DON'S 50 YEARS
There is a saying, "Time flies when you're having fun!" Fifty years have gone by for me working with my hands and building neat stuff! I started at ten years old with model airplanes, coasters, etc. Then in high school I won the Rotary Club contest in electric shop with my electric motor. Winning that award was my first taste of the reward and satisfaction you receive by building nice stuff, whatever the item is.
After school I started to hang out at Bob's Big Boy in Van Nuys with cruise nights and a little street racing with my 57' Chevrolet Bel Air. After two years or so, I wanted to go a bit faster. So I started building a "B/Gas" '37 Chevrolet Coupe. In '64 I started to race the gasser. I won at the drags and at the car shows as well. In December '66 "Hot Rod" magazine did a feature on my car. I also set the record of 121.80 mph at Irwindale drag strip.
In '67 I started building engines at "Bartz Engines" for "Can-Am" cars, becoming shop foreman. I decided to start my own engine shop which opened in '69, building engines for stock cars and circle racing boats. In 1970 I received a U.S. Patent for a valve job tool called the "Quik-Seat!" In 1973 I built a frame for a Honda 4-stroke single that came out weighing 220 lbs. for the fire roads.
I took a little time away from racing to work for J.B. Nethercutt at San Sylmar, building cars or his classic car collection. I am proud of being able to say that the 1924 McFarlan I put together won its class at the Pebble Beach Concourse Show in 1975.
In '76 I went back to engines full-time, also working on motorcycles. I started to build disc brake rotors for flat track racing bikes. In 1980 I started to build prototype and production toy trucks for Smith-Miller. That link-up has lasted for twenty years, building twenty trucks. In 1985 I changed the shop to design work full time.
In 1987 I met the people at Proma Dental Co. and came up with a new look for their dental products, plus several vacuum formed plastic models and tooling for the Build-up Department. In that same period I did some fixture work for Via-Dent Dental Co. as well.
As I was doing design work full-time, I would see a story or photos of high end car models from around the world, and that planted the seed in me to do that same kind of work. With my passion for motorcycles that has lasted until this day, I decided to build 1/4-scale custom motorcycles instead of cars. That start-up was in '94. The prototype took 13 months and about two years to finalize all the castings, parts, etc. As of now I have six bike styles: Softails, Fatboys and Choppers plus a Springer front end and three-spoke Billet wheels. I can build custom bikes to match full-size or whatever a client would like to have made. I am available to answer any questions that you might have about motorcycles or a new product design.
For a personal talk with Don, call 818/363-8564, 10:00 a.m., - 6:00 p.m. West Coast Time.