November 18, 2008
Coffee County -- In a time of international economic uncertainty with investments losing big bucks and the Dow Jones average often dropping day-to-day, it makes a person wonder if there are any safe investments.
Sometimes a hospital doesn't look like a hospital. "These patients in here are waiting to be restored," says Roy Waldroup.
A dozen Harley-Davidson motorcycles sit, ready for a second chance to ride like the wind, with that unforgettable sound. "Most of these you're looking at will run right now. They just look rough," says Waldroup.
Some won't make it. "They'll just be organ donors, I guess."
Waldroup could qualify as a motorcycle gerontologist if there was such a distinction. "A lot of things I just learned on my own by just jumping down there and tackling it."
He never thought of specializing in any other brand than Harley-Davidson. "That's what my daddy bought me first was a Harley-Davidson" That was 44 years ago.
Roy dearly loves anything made by Harley-Davidson, of course the motorcycles and he has a rare Harley-Davidson three-wheeled golf cart.
Finding repair parts for motorcycles made in the 70s takes more and more patience. "They're getting harder and harder to find."
Faded envelopes and boxes stop time in its tracks. "Kind of like putting money in the bank."
Each part he finds brings joy no matter how small. "It's like opening up a Christmas present."
At present, if you bought a Harley back in the 1970s for about $300, kept it in good condition, you could sell it for more than 10 times what you paid for it. "I have seen one restored like this one here restored for $3,500 maybe $4,000 or so."
Because of two words. "If it's got Harley-Davidson wrote on it, it's going to be a collectable."
Something Roy Waldroup discovered a long ago, before the world economy got admitted to an economic intensive care unit.
Roy always looks for parts anywhere and everywhere, finding lots of them on EBay.