Heritage Photos
Vintage photos are found throughout this site


Circa 1920!

Many more vintage photos are in the collection. Doug is more than happy to show you his album as well as hundreds of photos of sidecar and trike conversions that have gone though the shop known as 'A Wing And A Chair'

704-753-4475

The McCracken family of rural Monroe, NC, has lived motorcycling for four generations. Their dedication to the lifestyle is obvious as soon as Doug begins to speak. Starting at the dawn of popular motorcycling in America; Doug's great aunts and uncles, grandparents, his parents and their siblings...literally all of the immediate family rode motorcycles of all size and types.

The community of riders seemed a natural situation for the McCracken family. The old photo albums are chock full of snaps showing the various family members enjoying the excitement of being in the wind. Some members choose flat track racing just to be way out there! Aside from the motorcycles and family ties of these photos; there is an obvious common element in every shot, the subjects are showing that broad smile we all know and understand.

Sidecars were always a part of the scene, allowing non-riders to enjoy the fun too. Like a little brother or sister, they were fun but not always convenient, and their occupants were not always the most comfortable of passengers. It didn't take long before the ladies took hold of the handlebars and established themselves as true 'Riders' among the family circle. But the need for the sidecars never diminished. There was always a friend or relative that wanted to come along that didn't have the ability to handle their own bike. The sidecar remains a practical alternative for these participants.

As riders, we become part of the photo; sharing the knowledge that forty, fifty, even seventy years ago, those riders enjoyed the wind and the sun just as we do today! Riding is timeless. . .

With this in mind, it is no surprise the Doug and LouAnn are a pair of 'Riders' in the true sense, each with their own scoot. The surprise lies in how LuAnn came to claim the seat of a very nifty Harley-Davidson trike as hers.

The modern family photos show a variety of H-D rides with LouAnn seated at the rear of the bike, holding on to life and her husband, as hundreds of thousands of other spouses have for at least four generations. She wanted to be a bit more comfortable. Doug wanted her to enjoy the experience a bit more. So Doug purchased a new sidecar for them to enjoy life flying around the country on three wheels.

That first sidecar installation proved to be a turning point. Doug found his mechanical abilities well suited to installation and custom fabrication. After they saw what is now commonly known as a 'Trike', LouAnn realized she too wanted to grab those handles and control the ride herself. The sidecar was set aside and Doug began learning about trike conversions. First impression was, that many of them are "just junk" and a buyer must insist upon quality workmanship throughout the conversion process. The installer along with the materials must be 'first class' or the result will be 'second rate'.

What evolved next was A Wing And A Chair, a fab shop that revolves around the love of motorcycles and the deft skills of Doug McCracken. It may not be obvious, but 'A Wing' refers to the logical first half of any sidecar or trike conversion - the Honda Goldwing series of touring motorcycles. 'A Chair' is the second half of the conversion, either a sidecar mounted to the right of the two wheel unit or the very comfortable passenger seat found over the rear axle of the tricycle conversion.

Although your motorcycle heritage may not be as deep as the McCracken family, you can still enjoy the fun and comfort of a trike conversion or the pure thrill of a sidecar by calling Doug or LouAnn at 704-753-4475. Click here for directions and see a detailed map.

1930's and 40's - Leather helmets and aviator goggles

 

"Peggy" grabs the handlebars

 

05/14/2011