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.
*** 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.”