Sometimes a bike doesn’t need to be all bling to be something to be appreciated and whilst it might not have a custom spray job it doesn’t mean it doesn’t have that ‘it’ factor, quite the contrary, a bike like the Walla has a soul and a good Walla is as much a showpiece as many of its modern day cousins.
The Bombshell’s owner is a bloke named Stewart ‘’Dougy’’ Douglass.
Dougy a full time soldier has built several cars and hot-rods in the past and wanted to try something different, something a little more fiddly and intricate. He got his inspiration for the Bombshell from the WWII diggers and wanted to build the bike much like they would back in their day. He wanted to resist the temptation of the modern machinist just punching the settings into a computer, he wanted do all the work on the bike, much as they would back then and only use hand tools such as files, hammers and machine by hand.
Whilst scouring the classified ads in a bike magazine Dougy stumbled on the ideal project a 1942 WLA (Walla) Harley Davidson and immediately was taken by the old girl and could visualise what he could do to the bike and the potential it had for an ideal project. He purchased it on the spot off the owner in Queensland without even seeing it (the bike). The purchase was a bit of a gamble and a lot of money to spend on something he hadn’t even seen but he would go about reassuring himself on the punt with the new bike by thinking how much fun it would be and what he could do to it.
Money being tight, the similarity with the old diggers was not only what the similarity in the look of the bike but in the manor the build would be conducted. Dougy found himself improvising where necessary but there was one thing he wasn’t going to cut corners on and that was the Pan Head motor. Dougy made the pilgrimage to Gosford on the NSW Central Coast to Pacific H.D. and had the boys rebuild the motor and carburettor. Once the bike was mechanically sound he had only to tidy the bike up.
In true hot-rod fashion Dougy resisted the temptation of changing much of the bike’s original makeup and kept its original appeal by choosing not to respray the original tank if only to rub it back in places to give it a more distressed look.
The frame that came with the bike had been extended by at least a half a foot in length, pointing out the cut and shut marks and not letting the truth get in the way of a good story Dougy says (tongue in cheek gesture) the alterations were done by a Hippie on acid back in the 1970’s or when they used to run a pump with it in the bike’s former life back in the Philippians.
Most everything in the fabrication of the bike has been handmade and had a former life. For instance the primary chain cover was made from a piece of aluminium salvaged from his home shower door and then bent using the letter box post and welded with a stick weld. The idea came to Dougy whilst sitting in his garage having a durry (cigarette) noticed the letter box had the perfect curve and used it to curve the cover. The tail light was assembled using three separate tail lights and the lens is off a Cadillac he picked up at a swap meet. The glass from the original tail light was broken on the first day he bought it. Above the side mount tail light is a 50 calibre bullet casing he picked up from work, the rims are original and the tyres may also be original for all Dougy knows.
The oil tank was shot and needed replacing and Dougy added a nostalgic touch by adding a replica of a set of WII knuckle busters he made himself out of angled steel and a broom handle and held on with a grenade pin. The pipes also have a story about them, Dougy saw the pipes on a Sunday morning sitting just on the inside of a wrecking yard fence, so excited with the find, our man decided to scale the fence (making sure there was no dogs beforehand) and grab them ‘’it wasn’t trespassing passing’’ he says “ more acquiring!’’
In true Hot-Rod/Rat-Rod fashion and adding that nostalgic look Dougy also lashed out with the drill and drill holes in everything. The number plate holder and battery cover were made from old road signs, the seat he bought from the USA is the flashiest thing on the bike Dougy says but it wasn’t to be all flash with the seat mount also being given a second life with its previous life being a tyre leaver. The brass carburettor wasn’t going to be missed and it was fitted with a trumpet off his 350 Chevy motor for a filter. A lot of the ideas for the bike came from magazines as well as looking around and the build took 2½ years and everyone was asking when it would be finished and now it’s finished it gets a workout and goes for plenty of rides. Doug’s better half Kirsten is wrapped its finished and loves how it turned out and taking it to shows she says’’ there’s nothing really like this one, all you get to see at shows are fancy ones, this one is in a league of its own!’’
Our model from Terrigal on the NSW Central Coast is 25 years old and single. Her name is ‘’Aliachammer’’ (I know!). A self confessed homebody who enjoys dancing, listening to music and travel and in her field of work there is plenty of it ‘’Ali’’ is a Skimpy (topless barmaid) in WA and travels all the mining towns (Kalgoorlie is her favourite). She is often told how she resembles Penny off the Big Bang Theory. I told her how big eyes reminded me more of Goldie Hawn in which she replied with an inquisitive Who? (Showing my age I guess?)