Peyote Puffer

Dec 17th 2019

The year was 1967. Perry Sands was 19 years old and he decided it was time he had a chopper. This wasn’t just any chopper, but a 1946 Indian Chief. And like all kids do, they bite off more than they can chew. But with a unique eye, a colorful idea and lots of hard work, the Peyote Puffer was born in his fathers garage. He used every skill he had to fabricate the bike including fiber glass, torch and gas welding. He stripped off everything unnecessary in true chopper fashion and pulled a peanut tank off a Mustang, welding, glassing and molding it onto the frame. There were only two items of paint on the bike, the frame and tank and the rear fender which was attached haphazardly to frame. The rest of the parts went to chrome including the cylinders and every nut and bolt. When the parts returned from finish they were set in the Den in the family home until Sandy, Perry’s mom had enough. She pushed Perry to finish the Indian in the garage. After months of work the bike was on wheels, running and ready for the show circuit. The made the Long Beach Show at the sports arena and then took a trip to the LA sports arena.  

Shortly after the bike made it’s debut the young Perry Sands and the bike hit the road. Literally. It was 1969 and Perry was on a speed run in front of the Golden Sails Hotel on PCH. Perry had changed the stock carburetor in for a Tillotson paired with Sporty mufflers and the bike was running great, a little to great apparently. The front wheel bearings weren’t up to the high speed runs up the coast and the results were disasterous. As Perry came over the bridge the bump at the exit of the bridge sent the bike out of control at 80 plus mph. The bike went lock to lock and finally ripped the bars out of his hands. Perry was lucky enough to find himself on top of the bike and essentially surfed the bike until it spun and spit him off onto the asphalt. He walked away uninjured outside of a few yards of skin he left on PCH, but the Peyote Puffer was smoked. The frame was bent beyond repair the molded gas tank spilled fuel. The frame had to be replaced and the Peyote Puffer was no more.

Miraculously, 50 years later Perry was reunited with the original Frame. This was the machine that started it all and inspired the family business, Performance Machine. His son, Roland, who was born into the two wheeled fraternity has joined forces with his father to see the Peyote Puffer rebuilt for the Born Free Show in 2020. It’s their goal to rebuild the original bike from scratch as his father did 50 years ago.


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