Painter Cal’s Harley dedicated to veterans

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

Cal Lamotte stands beside his Harley, which he has had customized to honor veterans.

Cal Lamotte stands beside his Harley, which he has had customized to honor veterans.

Clare business man and Vietnam Veteran Calvin Lamotte always wanted to do something special to honor veterans. “I always give to support them. I do whatever I can to help a veteran,” he said, and I participate in memorial rides in their honor.”
Two years ago he decided one way to honor veterans would be to dedicate his 1997 Harley Sportster to them through a custom paint job.

With the help of Cycle Works in Clare and the expertise of tattoo artist Joe Pawlowski of Devildog Ink, who also specializes in wall art and custom airbrush work, the nearly two-year project is complete. Cal’s Harley is now a traveling memorial to Veterans. “I did this for all veterans, not just for me,” he said, “and not just for Vietnam.

The front fender depicts a map of Vietnam and  helicopters.

The front fender depicts a map of Vietnam and
helicopters.

Cal, who owns Cal’s Painting for interior and exterior, is a dedicated rider and participates in most fundraising rides for veterans, he said. He has been in the painting business since 1967. “My father was a painter and it’s what I wanted to do.” He said he moved from Detroit to Clare “20 years ago this summer.”

He has three daughters, two in Arizona and one in South Carolina, and one

The gas tank depicts the Flag Raising at Iwo Jima.

The gas tank depicts the Flag Raising at Iwo Jima.

grandson who is nine years old.

When he is riding his Harley, he attracts a lot of attention, he said. “Everywhere I go people stop to look and take pictures.”

Joe did most of the artwork by hand, Cal said. “The

The oil tank  features a memorial to 58,479 Vietnam       soldiers who never came home with a picture of the  memorial Wall.

The oil tank
features a memorial to 58,479 Vietnam soldiers who never came home with a picture of the
memorial Wall.

detail is unbelievable.” He said he loves to ride it.

The beautiful bike has a map of Vietnam on the front fender complete with helicopters. On the back fender is the POW insignia with the legend “never forgotten” on one side and “no one left behind” on the other side.

The oil tank sports the

The back fender has the POW emblem and ‘never forgotton on one side and ‘no one left behind’ on the other side.

The back fender has the POW emblem and ‘never forgotton on one side and ‘no one left behind’ on the other side.

saying, “Vietnam War…In Memory of 58,478 who did not come home” together with a drawing of the Vietnam Memorial Wall and a rendition of the Blue Angels.

On the other side on the gas tank of the Harley is the Flag Raising at Iwo Jimi, which depicts six United States Marines raising a U.S. flag atop Mount Suribachi, during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II. Cal was in the Marine Corps during Vietnam.
Cal plans to keep on riding his Harley for a few more years and eventually to give it to his grandson, if he wants it. “If he doesn’t, I will donate it to the Vietnam War Memorial,” he said.

He said he will ride as an escort when the traveling Vietnam Wall moves from Midland to Sanford, possibly around Memorial Day.

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