I'm not really a motorcycle freak, but like all right-thinking Americans I'm bummed that custom bikes have followed rods over the precipice into the Overwrought Rococo Era. That makes this 1970 time capsule especially refreshing.

East Bay native Arlen Ness is well-known these days, but in 1970 he was still building his creations at his house. This bike, which I spotted at a local car show a couple weeks back, was one of his very first machines. It sat behind a bunch of boxes in an Oakland garage for more than three decades, before being unearthed and cleaned up. Check out the sign-painter-grade gold leaf stars on the tank- maybe Detroit could start putting these on their cars as part of their survival strategy!

I saw some other cool stuff at this show, including the legendary Boss Pinto; here's a bonus gallery for y'all: