Von Dutch flamed and pinstriped gas tank
1966 Triumph Bonneville 650 Custom
Frame no. DU34919
Engine no. DU34919
In the 1950s and 1960s coolness on two wheels most often involved a Triumph motorcycle. Marlon Brando, James Dean and Steve McQueen all rode Triumphs. That led to many if not most Triumphs being customized by their owners. This 1966 Bonneville is a good example of a mild period custom, showing a chromed oil tank and footpeg mounts, shorty mufflers and a cut-down Bates-style seat.
It is topped by that final accoutrement of coolosity, a gas tank painted, flamed and pinstriped by the great Von Dutch. This is one of Dutch's most involved jobs with yellow and red flames that lick up from the bottom of the tank, a technique that he first employed to great effect on the outrageous paint he applied to a 1955 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing, of all things. This particular Triumph tank can seen featured prominently in a series of photographs taken of Von Dutch in 1966. A poster of one of the shots was used for the "Von Dutch: An American Original" exhibition, and is included in this sale.
The motor, transmission and primary drive in this Bonneville were treated to an extensive rebuild by a noted Triumph expert in 1990s and have seen no miles since then. Likewise the carbs, instruments, wiring loom, electrics, oil/fuel lines, fork seals and tubes/tires were renewed.
- Please note that the frame number and engine number for this motorcycle is T120R DU34919.