With FUEL Cleveland 2023 coming up at the end of July we thought it would be nice to revisit last year’s recap by Brian Radway to stoke you up for this year’s event.
As a photographer that spends a lot of time at car shows and immersing myself in the four-wheeled side of kustom kulture, motorcycles and choppers have always been a distant brother to the scene I know and love. I had never been to a chopper-specific show before, so when my buddy Ryan over at ChopCult invited me to tag along to Fuel Cleveland 2022 with him, I couldn’t say yes fast enough!
The event was held on July 30th at Hale Farm & Village, which is an incredible display of historic land located in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Summit County, Ohio. The farm & village has several cool attractions including antique homes and buildings, farm animals, and even a blacksmith shop.
We arrived at the show a few hours early and were able to see some of the bikes being uncovered while others stayed under wraps and kept the anticipation high. As the sun came up, the chrome and kustom paint started to glisten.
Coming from a father who’s a kustom painter and being a hobbyist pinstriper myself, seeing all the incredible paint jobs was my favorite part of these motorcycles. My favorite bike of the day, hands down, had to be the 1950 pan/shovel chopper built by James Brown of Dayton, Ohio. James absolutely nailed the paint on this motorcycle from the gold frame down to the panels of brown/maroon and gold accents on the tins. All of the bikes displayed were showstoppers and Brown’s chop was no exception.
Everywhere I looked on these bikes there would be a new detail, color, or design that I had not seen at first glance. It really shows how much blood, sweat, and tears the builders put into their projects.
Another aspect of Fuel Cleveland that I really enjoyed was the custom van show. These machines were a perfect display of shag carpet, full-size murals, and all-out fun. My favorite van had to be Steev Luckett’s slammed Ford Econoline. Laying frame in the grass and sitting on Supremes, you can’t get much cooler than this. The paneled and flaked roof, as well as the wild interior, really set this vehicle off. Shoutout to Steev for bringing his van out to the show.
Not having been to a chopper show before, I was not sure what to expect from Fuel Cleveland. I am pumped to say this was my first one and I can’t wait to go back next year. The camaraderie between all the bike builders, attendees, and vendors was so awesome to see. I could not have had a better time. Thanks again to my buddy Ryan for bringing me out to Ohio to see what this scene is all about!
Brian Radway of BTR Digital Media is a photographer based out of Milwaukee, WI.
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If you’d like to submit photos and a story about your local chopper / van / hot rod show, please email Johnny: GnarlyMagOnline@gmail.com