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Rebirth of an American Classic: The Build Begins

By December 20, 2013General Posts



The Rebirth of a 1933 VL

Text and Photo’s by Panhead Jim

After months of planning, my 1933 Harley-Davidson build officially started on Black Friday. That’s when I made the long trip up to Replicant Metals (, located a mere 7 hours north of me in Pennsylvannia. Owner Tom Feezer was waiting for me with a set of matched 1933 VL cases when I walked into the shop. These will serve as the basis for my build and are the most important part as the VIN number stamped on these cases is what makes the motorcycle a ’33 model. I plan to stay true to what the factory produced in ’33, but technically anything I build with these cases will be titled as a ’33 Harley-Davidson.

Setting aside the cases, I started making a pile of the other parts: heads, cylinders, cams, flywheels, rods and cam cover. Everything needed a trip through the blasting cabinet to knock off 80 years of built up grease and grime. Before loading up the blast cabinet, some of the parts needed to be broken down further, including the cases and the cam cover.

Starting with the cases, there were still some cylinder studs which needed to be removed.