Talking Heads, Once in a Lifetime, 1980
And you may ask yourself,"Well, how did I get here?"
When I pull back the cover from the new ACE, I see what is undoubtedly the best work of my career. My teenage self (still in here!) would have understood and embraced this vehicle instantly. After all, he was the 17yr. old who dragged home his second beat-up MGA (a Twin Cam!), ripped off the rubbing front fenders, and went sliding around the neighborhood in the pouring rain: exhaust bellowing through a gaping hole in the muffler, twin rooster tails of water jetting from the front tires...yeah he would have dug the ACE for sure as he would soon draw up and construct a Formula-V roller the summer before entering the University. He would have understood its frame and underpinnings quite well as he’d been smuggling the seminal book: "Racing and Sports Car Chassis Design"* into study hall for in-depth research... the same kid who announced to a friend that he would build "the true American Sports Car" one day.
OK, I left the "True American Sports Car" to Chevrolet and went from Mechanical Engineering to wood sculpture then to a fabrication/machine shop and back to school in Landscape Architecture. I worked in a non-profit Design Center, planning and building play-scapes on Public School grounds. Then it was designing and fabricating a few public sculpture installations, exercise courses, gym machines, rowing shell trailers...when nothing provided a regular income, I capitulated and fell into another machine/fab shop job where the varied fare included pieces of the "Star Wars Laser" as well as weld repair of container cranes. The few years spent here proved as valuable, or more so, than my time in school and I filled in numerous gaps in my engineering "tool bag".
The above took me into my fortieth year. After the sequence of Brit sports cars,
( two MGs, two Minis, TR-3, Lotus Europa) I had discovered motorcycles, (Norton Atlas, Pan Head HD, BMW R/60...etc.,etc.) then sidecars, and had criss-crossed Europe several times riding a vintage BMW/Steib sidecar outfit and visiting a few boutique manufacturers such as BIMOTA motorcycles and EML Sidecars. I longed to do something along those lines. Time to get going...
My tolerant future wife Patty and I broke away, spending my severance pay on the tools and equipment I would need, and founded the metal fabrication business that would soon become Liberty Sidecars and eventually, Liberty Motors.