Baxter Cycle

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Marne, Iowa 51552
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Bill’s story of his Father Paul’s Triumph Dealership in Cedar Falls, Iowa

Cedar Falls, Iowa
The Chicken Coop

Triumph, BSA, and Ariel were taken on with the building of a shop building behind the house, a quarter mile down a gravel road, in Cedar Falls. (The building was still there in 2005) All these bikes were exciting. Not only were they the first new motorcycles following the big war but they were very different from the patterns of construction established by Harley and Indian. As literature came in, the excitement mounted. My new BSA C10 would be a few months in coming. The first arrival was the Triumph Speed Twin. The chrome and maroon gas tank surfaced as the crate was opened. What a day! The new telescopic front forks were the first seen and the 6” of smooth travel was simply amazing. We knew what sound to expect from the beautifully flowing chromed exhaust because of the two Triumphs Paul had sold in 1939. But those forks were really something. For demonstration, Paul would lay a wrench on the shop floor and roll the bike over it, causing the forks to work. Cinders from the local power plant were used to surface the drive and yard when the shop was built. The cinders were scattered from a big pile dumped there. When the job was complete there was still a three foot high pile left over. This became something to ride over for fun. Paul took the Triumph over it for the first time and when the forks reached full extension they locked. This was a disaster, for this new concept in fork design had many riders coming especially to see it. He quickly took the bike to our chicken coop, as fortunately no customer was witness. He cooked up a lie about where the Triumph went when customers came around to see. In the coop he worked at dismantling and fixing the problem. This he accomplished but I did not understand the reason for the problem. However, with what I eventually learned about the requirements to dismantle and reassemble those forks, I was impressed it was accomplished in a chicken coop.


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9 comments on “Bill’s story of his Father Paul’s Triumph Dealership in Cedar Falls, Iowa

  1. terry winkey

    I owned several Triumph’s – the last was a new

    Bonneville in 1966 from Lloyd Weber. Lloyd started his motorcycle business in Allison in the early ’60’s.
    I remember Lon Cook being in Waterloo on Falls Ave. – Am I wrong?

    • Gordon Courbat

      Just now saw your post while visiting Baxter Cycle’s page. I’m from Waverly and used to ride with Lloyd Weber back in the 60’s when he started his business in Allison. You may have known my father, Arlo, who was a barber. Would like to connect with you the next time I’m in Waverly.

      • terry winkey

        Was Paul your brother? I went to school with both Paul and Almira, Just saw Lloyd a couple of years ago before he sold the business,

  2. I purchased a new Triumph Tiger 750 in 1972 in Cedar Falls. I have not lived there in 40 years but I believe the name of the shop was Webbers and it was near/on Ansborough. Was this the same place and is it still there?

  3. Great story. When I was a kid in Waverly I used to hang out at Triumph dealer in Cedar Falls owned by Lon Cook. Did Lon buy it from your dad?

      • Gordon Courbat

        This is in response to your story published on the Baxter Cycle Post Page earlier this year. I was a regular at Lon’s shop west of Cedar Falls when I was in high school in Waverly. I would definitely be interested in hearing the story of how your dad took over Lon’s business and could share some stories about those days too. Enjoyed the Chicken Coop story.
        Gordon Courbat
        Sioux Falls, SD

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