Classic Harley-Davidson | Of Heroes And Hoodlums

The Long Beach Cut Down

The end of 1945 was a huge change for America, with the use of the A-bomb we ended the last world war, and all our boys were being shipped back home to a nation under extreme change. These guys were exposed to a world of death and violence like most have never seen before. When our fathers and sons came back they were different in countless ways. Many went home like nothing had never happened, but this here story leads us in another direction. Some of the boys who arrived back from their campaigns as men by default came home with a not-giving-a-shit attitude chock full of disorderly conduct and we have one fine example of that. His nickname was Hungry. He arrived at that nickname from repeatedly going in the coat closet in grade school and eating all of his fellow classmates lunches.

After the shit hit the fan in the South Pacific and Europe Hungry was one of these fine men who came home from the war craving a little something different than a job building passenger planes and rearing 2.5 children. Following his service to our country he decided to live in the rough-and-tumble city of Long Beach, California, which was quite different than it is today. It wasn’t the gentrified sprawl it is currently. Tattoo shops brothels, and bars lined the dirty streets of this port town. It was a seedy place that had saw its fare share of late ’40s and ’50s blood and guts spilled on it’s city sidewalks.

At this time motorcycles were still an “every person” type of transportation, but was changing quickly with the likes of Hungry and his band of brothers. He was a part of one of the oldest clubs out there the Booze Fighters or the 13 Rebels m/c, we aren’t exactly sure. Back then there was no club rivalries and all of them hung out together with no beefs. It didn’t seem to be about guns, drugs, and shit. Its was all about drinking beer and hanging with friends as well as getting your kicks weather it was bar-hopping, taunting the Long Beach police or going up to Signal Hill for some impromptu midnight high-speed hill climbing. Hungry and the bike even went to all the Hollister bike events including the famed 1947 Hollister Motorcycle Riot, where the media deemed these “types of people” as dangerous and outlaws, which was hardly the real facts.

Hungry built this bike as a Crocker killer. In 1946 as a marketing ploy Crocker Motorcycle’s owner came out to say he had the fastest bikes ever and if you were to get beat by anything else out there he would refund your money and you get to keep the bike. It spawned this bike. Hungry would pick on these guys with their new Crockers antagonizing them racing them and beating them every time. No one knows If Albert Crocker ever paid back one dollar but it was a point old Hungry had to make.

Though not too much is known about the intricacies of this here bike. The facts are this; Long Beach Cut Down was a hopped-up version of a 1924-lowered Harley-Davidson JD chassis made especially for hill climb. The powerplant came from an 80ci H-D JDH motor and it received a ton of hot-rodded internals. And yes, it still hauls ass to this very day.

The current owner of this bike wishes to remain anonymous. Out of the kindness of his heart the mystery man bought the bike from Hungry’s widow to pay for his doctor bills after having Alzheimer’s and being in a rest home for years. As we all know Hungry would have personally taken this two-wheeled slice of history to his grave before selling it. Were glad it’s still above ground.