The Red Baron was the very first show rod I built as a kid, and it was the wildest thing I’d ever seen. This build is an updated version.

┬áIf Tom Daniel had built the Red Baron in the swoopy late ’70s, it might have looked like this. I discovered that the original Red Baron helmet looked pretty good on the Cherry Bomb body and ran with it.

In the spirit of creating an “updated” version, I added another intake and scoop to the engine. The original seats dropped right in with a little filing and I used a Bugatti radiator up front, sinking it down into the body. I knew I wanted to use the “canteen” fuel tank out back, and trimmed the T-bucket body way from the rear support rails. With a little sanding they lined up nicely. I added the machine guns and a round of the iron cross wheels.

Since the Cherry Bomb came with a cool trailer and matching chopper, I decided to push myself and see if I could make it match.

The engine seemed to be about the same width as the frame, but it was about two cylinders too long. I had to hack it up into three pieces to remove inner cylinders to retain the front and rear details. I then sectioned the oil pan and adapted the Harley transmission. Another canteen fuel tank was sectioned and I added the iconic helmet spear to the sissy bar. After much boneyard combing, a spindle-mounted dragster front wheel and a Bugatti mag were added to finish it out. I think I had more work in the bike than the car. The Cherry Bomb was a total glue bomb, and probably older than I. Most of the bike was trashed and the chrome plating gone. I wrapped many parts in bare metal foil. Overall I dig it.

Bonus Peek:


The original mockup was the usual tape and prop-up to get the idea. The grille would give way to the sleeker Bugatti unit, and the engine would gain a second intake.