You can hang on to your color matched Aerospoke rims, grips and pedals. In the bicycle world, there are none more passionate about customization than the crew at Road Kandy Customs. When I saw the photos of Sangria Vida, a tribute to legendary auto spray painter Larry Watson and his Vino Pasiano Thunderbird, I finally decided that a Road Kandy Custom was definitely, truly, a bike that I must have in my own garage one day.
The Vino Pasiano Thunderbird was a stock Ford, to which Watson gave the ‘mild custom’ treatment. Lowered, shaved, re-chromed and repainted in candy purple, silver panels and white pinstripe accents. In honor of Watson’s contribution to custom auto work over the years, the Road Kandy applied the same styling to this JC Higgins single speed cruiser form the 1950s. Interestingly, all of the chrome work was completed by Vern’s Plating who did the original Vino Pasiano Thunderbird. Bill Wall Leather considerably upgraded the Troxel saddle with bespoke deer skin upholstery, which is also reminiscent of the T-bird’s interior. The grips are hand turned African and Brazilian Purpleheart hardwood. The real challenge must lie in reassembling a build like this. I’d imagine kid gloves would be essential wear: candy purple over silver metal flake, silver panels and white pinstripe accents with 10-plus coats of primer. Sheesh.
Granted, beach cruisers are basically only good for cruising to the beach and purple metal flake paint schemes aren’t for everyone. But when you consider the craftsmanship and heritage that is contained with each Road Kandy creation, well, it’s no wonder they have a cult following.