sore thumbs after awhile it almost felt like I was tripping over them. I know I was tripping on them!  :lol:

 

Truthfully though the time actually spent shooting my pics was pretty low key compared to buggin' through the weekend traffic. I also called on an old friend nearby as well. So the goods always out weigh the bad for me where Venice is concerned. 


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#6
uncleg084

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It's beautiful. Such a great thread.

#7
G-flash

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Yup! They RULE! :rockout:



#8
Joe Buffardi

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Great bike!  great story!

 

I would like to add to your love letter if you don't mind.

 

Here is some Venice, Santa Monica for ya Sod. These are pics of old Santa Monica in the 20's 30's 40's 50's. These are pics of a really good friend of mine, Harlan. He was a hotrodder from Venice/Santa Monica. The pics of the tiny kid on a make shift hotrod is Harlan. He is already ready for hotrods in that pic. I have had these pics for a long time and I would like to share them with you, Sod. After reading your story about Venice It took me back to when I was interviewing Harlan for a magazine article and he talked about Venice. And how great it was in the 40's and 50's.

 

The houses in the the background are still there. They are right across the street from his house. The neighborhood is timeless. It looks exactly the same.

 

The other pics are his friends and brother. They all had hotrods. Harlan still lives in Santa Monica.

 

I'll see if I can dig up some more for ya, some Venice beach scenery in the 40's.

 

 

 

 

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#9
rappensuncle

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This is so great I had to come back for a second read. Thanks again for sharing this letter and the pics Brian.



#10
blikum

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Beautiful Brian, just beautiful.



#11
reservoir.grizzly

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Sick Webco! and a great read too!

#12
nycet3

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Son of a bitch, that is cool!

#13
markinnaples

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Beautifully written. 



#14
phillyc71

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Bitchin' Webco, Brian!  :rockout:


Edited by phillyc71, 12 May 2014 - 04:24 PM.


#15
Spur

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#16
Larock

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Great stuff Brian!


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#17
se666

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Wow fantastic!!!



#18
koho jones

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killer thread brian im moved that's so cool.

#19
bmx2112

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Great work Sodfather, beautiful bike!



#20
sodbuster

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Gonna bump this up after reading it again. I was in such a chill state of mind when I wrote this. I kind of feel "chill" is what is needed here for a breather. Plus lets put our best foot forward for all the new folks lookin' in on us right now. Right? This is what we are really all about around here. If you know of another post on this site that says it for you bump it up! 


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