Dick Hirschberg

When I was about 10 years old, I used to hit the library's periodical rack so I could read the latest issue of Hot Rod magazine. Behind their main rack, they had a cupboard with all the back issues of each magazine stacked by year. I'd read the latest issue, then I'd grab 5 or 6 back issues to read. I was going thru the Feb. '60 issue, and Bob Greene had an article in it titled "No Two 'Wheels' Alike". I guess I should also add that Bob Greene was the first editor of Cycle magazine, and was also the first editor of Motorcyclist magazine. Bob also handled the motorcycle content for Hot Rod magazine in his column "Up On Two Wheels". Yeah, Bob knew his stuff.

In the above mentioned article, the lead-off picture was of this big bald-headed guy, rockin' Ray-Ban Wayfarer sunglasses, jeans, engineer boots, sleeves cut off his grubby sweatshirt at the armpits, standing behind the baddest 'sickle I'd ever seen. If you'd like to see that shot, I used it in my article in Greasy Kulture #8. The more I stared at the picture, the more I wanted a bike just like that, and I wanted that magazine. So, I took the magazine, slipped it in my shirt, and I stole it from the library. I guess that was my first "outlaw" act. I still have that magazine, by the way.

Over the years, every time Dick, or "Hirsch" as Bob Greene called him, would decide to build a new bike, Bob would feature it in his column. I really didn't know much about Hirsch, but I knew he could put together "diamonds out of coal" Harleys. It wasn't until much later that I found out who Dick was, and what part he played in both the bike and M/C club history of SoCal.

The bike that's pictured in the above photo was built by Dick sometime in '69, out of a BRAND NEW ElectraGlide. Dick was 46 at the time, and it was his first "electric foot" bike. He, along with help from L.A. H-D, produced one of the slickest bobbed Estart FLH's ever, pruned down to 525 pounds. Now, mind you, this bike was done almost 2 years before the first Super Glide hit the streets. If somebody in Milwaukee wasn't looking at the March '70 issue of Hot Rod back then, I'll eat my leather stroker hat!

Even today, Hirsch's ElectraGlide would be "right there". The styling is timeless. Also pitching in on this was Dick's longtime friend and drinking buddy Von Dutch, who did the engine turning, lettering, striping, and engraving on it. Dutch's touch graced every bike that Hirschberg built

Comment with Facebook


Comment with Chopcult (0)

Please Login to Comment

Recent Blogs

Moto Mania - August 2014 - Part 1

Earlier this month I attended First Thursday at Dulono's Pizza and Moto Mania at the VFW.  I'll start with Moto Mania...

As usual, an interesting array of local choppers and garage-built machines showed up.

Eric's shovel looked awesome: did Charlie's.

Ed's bike just towers over all the others:

Joe's panhead looked great as always:

It might come as a surprise, but the Uptown VFW has one of the finer selections of Coors and "Not Coors" beers in Minneapolis.

Sportsters are up next!

Dave from Fabrication Underground on the road to the CHEAP-O CHOP OFF 2014

Here's a little interview I did with my good friend Dave from Fabrication Underground. I took the family on a summer vacation and we stayed at his pad for a couple of days over in Eugene Oregon. Gave us time to shoot the shit, shove some beer cans up some chickens butts and talk about all things Cheap-O Chop Off.

1.) We see FABRICATION UNDERGROUND as one of the major players in Oregon's "Cheap-O Chop Off"along with Zombie Performance, can you tell me a little about the first cheapo chop off... when was it, where, attendance, activities...?

Well let's see, the first one was last year on the property behind a friends house. We had high hopes of having 200cc and under races but lack of prep and other variables we spent the weekend riding around locally and camping in the fields surrounding the house. There was a small group of us, about 16. Lots of great raffle prizes were handed out from some of the best & nicest people in the biz (yourself included). Great food and beer! We have lots of pics and a little video Stan the Man from Washington put together for us at, check it out.

2.) In planning this years event, what kind of major changes are there going to be?

The Chop Off seems to be an evolving event, yes this year a new location, prepping for a larger attendance, and all the beautiful surroundings (rivers, lakes, mtns.) that come with it. We will be feeding everyone too! "Surprise Menu" is what I'm calling it but Lacey Severson is in charge of the Kitchen this year. 

3.) Tell me a little about this years location

The new location is Fernview Campground about 20 miles east of Sweet Home Oregon off state route 20 in the Willamette National Forest. We have reserved the whole campground for the weekend of Sept. 5-7th. There is room for 80, at least that's the limit they have set at that site. The S. Santiam river is right next/below the site so getting clean wont be a problem. A couple of lakes about half hour ride away, Cascade Mountains just a short ride to the east. 

4.) There's a ton of "old" relic motorcycles garaged in Eugene (where FU is located) what's keeping these riders from throwing ragers like BF or the David Mann Chopperfest?

There are a couple of events each summer here but more "parade" like events. I don't know for sure, maybe I ride alone too much.... 

Beer Can Chicken dinner

5.) Is there a motorcycle bar in Eugene? There must be rider clubs and groups but where and when do they get together en mass?

If there is one, some please tell me! there are places where people that ride motorcycles go to, but no single known-as-a-motorcycle bar has taken root yet. You guys down there are so lucky to have the Gasser Lounge! Eugene has a ton of motorcycles. Spend any time riding around town and you're going to cross paths with dozens of them... why there isn't a larger chopper or just organized "motorcycle" scene here is beyond me. There's plenty of "Shine and Show" meets at dealerships, but really what's the difference between them and the showroom floor?

6.) You also own a pretty sweet van (what year/model is it?) and you're familiar with the resurgence popularity of Vanning? Does you Eugene have any Van clubs or Vanning get togethers? Are you incorporating Vans into the Cheap-O Chop Off?

Do you mean  'Deep Green' ? She's a 1976 Chevy 10 shorty, straight 6, rear bubble windows. I camp with her and haul m/c's too so she's bare on the inside except for a couch bed I swap in and out. I'm down with the resurgence! I grew up loving vans and proud to be a  part of it. Although I'm not in it the Vantoms V.C. is out of Portland I think and they put on a cool get together called Black Mass. 
There are probably more up in Portland that I don't know about (i don't know much!). Yes, Cheap-O Chop Off is %100 van friendly. Don't want to ride, come out in your van or just bring your m\c in it so you'll be able to cruise the backwoods with us when we take off on some rides.

7.) Anything else you can think of we might need to know from your neck of the woods up in Eugene Oregon?

If your coming , bring (ride) what ya got. Everything in Eugene is on 8th and Willamette, even if it's not (that's just a joke because I kept asking where places were and the location just kept being referred to as 8th and Willamette, even though nothing I was asking for was actually located on 8th and Williamette). look out for bigfoot, or is that fartbarf on stilts?!?! Yabba Dabba Doo, Nanu Nanu, over and out! 

Interesting in attending? For more information on this years (September 5th & 6th, 2014) CHEAP-O CHOP OFF visit the blog HERE

I also have a interview with Steffan from ZOMBIE PERFORMANCE you can read over on the Escape To Hazzard County Blog HERE


Slug sliding

Herb's frame

Share This



Advertise    |    Contact    |    ©2009ChopCult    |    Report Abuse    |    Conduct

Chopcult on Facebook