There is a scene in the movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button where Brad Pitt is riding his motorcycle down a country road. He is sporting aviator sunglasses and a worn-out brown leather jacket, with one hand on the drop handlebars, and one hand resting on the gas tank of his cherry red vintage Indian 101 Scout motorcycle. With the wind blowing back his hair, he embodied cool.
You may not have a motorcycle license, a leather jacket, or the ability to afford vintage motorcycle, but there is a company in Santa Clara, California lovingly churning out gorgeous electric bicycles that may be able to make you feel as just as cool as a Hollywood movie star when riding it.
The company is called Vintage Electric, and starting roughly two years ago they began manufacturing electric bikes with the heart and soul of vintage motorcycles.
In 2012, long time BMX and mountain bike racer Andrew Davidge entered into a challenge with his friend to craft the coolest gas powered bicycle. While brainstorming ideas for his bike, Andrew tells us, “…electric propulsion had the same characteristics that I wanted to embody in the prototype; clean and simple with lasting quality. So I decided to make it electric.”
The first prototype manufactured was called the E-Tracker, and since that first bike, the Vintage Electric Bike family has grown into a diverse team today. “We have an eclectic mix of not just employees but people who are great at what they do: true craftsmen in their own way,” says Andrew. “It takes a solid team of people who are whole-heartedly dedicated to the success and growth of the company.”
The community the team grew up in was Los Gatos, California. In fact they all graduated from Los Gatos High School in different years.
“We are incredibly proud to say that each cycle is handcrafted and assembled in-house here in Santa Clara, California. Manufacturing our products is one of the key layers of the foundation of Vintage Electric, and it feels good for me to provide jobs to my team who are all talented and proud of what they’re producing,” says Andrew. What they are producing is more than just a bike. It’s a piece of art.
“Every Vintage Electric cycle is a high performance work of art on wheels and an investment in classic design,” says Andrew. According to their website, the E-Tracker can reach speeds of up to 36 MPH and hit the 30 mile range on a two hour charge.”
Andrew’s vision is to produce such a high quality bike that it can be passed down as a family heirloom. He tells us, “I want to create a product that you wouldn’t just throw away every two years; something that you could take apart and fix or replace with a component. I want to step away from the idea of planned obsolescence and really craft something that could span over multiple generations.”
Vintage Electric bikes sure have the timeless look of a family heirloom. These sleek beauties evoke the same lines as the Indian 1915 “board track racer.” The board track racer wasn’t the same bike that Brad Pitt was riding in Benjamin Button, but it was the same manufacturer. Who knows, maybe in 100 years, the latest Hollywood star will be riding a Vintage Electric on the silver screen. If the team at Vintage Electric sticks to their core values of quality and design, they have all the potential of creating an iconic piece of history.
If you are in the San Jose area, swing buy the factory to test drive an E-Tracker, or just drool over one on their website.