Lowbrow Spotlight - Sam Merrell's 1950 Harley-Davidson Panhead Chopper

Rooster's Panhead

Owner: Sam Merrell
Year/Make/Model: 1950 Harley Davidson EL
Fabrication: Sam Merrell

Year/Type/Size: 1950 Panhead
Carburetor: Linkert M74B
Exhaust: Upsweeps with slash cut mufflers
Air Cleaner: HD Bird Deflector

Year/Type: 1950 Stock Wishbone
Rake/Stretch: Stock

Front End
Type / Brand: Harley Davidson VL

Front Size: 19"
Rear Size: 16"

Paint by: Sam Merrell
Plating/Polishing: Sam Merrell

Front Fender: n/a
Rear Fender: Cut Down and re shaped FLH
Gas Tank: Wassell
Handlebars: Regatta Garage
Grips: Pre-Unit Style
Mirrors: n/a
Hand Controls: n/a
Foot Controls: Blackboard Al Lee Style
Headlight: Bates
Taillight: Old hot-rod
Turn Signals: n/a
License Mount: Sissy Bar
Seat: Bates Solo and Pad

Custom & Special Details or Accessories:
Stainless Mid peg mounts
Headlight Bracket
Tank Details
Cut down and machined risers to work in VL rear legs

Story Behind The Bike:

I started to become obsessed with 60s builds and how over 50 years ago guys were creating something that still inspires people today. I took a lot of inspiration from the likes of Droopy and Sonny on this bike, guys that started it all and we have to thank for choppers.

I wanted to create something smaller and tighter, something that sat low and had that “tough” look. 16/19 wheel set up was something that was done way back then and to me was key to getting that stance. Custom, high mid mounts, short wheel base and pre unit style bars gave me that stocky look I wanted.

A good friend who sadly passed away knew this motor from a long time back and who had owned it. We had a running joke about a rooster that he had, we didn’t see eye to eye and from that he named me 'Rooster', hence the roosters claw. I wanted this bike to show everything he taught me and how much he impacted on me. We all miss you Lloyd.

Photos by: Tim Caraco

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