1. Tim Rutherford and his Vincent Black Lightning


I know almost naught when it comes to classic bikes, but a quick glance through the interwebs says Phil Irving (legendary Vincent designer) said there were only 16 Black Lightnings produced, between 1948 and ’52. Tim’s mother acquired this one for his granddad.

Tim in the service department and his brother, at the parts counter, were practically raised in this place. The brother moved on. Tim stayed. “It’s an honor to be third-generation here,” he says, “a privilege to carry on what my grandfather started, and to carry on the values, the way he and my mother treated everybody who’s walked into this place since 1953.”

Including me. Thanks for the tour and a great day at the office, TR.

Having Tim wear Von Dutch’s hat isn’t really working for him, though. Oh well.

Having Tim wear Von Dutch’s hat isn’t really working for him, though. Oh well.


  • Starmag

    Nice color piece about a shop loaded with character and characters, I’m sure. The 11th great thing about this place is the sign on top of the building at night.

  • Kenneth

    Suddenly, I’m reminded of the long-gone KPFK radio program, Center Stand, on Saturday mornings, often talking to Cindy Rutherford on the phone. ‘Used to love tuning in to that motorcycle-talk program when I lived in SoCal.

  • That was so cool! I want that Von Dutch pocket knife so bad, I’d stab JB for it.

  • I’d like to make a plug for a motorcycle shop that’s been owned and operated by the same family (though they’ve moved many times) for 103 years. Dudley Perkins is now in South San Francisco but was in San Francisco for 90 years. the new showroom is set up as a history museum and is less than a mile from SFO–worth a visit if you’re in town, even if it’s just a stop-over! dpchd.com

  • JMDonald

    I lived in SoCal for twenty eight years and never knew about this place. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about it.

  • ADB

    John Burns, you just made my day. Excellent.