When I started my business in 1992, Randy Simpson was one of the first major professional builders of the time that I met. It was during an Easyriders Bike Show in Charlotte, NC. I was displaying one of my bikes on a “James Dean” theme next to him exhibiting his vintage racing looking custom bikes (it was not yet the trend). Under the slogan “Steel Made America”, his company Milwaukee Iron in Lynchburg VA had already a very solid reputation not only for bikes but also for the quality of his steel fabrication.
Randy built a line of parts, high quality steel fenders becoming his forte to the point where the industry big catalog distributors became his main clients. Then, as you know, about 10 years ago foreign competition and cheap knock-off parts invaded the industry and Milwaukee Iron took a major financial hit when he lost his distributors looking for cheaper more profitable sources.
Milwaukkee Iron got renewed attention in 2004 and 2005 when the Discovery Channel aired a 13-episode series about Simpson and his crew called “Southern Chopper,” then renamed “Southern Steel”. Then the recession came and Randy says that it’s very hard for him to continue to keep up with taxes and other costs. Since he doesn’t foresee things improving anytime soon, and after 26 years in the business, Randy decided to close his shop at the end of the month. “I’m ready to step off and watch the merry-go-round, and ride my motorcycle while I still can”. Randy, please, never lose your trademarked. loud laugh. Best to you and your family. Cyril