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Martin Draper
Miles City, Montana
1957 Model B Hummer

Martin writes:
   "This is the story of My 1957 model B Hummer. Thirteen hundred and fifty in the production charts, 18 known in existence. Would this make it 19 ???

    My Dad took on a contract to remove an old three story mansion, turned into a hospital for the "wayward girls" to have their babies in. We had worked most of the summer taking this old building down board by board starting with the top floor and working our way down.
     It was about the middle of June and we were in the process of carefully lifting the maple flooring from the floor joists when this man comes in and wants to purchase some of the flooring to which he and my Dad had come to an agreement on. The next day the man comes back, loads his flooring and pays Dad. For some reason Dad wanted to knock off a bit early that day so we loaded boards and tools into the old Studebaker station wagon and went on home."

          Click on pictures to enlarge

   "Upon arriving home here was this guy sitting there on this motorcycle so he and Dad proceeded talking and I went about unloading lumber and tools. After a bit Dad says "Come here a minute Son" to which I stepped over to where he and this guy were talking and Dad pointed at the motorcycle and asks "What do You think of that" to which I kind of shrugged my shoulders and nodded my head and replied "yeah". I did not know what else to say about it. I never dreamed of getting to ride a motorcycle before and then Dad says "Would you like to have one of those???" and I said "Well yeah" to which he replies "well that is Yours" WOOOoooo.
     The man shows me the controls and how they work and I think I killed the engine two or three times on the first start out, but after that it became natural. That little motorcycle made me feel like I was in Hog-Heaven, although I didn't ever hear of Hog-Heaven until a lot of years later. LOL My best friend lived across the fence and he and I would double up on that machine and wander off. We were the Hells Angels looking for adventure whenever I wasn't helping Dad.
     The biggest mistake I made was to teach my sisters Becky and Dorie how it worked. Dad and I would be on top of that building working away and then pretty soon I would hear it fire up {there is no key} and look over the edge and there they would go, riding away on my motorcycle. They would be gone the whole day and sometimes not return until late after Dad and I would get home. It created some real nasty resentments but Mom and Dad would tell me that the new would wear off and then they would leave it alone to which they never did. LOL   (to read their version of the story click)  here
     The summer was about over and it was getting cold in the Fall of the year and I got to thinking that I needed a car so I traded the motorcycle for a 1955 Oldsmobile that had been sitting at the radiator repair shop. I didn't have a drivers license so I could not drive the car, only sit in it and dream. Later in my life I got back into motorcycles and began to think about what may have happened to that Harley Hummer.

Fast forward to about 1993
     I was at a friends machine shop having him turn out some parts for my 76 FLH when somehow the topic of our first motorcycles came up and he was talking about his first bike being some kind of a dirt bike and how much fun he had had with that motorcycle. Then it was my turn so I started telling him about this 1957 Hummer that I used to have and he told me they had three of them out at the farm and yes, one of them was the one I had so many years before but NO it was not for sale. I bugged him for about two years about buying it but the answer was always NO.
     It was Labor Day weekend 2008 and the Wife & I and a couple of friends went out for supper. While we were in the restaurant in comes Jerry and his brother Leonard. Jerry walks up to the table and asks if I was still wanting to buy that motorcycle to which I replied YES. The next day I drove the sixteen miles out to the farm and we start scrounging through sheds for the 57 and could not find it there, so then it was out to the machinery bone pile and there it was along with three other Harley Lightweights so we loaded the frame into the pickup then set off scrounging for the engine. Jerry opens the side door of this old Ford van and pulls out the engine. I recognized it in an instant. It still had the goose neck sink drain pipe on it that was for the exhaust, goose neck and all. LOL
     Sitting out in the junkyard for so many years had not been kind to it. The frame had gotten water inside the tubing and in a low spot cracked and pushed it out after freezing. The engine still turned over as it had been inside so that was a good thing. The fender for the back was gone and it never had a front fender while I owned it so I started scrounging the net and found the Harley Hummer Club and was then able to order parts right down to the nuts and bolts with all the proper markings and so it now is a complete bike. The paint it had when I was young was a shake 'n shoot red. No front fender and the rear fender was bobbed. The bike had come out of a carnival as the rider in the Wall of Death was using the Harley lightweights for his stunt riding. It is now complete as it had come off the showroom floor and I am planning on passing it down to my Grand children."

Webmasters note:
    Is this living the American dream or what. Martin, thanks for sharing your experience.

  Last updated: February 27, 2011 Up