Photography: Naj Wareham
“My bike is the closest thing I’ll be able to create with my hands that feels alive.”
“The MGG frame really captures the spirit of the kind of man I work to be in the world: Subtle, but of note.”
“It’s not about owning something vintage, or something new. I have nothing against new bikes. It’s about owning something special. The library of new is limited by time; but the past is vast and for the taking.”
Mr. Eric Guttman and his Triumph Tbird
Are we all confined to be what we do? This is at the very core of the philosophy that drives the DIROCCO team. This is the entire point of the storytellers. Mr. Eric Gutmann is an art director in Soho, NYC. He works for a prominent design firm that has created objects you would easily recognize. Three years ago he was gifted a Triumph T-bird that wasn’t running. Without a thread of knowledge about being a motorcycle mechanic, Mr. Gutmann went to work.
How did you come across your T-bird?
It used to belong to one of my bosses. He was looking to get rid of it as it wasn’t running. I was more than happy to take it off his hands.
How long did it take you to get it running?
That’s a trick question. My goal was to do it on my own. I wasn’t opposed to having help from friends but I didn’t want to take it to a mechanic. I also wanted to modify the aesthetics of the bike, to strip it from a lot of things that aren’t really necessary. It started out as a green bike, and now its all black. But to answer your question, 3 years.
Seems like a long time.
It is. But not when its a passion project. Fixing the bike became my hobby, my outlet. Living and working in NYC isn’t exactly a time generous thing so whenever I could make time to roll up my sleeves, I would.
What would you say to anyone out there thinking about doing the same?
Be patient. Go for it, its very self-rewarding, but be patient. You may not get it right the first time, but you will get it right.