'Bringing the old police girl back home': Horace man restores police motorcycle, to include in museum
By Rick Abbott
Published May 8, 2016 - The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead
HORACE, N.D. - From his cluttered but cozy garage, off a street he calls "gearhead alley," Bill Cullen has spent years restoring something pretty special: a motorcycle once used by the Denver police department to protect a famed aviator, more than 90 years ago.
Cullen, 56, started with what most would consider just a pile of parts. But now, he has a piece of history worth more than $100,000.
"Five years ago, it was junk sitting there on my driveway," Cullen said.
As the sound of jazz wafted from a stereo, made from the grill of an old pickup, Cullen was working Sunday, May 8, to gear the bike up for transport to Denver, for its inclusion in a police museum.
Cullen will make the trip this week and sell the bike, likely for more than $100,000, to the museum.
He hopes it can help the museum in its quest for funding.
To commemorate Police Week in Denver, the bike will be ridden by a cop, with his 100-year-old grandpa, a former officer, in the sidecar.
"It's going to be, at the very least, one hell of an adventure," Cullen said.
The bike was used to help transport then-25-year-old aviator Charles Lindbergh, in a series of parades after his record-setting nonstop flight from New York to Paris in 1927.
Cullen, a trucking parts salesman and volunteer firefighter, said it's not just about the money.
"Either way, I can't lose, can I?" he said. "This is just gonna be so cool."
The bike includes 95 percent original parts, from three different countries, Cullen said.
And it's not just bikes that Cullen restored.
"I restore anything and everything," Cullen said, pointing out an ice cream churn, powered by an old motor.
"This is gonna be that adventure of a lifetime," Cullen said.
He'll be "bringing the old police girl back home," he said.