The David Mann Chopper Festival is one show that you must attend if you live anywhere near California. The “Chopper Fest” honors the spirit of David Mann and caters to the best builders, fabricators, and artisans in the industry. Tory DuVarney, the event coordinator, works year round to promote the Chopper Fest. He works side by side with his lovely wife, Christina, his father, Dave Hansen, and a well rounded staff to provide a great day for all to enjoy. His hard work doesn’t go unnoticed and is deeply appreciated. I, amongst others, know what it takes to build and promote an event. The endless hours, phone calls and cross promotion can defeat a person, but you’ll never witness Tory down. He’s one of the good ones and is always upbeat and positive. I believe Tory's strengths were tested this year during an unforeseen event. You see, two local MC’s, who will remain nameless, decided to use the Chopper Festival to settle an ongoing disagreement. What started out as a screaming match turned into numerous fights in front of the main entrance. Thanks to the immediate response from staff security and the local police department, things calmed down very quickly. It’s disheartening to watch people work so hard only to have others try to ruin the day. Big thanks to Gilby Clarke for plugging in his trusty guitar and entertaining the crowd. This helped shift the crowd focus and instilled the laid back vibe that the Chopper Fest offers.
The “If You Build It, They Will Come” bike show never disappoints. Dalton Walker took home the $2500.00 grand prize for his jaw dropping custom 37' UL. Scott “T Bone” Jones received the Artistry In Iron Show Pick that came with an invitation to compete in the 2015 Artistry In Iron show. Harpoon won the prestigious David Mann Memorial Award for his awesome 1950 Panhead. I could envision this bike in a David Mann painting as it oozes style! Other home runs and well deserved nods went to James Goodnight for his custom 82' HD Shovel, and Bones Legacy who took home a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place award for their builds. There were over 150 bikes in the running and 45 trophies were awarded.
This year Tory teamed up with Ron Seigel Fine Art and Tracy Mann to bring the crowd more Mann art and memorabilia. Darren McKeag, HotDog, Pacman, Spencer “ Spagetty’ Getty, Latisha Woods, Kirk Taylor, Dan Collins, Kool Hand Luke, Jeff Wolf, Sonny Boy and many more displayed their artwork. Jeff Wolf also painted the Ross “Kiwi” Tomas award that was presented by his parents, Mike and Carolyn Tomas. Ryan Cox accepted the trophy for his 40' EL. Ross was a part of the staff for many years and sadly passed away from injuries suffered during a motorcycle accident. If you have ever attended the Chopper Festival you come to realize that there is a Main Street with small avenues of vendors and purveyors. The Chopper Festival owners have renamed Main Street to Ross “Kiwi” Tomas Street in his honor. God Speed, Ross, you’ll be forever missed.
I had the distinct pleasure of manning the ChopCult and Duane Ballard Custom Leather booth during the ChopperFest. It’s great to spend time with friends, past clients, followers and meet potential customers and new members. ChopCult has become more than a website; we have evolved into an awesome community. I was fortunate to have Twila Knight on location to cover the event and appreciate her time and talent.
Our friends at Biltwell, Inc. provided this short, but sweet, video from the day. Enjoy!
David Mann Chopperfest 2014 from Biltwell Inc. on Vimeo.
If you would like to get involved with the Chopper Festival please check out their website, and give them a follow on Instagram, and Facebook.
****Please note - Due to the actions of some, the 12th annual David Mann Chopper Festival will be a NO Colors event. This will be strictly enforced and will remain in effect for years to come.