Rigid Tough | 1957-1960 Pan Rigid Custom
The Stuntman's Pan
Model: Sherry Barndt
Setting himself ablaze, trick horsemanship, and falling from high-rise buildings is only a sampling of Perry Barndt’s stuntman resume. He has numerous movie stunt credits under his belt from Predator 2, Terminator 2, Tombstone, Air Force One, and Zorro. You may even possibly remember the popular television series Fear Factor where Perry was senior producer in charge of orchestrating the death-defying acts, such as pacing a plank from helicopter to helicopter for those inclined to conquer their fears. Whatever the case, Perry is all about stunts and challenges.
Perry’s been riding motorcycles of one kind or another since he was 5, starting with a mini-bike and working his way up to crotch rockets. Over the years he needed to add that Harley nostalgia to his repertoire and was lucky enough, with the help of a friend, to find this ’57 Pan. The bike’s history is a little cloudy but goes something like this.
It is believed to have been a ’57 police bike that blew its motor and was sold. Then at some point, a ’60s motor was put in it, obviously to get it back on the road. And according to its numbers, the story sounds about right.
We can’t say that Perry found this bike on eBay or the infamous Craigslist. This bike was bought way before those days. But not under the best of circumstances, at least for the seller.
In true everyday life situations, one man’s misfortune may be another man’s lucky day. Perry was the lucky recipient of another man’s unlucky divorce. “He was the second owner, and had owned the bike for a very long time, and was not happy about getting rid of it,” Perry said. “If I ever have to get rid of all of my bikes, she will be the only one that I will keep. They can throw it in the hole with me when they bury me.”
The Pan was in fairly good condition when Perry became its new owner. It was root beer brown with medium-height ape handlebars, a king/queen seat, and a very ’60s sissybar. Perry added, “I don’t believe the bike had ever truly been gone through since it was new. It leaked a lot of oil and smoked a bit, but it was all there.”
As soon as he bought the bike and got it home, he disassembled it. He did a little work on the motor and got rid of the medium apes, the king/queen seat, and the sissybar, shortened and modified the rear fender, and put an open primary on it. He also went to a solo seat with drag bars and repositioned the rear footpegs, much to the dismay of his wife, Sherry. “I look at Harleys as high-heel shoes: they may look great, but they are not necessarily comfortable. But as any girl will tell you, as long as they look good, who cares if they are comfortable?” Perry commented. The frame was sent out for powdercoating and the tin for a custom paintjob. “More recently, in the last three years, I took the motor out of it, had the cases sandblasted back to natural, and re-did the entire motor keeping it entirely stock, and re-spoked the wheels,” Perry stated.
We asked Perry about a memorable time with his Pan and this is what he had to say: “Once, Sherry and I went for a ride up to one of the local eateries for a bike night and we pulled in next to all of the new Softails. This guy gets off of his $80k custom Softail, with his $600 leather jacket on, and his cardigan sweater, walks over to us and says to me, “Nice bike, what is it?” True bikers appreciate this bike, but wannabe’s don’t even know what it is. Enough said.”
|BIKE OWNER||Perry Barndt|
|SHOP NAME||Garage Built|
|PRIMARY DRIVE||Primo Open Belt|
|WHEELS, TIRES, AND BRAKES|
|GRAPHICS||Scales, ghost flames, and skulls|
|GAS TANK & CAP||H-D|