Thomas Jerome ?Tom? Fugle | The Aging RebelThomas Jerome “Tom” Fugle, a legendary bike builder and the co-founder, with Harlan “Tiny” Brower, of the El Forastero Motorcycle Club died after a long battle with cancer at about six-thirty last night at his home in Sioux City, Iowa.
El Forastero translates from Spanish as “The Stranger.”
One of the first people Fugle recruited to his new club was a young artist named David Mann. The two met at a bike show in Kansas City in 1964. Fugle would later say that when he first met Mann the young artist said he did not know what to paint. Fugle told him, “Well, paint what you see. That’s why he was painting what he saw. He did an awful lot of paintings. He built an awful lot of motorcycles with a paintbrush.” Fugle gave the elegy at Mann’s funeral.
Fugle built his first chopper in 1961 after buying a Harley-Davidson dresser with 3,000 miles on it for $800. He later said it was the most money he ever paid for a motorcycle. His last bike was an Evolution chopper.
In 2014 Fugle told Street Chopper magazine, “I love to build and ride choppers, as it is an expression of my art. I guess that’s because I’ve always been artistic. I feel that those who ride stock bikes must be autistic. So what I’m trying to say is; ‘Ride choppers or **** off!’”
Fugle is survived by Jennie DeCora, his companion of 18 years, and his brothers in the El Forastero and Galloping Goose Motorcycle Clubs.
Tom Fugle was 75-years-old. As long as men build and ride choppers he will haunt us.