Today's post is an open question to the community. Another forum find, I recently stumbled upon this little gem. It is credited in Rin Tananka's Harley Davidson Book of Fashions as August Walters (August E. "Blick" Wolters) onboard a single cylinder Harley-Davidson racer at the Legion Ascot Speedway, January 8, 1927. However, that is no ordinary, run of the mill factory Peashooter of late 1920's acclaim. It is a blanked-off Cyclone twin in a keystone frame with what appears to be a Merkel fork, a real (fast) frankenstein. So who was August Walters and where did he come across such a wonderful abomination. Was the machine created by Walters, and how did it stack up against legends like Joe Petrali riding the latest overhead valve Harley Davidson factory singles, affectionately known as Peashooters? I welcome any and all information and speculation friends.

UPDATE: Since posting this request for information earlier today those treasured and seemingly all knowing enthusiasts that occupy the web have piped up and filled this machine's truly remarkable pedigree. August E. “Blick” Wolters was indeed a privateer racer in the late 1920’s and manufactured this odd bird on his own. Unable to acquire a factory single “peashooter" from either Harley-Davidson or Indian, Wolters retooled his Cyclone twin by removing the rear cylinder, machining a new barrel and domed piston, and retrofitting an oil pump off of an Indian to the former rear cylinder’s overhead camshaft. Wolters himself was quite the character, having run Henderson’s in Los Angeles area events as far back as 1916. Most notably, Wolters set a new record in March of 1918 by piloting his Henderson 4 up the 9-mile toll road up Mt. Wilson. He covered the distance in 26 minutes 24 seconds despite having a spill halfway up the mountain which rendered his clutch useless and permanently retarded his spark advance. Wolters again made the headlines a few weeks later when he took another Henderson 4 for a couple of laps over the tracks of LA’s largest roller coaster… but I digress. After reconfiguring and down-engineering his powerful Cyclone engine Wolters then squeezed the now single-cylinder power plant into a mid 20’s short coupled Harley Davidson frame, he also added a rigid Flying Merkel fork, a popular front end among speed demons. Thus the machine that a smiling Blick Wolters poses with in this photo from the January 1926 races at the Legion Ascot Speedway was born, but the story does not end there. Wolters continued racing the machine, until it ultimately became a part of the collection at Harrah’s Automotive Museum in Reno, Nevada where it remained for some time. The machine was then restored and the Cyclone engine put back to its original, factory configuration. In the early 1980’s the Harrah’s collection was sold and the machine changed hands between collectors a handful of times in recent decades. In 2012 this odd racer, made by the hands of August E. Blick Wolters was stolen in an unnerving armed home invasion, the machine remains missing. 

Thank you everyone who helped fill me in on this amazing story.

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