Darin and Dawn Hildreth bought this used 05 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe from a local Harley dealership in Denver back in ’07. Darin really liked the way the H-D Softails ride and feel but even more it was the way the frame looks like a ridged. It was set in stone the day Darin saw the black and white stock color combo on this ’05 that he was really taken in by the distinctive look. Here was a guy who just found what he was looking for, to him the perfect bike, a one-of-a- kind. Sadly the uniqueness of this bike only lasted about two days when Darin rode out to the local watering hole and very proud of his new ride. As he pulled into a parking spot and dropped the kickstand to the concrete he looked across the parking lot only to see what he called a mirror image of the bike he was sitting on. It was the same bike, same year, and same colors. Then if that was not bad enough as he was walking into the place he seen two more just like his. As Darin was sitting there all he could think about was how was he going to make his bike truly unique something to set his bike apart from everyone else’s bike. He did find some comfort in knowing that at lease he had a popular model of H-D but to find three in one day was deeply disappointing.
Darin started thinking about how he can make the stock Harley not only different, but a very unique stand out Harley. He started by searching hundreds of web sites looking for ideas and reading every Baggers Magazine he could find, then started to look for a painter that could do what he had in mind. After looking at tons of paint jobs and painter only to find beautiful work but they all had the same themes, it was flames, and skulls, some Celtic work, he even found a Celtic flame job with skulls and roses. It was easy to find all the traditional stuff, the hard part was finding something different.
Darin spent several months trying to wake up the creative side of my brain to no avail. So he switched gears and decided to start with a good painter and then make him do all the thinking and come up with an original idea.
One day Darin stopped into a local welding shop to have a bracket welded together for his bike and he noticed a motorcycle in the back with an airbrushed portrait on the tank, it was an unbelievable! After conferring with the owner of the bike, he told Darin that the work was done at True Kustom Paint and Fabrication in Littleton, Colorado. He was surprised and shocked that they were just a few miles from my home. After he had look all across the country for painter only to find one so close.
Darin struck luck when he came across Josh, owner of True Kustom, he was really great with portraits. Darin started to tell Josh why he wanted a new paint job and what he had in mind. Josh set a time to meet with Darin a few days later where the two spent several hours bouncing around different ways to make this work.
Darin and Dawn have always been mafia fans and really enjoyed movies and TV shows like The Sopranos, Goodfellas, Al Capone, and of course, The Godfather, so there was the paint theme. Soon into the brain storming Darin discovered that he was actually hurting the process by not allowing Josh to be the true artist, to do what he does best, be creative. Darin was saying things like maybe and no way and that might work. With a feeling of fuss on his face Darin ended the conversation with, here’s my idea and here’s my offer, make it happen.
Before the paint could be applied Josh smoothed and trimmed the front fender and modified the stock rear fender molding the taillight and rivets. A set of Corbin Beetle bags were added to the bike, and the top seam was smoothed from the stock tank and installing a flush mount gas cap was installed.
Josh spent over 40 hours just in airbrushing alone. When he finished, he had exactly what Darin was looking for and more! He brilliantly portrayed Al Capone on the back fender with smoking Tommy Guns and a heart around him representing the Saint Valentine Day Massacre and Marlon Brando as the Godfather on the front fender. The Soprano’s main characters were on the left side of the tank starting with Sil, Christopher, Pauly, and Big Pussy, then you have Tony Soprano with a beautiful lady on the left side saddlebag. The main characters of Goodfellas, Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, and Joe Pesci on the right side tank and the scene where Pesci kills Spider (Christopher from The Sopranos) on the right rear bag. It was like Darin was watching the shows every time he was riding.
Keeping with the Mafia theme a custom crafted Dan Ballard Softail Deluxe seat was fitted to the bike with copper inlaid brass knuckles and hand made 45 Magnum revolvers shells on the sides. As soon as the paint was dry and the bike was back together Darin and Dawn headed out and he had his whole gang with him. Darin know he made the right choice with the paint and styling of the bike by how many wise guys came over to look at the bike and make him an offer! B