If I look at my restoration career, I have, in some ways, felt very alone. Like I was the only one who ever cared about the car. It can be hard to explain to people what you actually do, and what it actually takes. Until, I stumbled upon Adam Cramer.
He owns and operates Liberty Vintage Motorcycles in Philadelphia, PA. I first learned of Adam from an unlikely source. My best friend sent me this video and simply said “Show your passion” Honestly, there are two types of guys that restore old cars and bikes. There are guys that rant and rave about how incredible they are (they really aren’t) and how great their work is (it really isn’t) and there are guys like Adam.
This is Adam, he kind of explains a lot of what I’ve encountered, as well as everyone who has spent late nights and early mornings trying to re-create the beauty of the past with half the resources and quadruple the effort. Watch this video, it is worth the 4 minutes:
Guys like Adam have this stuff in their blood and it is the greatest gift and the greatest curse they’ve ever been blessed with. To properly restore is difficult. It’s not about the heavy lifting or the engine rebuild or the paint work. It is the brain. The constant struggle of getting it perfect enough for you, which is way beyond what anyone else can appreciate.
I gave Adam a call, and he simply answered the phone with “Motorcycles!’ in a matter of fact way like ‘why the hell else are you calling me’ I basically called him to let him know that I ‘got it’ when I saw the video, and that he’s not alone. That there are younger guys still doing it, and doing it with passion. My plan was a 2 minute call to say thanks.
I came to the realization that he’s a true Philly guy, and as much as I sometimes hate to admit it, no matter how long I live in California, I’m a Philly guy too. Growing up in that area never leaves your core. We spent 20 minutes comparing stories and discussing the various neighborhoods we were around as we grew up in the area, He’s as true as he is in the video, and his work is written on his heart.
I told him to not to freeze his ass off this winter and he told me of his plans to retire to Hawaii with the best 5 vintage bikes he has and provide tours around the island to tourists. We’ll catch up again in a month or so and probably talk about the same shit, the same neighborhoods, and his retirement plans. I’ve got a new friend that I could have met at home 15 years ago; but it took me that 15 years of restoring cars to know that there’s a guy a bit like me, right where I grew up.
5836 Autoport Mall
San Diego CA 92121