Lowriders are automotive enthusiasts at heart and with heart. Tommy “Tommy Gunn” Cortez of West Covina, California, is a lowriding enthusiast. He inherited a ’39 Chevy bomb from his father in-law, “Gato,” who passed away recently and who helped Tommy build this bike. But as fate may have it, at the time of this shoot, the ’39 was in the shop having some work done. Tommy Gunn had his friend and fellow club member “Lomo” bring down the clean ’39 just for the shoot.
Tommy wanted to feel the rumble of a V-twin under him. And just like the cars in his Bomb Club, his bike would have to be low-slung with pipes rat-a-tat-tatting in the wind. Tommy started with a 2002 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail with an 80-c.i.d. EVO motor. To that, he added a Sampson exhaust to give him the same sound as his ’39 bomb.
To get it low, Tommy went with a progressive air ride setup that dumps the back with the flick of a switch. Big wheels are everywhere and this bike follows that cue with a 21-inch, 80-spoke front wheel and Avon tire combination. A stock Harley rim with a Harley-Davidson Gangster whitewall tire reign in the rear.
The heart of any lowrider is its paint and Tommy enlisted the help of some of his old friends. Chito Laneros and son of Chito’s E.L.A. came through on the paint. The tanks, fenders and the like received a good splashing of Chevy Indigo Blue paint, accented with some silver pinstriping. House of Customs took care of the chroming and powdercoating on the bike.
The hyper-charger cover for the carb gives the bike a menacing look and the eyebrows on the lights add to its glaring stare. “Firme ’02” is one cool bike that will have you feeling its heat. And for Tommy and his wife, Eileen, the bike, in combination with the ’39, serve as rolling memorials for Gato, one “cat” who will never be forgotten.