Hopefully you’re aware of the legend behind the Von Dutch brand sported by celebrities such as Paris, Britney and Justin. Kenny Howard was the pinstriper who helped define the American hot rod and bobber culture, spurning wealth and star symbol status and eventually succumbing to alcohol-related disease in 1992. This is photographer Gareth Buddo’s homage to Howard, a cool-cat rat-rod style bike that Von Dutch would definitely approve of.
Sure, it’s nothing to crow about, but real style doesn’t shout. It’s why a tool shed-built 67 Triumph bobber will always gain more respect than an American Chopper glam rocker. Gareth took the bones of a gas pipe frame and cobbled it together with found parts: Tektro carbon TT levers mounted to drilled and rubbed down Trek riser bars, eBay bargain Sturmey hubs laced to Mavic downhill rims and a well worn Brooks leather saddle. Gareth applied the lettering on the down tube by hand with model enamel, the act of which I’m sure the Flying Eyeball of Kenny ‘Von Dutch’ Howard presided over.
Interestingly, the Von Dutch clothing empire seems to be returning to a grassroots artisan alignment—hopefully out of respect for the man whose name they built their brand upon. All images by Gareth Buddo of Furmoto Photography.