Nash Motorcycle Company’s Peterbilt Chopper

How trucks and tats lead to a sweet Ironhead custom

I have a lot of great memories as a young boy. At the top of my list is pipe fitting on a construction site with my old man in the summers. After a long day I would place my chin on the seal of my dad’s old Chevy truck door with the window down, wind brushing my face, and stare sleepily at the cars rolling by, Billy Joel playing in the background. One day I heard the sound of a mighty Peterbilt humming down the road, and as she passed I saw the grand paint job and all the chrome.

The man driving was old and worn. Probably fought the Germans or took out Japanese on some small island in World War II and hardly said a word about it. His window was rolled down, arm hanging out, and he had a look of peace and determination. Then my eyes focused on his farmer-tanned, tattooed arm: American flag, pinup girl, a heart, and a lot of other stuff that marked the man and his life.

That’s the inspiration for this build. I named her “Trucky” for the tattooed men who have pounded the roads of this great country over the years. The paint job was inspired by another old Peterbilt I saw years ago. I took parts from an old chiropractic/tattoo bench that I had kicking around the shop. It was from the early 1900s and had so much character that I couldn’t stand looking at it anymore, so I stripped it down and used some of the parts to build a bike.

1976 Harley-Davidson Sportster

Taber Nash turned a 1976 Harley-Davidson Sportster into this slice of heaven.

Michael Lichter Photography

One of the best parts of this bench was the foot release levers. I was able to use these cast parts for footpegs and a shifter, as well as the brake pedal. The road, whether it’s experienced in a truck or on a motorcycle, is one of the great gifts God has given us. I am grateful for this industry and the life it provides for my family and me. I hope you enjoy this motorcycle as much as I enjoyed building it.

Trucky harley-davidson sportster

“Trucky” is as cool as the Americana that inspired it.

Michael Lichter Photography

Harley-Davidson sportster open primary

With Sportsters having fully contained powerplants, you usually don’t see their primaries opened up like this on a custom.

Michael Lichter Photography

simple motorcycle seat

Nash kept the seat plain and simple.

Michael Lichter Photography

harley-davidson sportster brass details

Brass bits dot the landscape.

Michael Lichter Photography

Harley-davidson sportster rear fender

The rear fender is so short it gets lost when the bike is seen dead-on from the back.

Michael Lichter Photography

oil pressure gauge

This oil pressure gauge probably wasn’t ordered new out of a catalog…

Michael Lichter Photography

foot release levers

Those old foot-release levers make for pretty cool, industrial-looking foot controls and pegs.

Michael Lichter Photography

harley-davidson sportster headlight

Up close with the rough-and-tough headlight.

Michael Lichter Photography

harley-davidson sportster mill

The ’76 mill tying together all that brass.

Michael Lichter Photography