Justin Gregory of JAG Old School Choppers was presented with an opportunity to do what he loves best: build up a vintage chopper to be auctioned off.
The following article is from OrmondBeachObserver.com.
Local bike builder Justin Gregory had exactly five weeks to build and restore a survivor chopper in order to take it to South Dakota in time for it to be auctioned off at the 4th annual Buffalo Chip Freedom Celebration in Sturgis.
Josh Owens from the Discovery Channel TV show "Moonshiners", who is a friend of Gregory’s, asked him if he wanted the build. Once Gregory, 37, heard the money would benefit veterans, he jumped on the challenge.
"If I can help people, that’s what I try to do," Gregory said.
He is a graduate from the WyoTech campus in Daytona, and his shop JAG Old School Choppers is located right in Ormond Beach. His passion in motorcycle mechanics lies in restoring vintage bikes, so this opportunity was right up his alley.
"My huge thing is keeping [vintage bikes] on the road because as soon as they’re gone, there won’t be anything like that anymore," Gregory said.
Gregory found the perfect bike to restore in a barn up in Georgia. It was a 1969 Triumph Bonneville survivor chopper, and it needed to be fully restored. So he brought it back down to his shop and got to work.
He did all of the engine work, but was aided by local mechanics Dan Dermott and Brian Haynes — all of which also helped out because of their respect for veterans.
While Gregory never served, he has a lot of family members who did.
Dermott said whenever there’s an opportunity to benefit veterans, people can count him in due to his respect for those who served.
"Anything we can do to give back, because neither of us served, we’ll do that and some," Dermott said.
Chris Barton, campus director and academic dean at the WyoTech campus in Daytona, said this was an opportunity for the school to come in and support Gregory on his mission, and at the same time, build stronger alumni connections — something they’re working toward currently.
"The motorcycle industry really is a fairly small industry," Barton said. "You know, you learn pretty quick that a lot of people know each other."
WyoTech aided Gregory financially to get him up to Sturgis, something he is incredibly grateful for.
After a few last minute hiccups that Gregory, Dermott and Haynes pulled long hours to fix, the fully restored 1969 Triumph Bonneville survivor chopper was ready for Sturgis for the four-day event.
The bike did well, going on numerous rides. In the end, it was auctioned for $7,500.
"I feel like I gave back now by doing this project," Gregory said.