Hickory Flat Awesome Blue Custom Harley Shovelhead

arnold1arnold2arnold3Today, there are 2 schools of thoughts regarding custom building Harley vintage or classic looking motorcycles. Using a third-party engine manufacturer of Pan, Knucklehead or Shovelhead style engines, or using the original Harley powerplants. Builder Freddie Arnold from Hickory Flat Hot Rods only builds pre-85 customs using OEM engines and frames, although always at least mildly to radically modified. Advantage is of course for the owner the very precious VIN numbers and Harley titles preserved on this type of new old-school machines.

arnold4arnold5Among pre-Evo H-D motors, Freddie Arnold has a weakness for the Shovelhead. On this project he used a first-year of production 1966 Shovel with an engine displacement of 1,208 cc or 74 cubic inch whose design produced 10% more horsepower than the Panhead engine that it replaced. An early style of Shovelhead with the generator bottoms often referred to as “slabside” Shovel.

arnold6arnold7At the same time he was re-building the 66 Shovel to factory specs Arnold gave it the beauty treatment with an awesome ball milling job on the rocker boxes and a full engine detailed polishing. An S&S Carburetor covered with a classic coffin breather complete the engine makeover. Tranny is a 1966 ratchet top 4-speed with Tin style primary housing a BDL belt drive for reliability.

arnold8arnold9Then, Arnold decided to “hardtail” the OEM frame, hand forming the tubes and welding original Harley style cast axle plates. For front suspension, a classic a minus 2” Springer front end holding retro Z-Bars. A 1948 H-D front fender was modified to become the rear fender held in place by a manually bended mini sissy bar holding a Lucas taillight. Bodywork was completed using a narrowed Sportster style gas tank and a one-off oval oil tank with battery box.

arnold12Tarnold11he 66 Shovel rolls on a set of 80-spoke wheels dressed in Avon Classic tires and equipped front and rear with S/S rotors and 4-piston calipers. A spring-mounted solo seat from La Rosa and a set of Paughco upsweeps with “Cocktail shaker” mufflers bring a final nice retro signature to the project. Blue Moon Kustoms of Wisconsin did the paint work using House of Kolor Candy blue over Silver Flake, then applying Gold Leaf and free hand pinstriping. Hickory Flat Hot Rods. (photographyy @ Don Rogers Photography)


27 Responses to “Hickory Flat Awesome Blue Custom Harley Shovelhead”

  1. 1 Sharkey Jun 15th, 2015 at 8:58 am

    A proper frisco tank, cocktail shakers and a generator shovel…because it’s in a rigid; in the day it likely would have been a shovel top end on a pan lower…gorgeous slim rendition of a classic bike

  2. 2 richards Jun 15th, 2015 at 9:26 am

    NICE! I like the classic look…restored and chopped. (I won’t mention that the bars do not line up with the fork).

  3. 3 domino Jun 15th, 2015 at 9:29 am

    just right

  4. 4 Freddie Jun 15th, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Thanks Richards. Sometimes symmetry has to give way to function. Being 6′-5″, I need the extra reach.

  5. 5 Jack deagazio Jun 15th, 2015 at 9:40 am

    Freddie is a good friend and an a great builder. Every bike he builds is always a work of art. Keep up the good work my friend.

  6. 6 malibu motorcycle works Jun 15th, 2015 at 9:50 am

    what a clean , classy bike .Great job

  7. 7 Bob Mckay Jun 15th, 2015 at 9:57 am

    Another excellent build from my good buddy “Shovelhead Fred”. Freddie always puts together bikes that have a proper period correct theme to them. One of his other recent bikes, the “45 Magnum” is a perfect example of his building style. Good Job Freddie !!!

  8. 8 USAYGO Jun 15th, 2015 at 10:04 am

    Two thumbs up, I like it!!!

  9. 9 richards Jun 15th, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Freddie. As I said, I like the build a lot. I understand now why the bars are canted a bit forward. I don’t know why it bothers me, it just does…as I said in an earlier post,regarding the forward tilt on the bars….”I guess I’m a bit anal”. Nevertheless a really nice chop!

  10. 10 Rob Jun 15th, 2015 at 11:17 am


  11. 11 Dave Blevins Jun 15th, 2015 at 11:31 am

    Very good looking bike. Love the old slabs.

  12. 12 Zenaldo Jun 15th, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    a clean machine..

  13. 13 Fritz Jun 15th, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Man that is a beautiful build. Everything is right with it.

  14. 14 SIGFREED Jun 15th, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Blue bikes are particularly difficult to get right, but when you do, they almost always look special (in a way that tends to grow on you).

    A show piece with original VIN/titles have a specific value and will tend to hold that value far longer than something that lacks that lineage.

    This build is the mark of a pro, reserved, yet special, balanced, yet still able to say “FTW”…

  15. 15 Blackmax Jun 15th, 2015 at 5:56 pm

    “Those oldie,but goodies, remind me of ”
    Damn fine looking old style scoot
    & an outstanding paint job !!!!!

  16. 16 James just another Crazy Kiwi Jun 15th, 2015 at 7:42 pm

    Beaut bike, I like the bars leaning forward, I always thought that was the ”look”

  17. 17 Seymour Jun 15th, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    richards, you are incorrect about the bars being in line with the forks. trust me. and stop saying it for your own sake.

  18. 18 nicker Jun 15th, 2015 at 11:13 pm

    Tilting Ape-hangers slightly forward wasn’t an altogether unusual sight in the early 60’s.


  19. 19 zyon Jun 16th, 2015 at 12:42 am

    I retained the pullback risers on my Deluxe. With 18″ apes, if I kept them inline with the fork, I’d have to sit on the rear fender to ride the bike. I wanted the bars pushed forward. Always liked the look. As or this bike, blue being my favorite color and rigids being my favorite frame style, I love it! I leave for the Smokeout Weds morning…. this just got me all amped up and ready to go!

  20. 20 djones Jun 16th, 2015 at 5:49 am

    Wow, perfect all over.

  21. 21 SIGFREED Jun 16th, 2015 at 6:23 am

    I would otherwise have let this one go with brief sideways shake of the head.


    If you draw an imaginary line through the neck of the frame (viz the frame rake) it will intersect pretty much with the mid point of the grips (on the blue bike featured here). This makes for quicker steering and thus better control.

    If the rising stems of the bars were in line with the ‘forks’ then the grips would have had to follow a larger arc to get the angle change of the front wheel (due to the offset of the grips to the said center-line) – ie slower steering.

    If your arms are long enough (eg if you are a gorilla like me) then tilted forward (the correct amount – ie grips intersecting with the frame rake center-line) bars are all the better. Plus to me it looks a bit more aggressive…

  22. 22 Jay Horton's Private Shop Jun 16th, 2015 at 8:43 am

    You could put those freak’in bars upside down and that would still be a gorgeous bike! It’s a gorgeous bike. Nice job Fella!


    Later Jay

  23. 23 Bubba Jun 16th, 2015 at 8:59 am

    Bitchin’ bike. Clean & Done right. If it’s your bike, then you can put the bars where you damn well choose.

  24. 24 Woody's Jun 16th, 2015 at 1:39 pm

    What apes? I’m too busy admiring the rest of the bike to care. So nice to see a “proper” seat and fender. Nice build!

  25. 25 wayne burgess Jun 16th, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    sweet clean looking ride……

  26. 26 LenNY Sinnet Jun 16th, 2015 at 5:38 pm



  27. 27 Buck Jun 24th, 2015 at 8:53 am

    Thats a “True Blue” Chopper!

Comments are currently closed.
Harley Davidson Footwear
Affliction Holdings, LLC


Facebook Google+ Twitter