Pennsylvania Mystery Shovel

Written by  By Jake Blake Photos by Jack “Man Of Mystery” Cofano Wednesday, 06 September 2017 16:30
Published in Modified Stockers
  Once more into the breach with another of Jack Cofano’s mystery bikes as our feature bike of the day. Obviously it was just too stinking nice to let it sit forlornly in Barnett’s Magazine Online’s Picasa account and never see the light of day so to speak. What do we actually know about this bike of mystery? Not too much other than it’s registered in the lovely state of Pennsylvania and that the owner has been an A.B.A.T.E. member for 25 years in the Chester County Chapter 64. That’s it baby.


   Too bad that we couldn’t contact the mystery owner who was probably out having some fun with his buddies while Jack roams around shooting photos of parked bikes as this is one sweet ride to use a cliché that’s been used a bazillion times before (Now make that a bazillion and one). Anyway, it looks like a recently finished custom from the absolutely pristine appearance. If not, our mystery owner surely could teach the rest of us a thing or two about cleaning and detailing.


  The 1976 Harley Shovelhead’s engine is way-way better looking than it ever looked even when it was sitting on an H-D dealer’s showroom floor. Yes there’s an absolute abundance of show-finish chrome scattered all over the engine, but I gotta say it looks pretty cool here and that from a guy who is not a chrome freak by any means. I’m just glad I’m not the guy who has to get in all those nooks and crannies to keep it looking as perfect as it does in Jack’s photos.


  There are some little things that should be pointed out like the heavily molded steering head area that’s reminiscent of what was going on with custom bikes the day this rolled of the assembly line back in ’75 or ’76. Now bereft of any rear suspension, the hardtail does wonders for the low and stretched out look while up front a polished-up Harley fork holds up its share of the ride. It was common back in the day for an owner to drill out his rotors for better stopping action in the rain and to possibly lose a little turning/unsprung weight, but mystery owner must be a machinist or someone with a lot of time on their hands as I’ve never seen any rotor anywhere drilled out as much as this baby’s dual discs. Wicked cool, though.


   Lots of Harley parts were heavily modified for this bike and I gotta think the owner is a true H-D freak insisting on factory parts even if they were from the infamous AMF era. I gotta say the use of a late model Sportster’ Custom’s fuel tank was a touch of genius. I doubt that it was, but the way it sits there looks like it was a natural for this bike. Best use of one of these XL 1200C tanks ever and that includes the Sportster XL 1200C itself. Even the colors look factory right. What looks like a Harley Fat Boy rear wheel looks at home in this application with so silly size rubber to mar things up, Same goes for the front end too with a skinny 21-inch spoked wheel ready to search for the horizon.


   Reaching for an end to this story, all I can say is that Mr. Man of Mystery did an absolutely marvelous job putting this Shovelhead-powered on the custom map with one fine build that I keep going back and blowing up Jack Cofano’s photos bigger and bigger just to see all the hard work that went into this build. So our collective hats are off to you Pennsylvania man of mystery and if you see this bike online, don’t be afraid to let us know who you are. 

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