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1346 Venice

Posted on June 27, 2013 by Scott in Classic, Video. 14 comments

It’s not every day that you find out the the largest private collection of original Crocker motorcycles – in the world – are being stored in a warehouse/cafe just down the road from where you live. These beautiful ‘Icons of 1930s Los Angeles’ have found a new home in a small Waterloo cul-de-sac nestled in one of Sydney’s latest gentrified areas. The owner of these exquisite motorcycles, Chilli (as he’s affectionately known), has set out to “preserve a rare piece of automotive history by offering the same bespoke experience as back in Crocker’s prime at 1346 Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles” – hence the name.

The guys at 1346Venice gave us a bit of a history lesson about these special bikes. ‘Known as the “Duesenberg of motorcycles”, the Crocker is the definitive American motorcycle – hand-built, powerful and fast. Very much a Hollywood “hot rod”, the Crocker was created in and shaped by the culture of pre-WWII California, by former Indian motorcycle engineers and designers, Al Crocker & Paul Bigsby.’

‘Before World War II forced the original firm’s closure, it’s rumoured that only 125 Crockers were ever built, including the early speedway bike. Today, approximately 66 V Twins are accounted for, making Crocker motorcycles extremely rare. After fading into relative obscurity for half a century, two major auction events transpired, vaulting Crocker into the sights of collectors worldwide. The attention provided by these two events – highlighting the marque’s unique history, success and rarity – suddenly made Crocker one of the most desirable and expensive motorcycles in the world.’

We look forward to seeing Chilli and Les continue rebuilding these rare machines. And after watching this video, something tells me they wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. As Les says “I get to work on my bucket list everyday” – unfortunately, not many people can say that.

  • martin

    oh my god – what cool an funny guys – realy amazing

  • revdub

    Wow. This is an awesome idea and even more great because they have the guts to actually give it a go. I wish them the best of luck.

  • gary

    Thank you for posting this. Inspirational!

  • Davidabl2

    Amazing..Now it seems that there’s not just one outfit in the process of building them but two..
    CrockerMotorcycles has been laboring in L.A. for some years now with a set of the original factory drawings, making Crocker parts for and with plans to recreate the complete motorcycle.

  • Andrew David Watson

    Maybe its the accents, but this is one of my favorite motorcycle vids I have seen lately.

    • Les says some of the funniest lines i have heard in a motorcycle vid – so Aussie.

  • Bradley Callan

    these guys are amazing, i have to say that the video posted is much more authentic and awesome compared to the “stories of bike’ that was posted a while back

    • Mark

      Yeah i agree, these blokes are the real deal!

  • Awesome vid. Shows how old, yet young Les is. We went to the moon with less than a Commodore 64 as it came 12 years after the last moon landing. This should be easy by comparison! That Crocker Chilli was riding sure looked great and started right up.

  • arnold

    Thank you, Les. “I get to work on my bucket list every day” . That line turned my snarky little frown upside down in more ways than you can imagine. Carry on fellas, it looks like a glorious way to pass the time.ald

    • Davidabl2

      I envy him.. Now IF I were to work on my bucket list every day I might wind up in jail..

  • Great video. Love seeing folks do what they love to do. BTW, many guitar players may not know that the same guy who designed the Bigsby vibrato tailpiece and built many custom guitars, Paul Bigsby, also designed and built Crockers.

  • redkiwi

    The link to their website is broken btw, it’s linking as rather than pointing to their website.