First Coast Gears: An American IronHorse was among the customs on display at Sunshine State Chevelles Merrill Rd. cruise-in

7:38 AM, Jan 12, 2013   |    comments
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Video: First Coast Gears: Merrill Rd. Cruise-In

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The first Sunshine State Chevelles Merrill Road cruise-in of 2013 had an especially strong showing of classic Chevrolet Bel Airs. But cars weren't the only attraction.

Motorcyclists were also on hand for the fun, including Paul Larrabee, who rode in on his 2004 American Ironhorse Texas Chopper-Softail.

"We purchased this bike last year.  Probably new, this bike would cost close to $50,000,"  said Larrabee.

Larrabee's stunning example was typical of the showy, quality bikes American IronHorse produced during its brief history.

It was founded in 1995 by Tim Edmundson and Bill Rucker.  A 224,000-square-foot factory was set-up in Fort Worth, Texas.  At the height of production, American IronHorse was building up to 240 bikes a month, according to theautochannel.com.

A dealer network quickly developed, including the old Big Bike of Jacksonville on Sunbeam Road in Mandarin.

"It's really not a bad riding motorcycle.  It's a softail so it does take the bumps pretty well.  It's a little harder to steer because of the rake in the stretched front end.  But it's really a fun bike to ride," said Larrabee of his 2004 Texas Chopper-Softail.

By the Spring of 2008, American IronHorse Motorcycles was forced into involuntary bankruptcy protection, according to the Dallas Business Journal. Production had come to an end.  Just five of the bikes were listed as 2009 models, according to bikergarage101.com.

Bikergarage101.com claims the last bike off the line was the Slammer model, which was auctioned on eBay in 2010.

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