Among the many familiar faces at our kickoff show in Miami, Florida, was 14-year-old Andrew Arce of Titusville, Florida, who surprised the Sunshine State lowrider bike boys with his three-wheeling toy, “Asylum.” The creative process of this trike required only six months, although you would swear that this much craftsmanship took many years to complete. Andrew’s Asylum trike first started to take shape on paper during a visit to Michael Linville’s house in Tamarac, Florida.
Andrew totally dug the sketches and took them home to show his family. Asking for their support on this latest project would be hard since he knew that it would take a lot more money than those model cars that he was building at the time. His family agreed to help him, if he kept his grades up and stayed out of trouble. “It sounds like a deal,” Andrew said, and the project was off the ground.
Andrew and his family drove around looking for the perfect frame for weeks. Finally, Andrew’s prayers were answered when his mother stumbled upon an intact ’77 Schwinn at a yard sale. After bargaining with the owner, they got the bike for a mere $100. The first step was obvious; Andrew had to take the frame to a shop, but where to go? Andrew had only one place in mind and that was Michael and Lester Linville’s Toy Shop Customs in Tamarac. Michael got cracking, designing the body modifications on a piece of paper, and then having his father, Lester, transfer them onto the real thing.
The first steps were to get a three-wheel rearend, and attach it to the bone-stock frame. The frame was then game for Lester’s craftsmanship. Lester first removed the lower rear support bar and made it twist and curve. He next removed the center seat post, relocating it about 6 inches back. Most of the hard modifications were now done, and Lester was ready to hit the tank. Lester grabbed his welder and sheet metal and began to create the same design that his son created on paper, though adding his own two-cents worth. While he was at it, Lester decided to make the frame a little more square. The tank was almost like any other tank, but as the metal work went down to the front lower support bar it got a little narrower and stayed square.
Moving to the rear of the frame, Lester didn’t put on any regular skirts, deciding to follow the shape of the upper support bar and make it get fatter towards the rear instead of narrower as in the front. The sheet metal work was done and Lester moved on to spreading body filler all over the custom frame, making sure that no imperfection would remain before the paint would be laid out.
Andrew looked long and hard for a good painter, and found Bobby Bauman at Mad Mods in Hollywood, Florida. Andrew gave Bobby a few specifics on which color to lay out. Bobby reached for his gun, filled it with House of Kolor Mustang orange and sprayed the trike’s bare naked frame. Andrew wasn’t satisfied just yet; he thought that his three-wheeler needed some kind of graphics, so once again he had to look for anther top-notch designer.
With the Linvilles’ help, Andrew looked long and hard before finally stumbling on “Bones” of Bones Designs in Hollywood. Andrew took one last look at his frame before giving Bones his instructions and jumping on the first bus back to Titusville. Andrew was now following blind faith, praying that everything would come out just right, as Bones reassured him that everything was fine and not to worry about his work. Andrew kept on calling and calling the Linvilles for almost daily reports, while Bones was hard at work masking off the trike and designing some cool graphics. Once everything was masked off, he grabbed his handy airbrush gun and began to spray more than 40 colors with ghost murals of skulls and other goodies placed throughout the frame.
The Asylum trike was starting to look insane, but the Linvilles weren’t done just yet. Andrew had all of his custom pieces designed by Mike Lopez sent to La Habra Plating in La Habra, California, where they were dipped in show chrome and gold. Andrew then shipped the shining custom pieces to the Linvilles. While Michael began to place the pieces on the trike, Lester started on the hydraulics.
Once he got Andrew’s approval, Lester equipped Asylum with hydro power, installing a one Hi-Low pump setup with a chrome Adex dump, one cylinder taking the place of the spring, one switch, one solenoid and one battery. Andrew next called up Henry of Henry Customs in Pasadena, California. Henry designed a great saddle and loveseat using orange velvet and the biscuit and ruffles method. Henry shipped the seat to Andrew where it was placed on the trike. They were now on the home stretch; all that was needed were some custom wheels, but why buy any ordinary wheel? Lester and Michael hit the drawing board coming up with a cool wheel that would later become Aztlan Bicycle’s new prototype wheel, with cool twisted and regular spokes laced throughout.
Asylum started to take on a shape of its own, without Andrew seeing it once. Finally, the Linvilles called Andrew to come on down, and he and his parents were amazed by the quality of the trike. Andrew christened the three-wheel creation “Asylum” for its outrageous look that would drive a normal person into one. Andrew’s dreams finally became a reality thanks to the Linvilles and the support of his mom, step dad, brother and dad.
Andrew couldn’t wait for this year’s Lowrider Tour show in Miami, where he busted out his Finest Kreations B.C. trike, driving the competition crazy and taking home multiple Trike Sweepstakes awards. The first time out seemed to pay off big for Andrew. Who knows how many trike competitors will be driven totally insane by the end of the year. You may want to get some counseling on how to avoid becoming a victim of Asylum.