Drag site icon to your taskbar to pin site. Learn More

Willie's Tropical Tattoo Chopper Show 2014

Monday, March 17, 2014
When we didn’t hear Roadside Marty’s voice booming over the loudspeakers when we pulled into Willie’s, we were worried. Roadside’s voice has been synonymous with the show for years. Loud, sometimes gravelly, and always abrasive, it suits the atmosphere of Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Old School Chopper Show perfectly. Willie’s ain’t no summer picnic. It’s big beards and faded denim vests, cuts and patches, where grease under your fingernails is the ticket price to admission. It’s where rusted relics are valued for being in original states of wear, withering paint is premium, and swap meet finds are refashioned into linkages and housings. Home to hardtails and jockey shifters, Willie’s is where Springers and girders meld in a sea of Frisco and coffin tanks mounted on Paughco frames.

Willies Tropical Tattoo Show is pants-optional  as long as you have legs like this.
Willie's Tropical Tattoo Show is a pants-optional affair - as long as you have legs like this.
Our worries that it might be a down year at Willie’s yearly bash were quickly assuaged when Roadside took his traditional spot just outside the tattoo joint’s front doors, Willie by his side, the party full tilt. After a modest start to the beginning of Bike Week 2014, Willie’s Tropical Tattoo Show was the best gathering by far, enjoying one its biggest turnouts in years. Bobbed and chopped, customs of all ilk squeezed in beneath the yellow and red Tropical Tattoo sign while the back forty was packed to the gills. One trip around the building easily took half-an-hour. It felt like an old friend awaited around every corner as you always bump into people you haven’t seen in ages at Willie’s show. It’s part of the beauty of the gathering.

While MC Roadside Marty kept the crowd entertained outside, inside the parlor special guests like Darren McKeag spread their artistry in ink on human canvases. The buzz of tattoo guns filled the air, the inside of Willie’s as abuzz as the outside. In the back, the LED Sled gang showcased Sportster parts under the awning of its booth while Twisted Tea girls teased with free samples of its potent potable.

The quality of work at this Willie’s show was outstanding. A rigid Springer with a spoked Scrambler-style knobby on the front and an incredible ribbed frame drew plenty of appreciate fans. Silver and red metal flake in a network of bold striping ran from fork to rear fender, a taillight from a vintage Lincoln Zephyr fashioned into its tank. An open-belted bobber with a Richard Petty commemorative paint job looked exceptionally sharp as well. Before long, Roadside began bellowing out names of the winners, a list 21 names-long. Nate Jacobs of Harlot’s Cycles was a big winner on the day, taking home both the Cycle Source and Dave Perewitz Awards. 

Rat bikes  bobbers  choppers and more squeezed in everywhere for Willies annual Bike Week chopper show.

Split tanks attached by wing nuts are signature cues of Jason Grimes and Northeast Chop Shop.   The ribbed frame  dirigible-like intake and poppin metal flake paint of the Lincoln Zephyr attracted a lions share of attention at Willies 2014 show.

This bad-ass bobber had a paint job worthy of The King Richard Petty.   UJMs are popular sources for customization and held their own at Willies show.

While attendance at Bike Week 2014 had felt light so far  the same couldnt be said about Willies Tropical Tattoo Show which had the biggest turnout its seen in years.   Catchin up with friends is part of the beauty of Willies Tropical Tattoo Old School Bike Show.
Bike Week 2014 Photo Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Gallery
View Slideshow
Other Cruiser Motorcycle Events
J P Ultimate Builder Long Beach Results 2014
The third round of the J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Shows went down last weekend in Long Beach as a last-minute entry rode away with the top prize in the Freestyle Class.
Victory and Veterans: A Day to Remember
Victory Motorcycles teamed with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America to lead America's Parade 2014, a humbling experience one seasoned motojournalist will never forget.
J P Ultimate Builder Phoenix Results 2014-15
The second round of the 2014-15 J&P Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Shows was held in Phoenix last weekend, and amidst the baggers and bobbers, a Pro-Streeter rose above them all.
J P Ultimate Builder San Mateo Results 2014
The 2014-15 J&P Cycles Ultimate Builder Custom Bike Shows got off to a rockin' start in San Mateo last weekend with the best builders in Northern California and beyond competing for cash and prizes.
Ride for a Cause: 2014 Brittney Ride for St. Jude
We took part in the 11th annual Brittney Ride for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital last weekend, the annual fundraiser approaching the $400,000 mark as bikers ride for kids in need.
2014 AMD World Championship Results
Custom bike builders from 22 countries competed in the coveted Freestyle Class of the 2014 AMD World Championship of Custom Bike Building, but one builder bested them all to win his second Freestyle title.
2014 Reno Street Vibrations Review
From Virginia Street to Virginia City, bikers didn't let a little rain slow them down as they rolled into Reno for the 20th annual Street Vibrations celebration.
2014 Indian Larry Grease Monkey Block Party
They were partying in the streets of Brooklyn for the 11th Annual Indian Larry Greasemonkey Block Party, bikers coming from near and far to honor the memory of the industry icon.
Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally 2014
It was a carnival-like atmosphere last weekend at the seventh annual Venice Vintage Motorcycle Rally, the 2014 version highlighted by a bike show, raffle, live music and retro pin-up girl contest.

Login or sign up to comment.