It’s amazing what you can come across in a deserted warehouse in New York…
And that’s what David Cuff discovered first hand when he opened the warehouse doors, along with his buddy, photographer Chris Seward. The precice location of the warehouse became a hot topic of debate in the stratosphere, after these images of it were posted to Flickr.
David Cuff calls himself a “backyard motorcycle tinkerer,” and that’s why he enjoyed travelling in search of deserted warehouses. Want to see what he found inside this one?…
Lockport, New York
David got on his bike and ventured out on the long drive, cross-country, in order to go discover the warehouse he had just rented.
David was full of curiosity when he opened the warehouse door, and noticed some interesting items inside.
Soon after arriving in the town, Cuff and his buddy went in search of dilapidated buildings. They carefully found their way inside one such warehouse, via the basement, using cuff’s phone’s flashlight for some light.
Naturally, when Cuff found this stash of old motorbikes, he was shocked and almost fainted. There was dozens of old rusting motorcycles, as the men tried to process what they were seeing before their eyes.
For the time being, Cuff, who manages a website called Classic Cycles, had a bunch of unanswered questions. Who owned all these bikes? Why had they been left here for so long? And many more…
Cuff made some calls to contact of his, and soon discovered that the building with the bikes was in fact condemned by the e City of Lockport. It was repossessed from a guy called Frank who had failed to pay his property taxes.
Eventually, Cuff got in contact with Frank, a fellow motorbike enthusiast, and Frank told him that he hadn’t accessed the warehouse for some time as he didn’t have any accident insurance.
After Cuff returned home to Washington D.C., he chatted to Frank on a daily basis. He wanted to know more about the warehouse, its contents, and what he could do about getting a piece of all those wonderful classic bikes.
As the weeks passed, a number of facts came to light that gave answers to a lot of Cuff’s questions. Frank found out that the bikes were assembled by a chap named Kohl, who had owned the warehouse previously.
Unfortunately, Kohl died in 2002, and at just the same time, Frank began falling behind with repairs to the warehouse, which was in his name. The structure was left to decay, and decay it did, along with the contents inside it.
Unfortunately for Frank, The City of Lockport gave him a deadline of mid-November to retrieve whatever he wanted from the warehouse. That being the new reality, Cuff returned in the October, with some buddies to ‘help’ Frank with the bikes.
It wasn’t going to be easy. No one was under any illusions about that. However, that didn’t stop the determined team, armed with equipment like rope, cameras and flashlights.
When Cuff got to spend time having a proper look at the warehouse, he was daunted. As he wrote online, “The building’s content is massively overwhelming. It’s just a lot to take in, especially when you are trying to pick what treasures you want to take home.”
Cuff found some awesome pickings, which he intended to take home to DC, having agreed a price with Frank. But there was still more to come…A lot more…
One of cuff’s friends, a guy named Brian, was also in contact with Frank, and went himself to buy some stuff. Then Frank told Cuff something that led him back to Lockport for the return.
According to Brian, Frank had already started throwing away the bikes and parts, so no time was wasted as Cuff shot back to salvage what he could. When they saw two large dumpsters full of bikes, they were concerned.
Both Cuff and Brian wept when they heard from Frank that he had scrapped another load of bikes from another warehouse. Cuff wrote “[Frank told us about] the time he scrapped 600 or so motorcycles years ago. I shed a tear hearing that. These weren’t ugly late 1970s or 1980s bikes. These were 1960s and early 1970s bikes.”
End of an Era
A few months passed, then Frank when Cuff decided to call Frank and check the status of things. Frank informed him that al the bikes were gone and that the warehouse had been handed back to the city.
As Cuff said in his own words, “I’m afraid there will never be another scrapyard like this one. These days it’s much different. Motorcycles are much more expensive and not just tossed aside… I’m glad we had the opportunity to meet Frank and have full access to the building. These finds are what we dream of as kids.”
The city decided to demolish the warehouse to make way for housing, marking the end of an era. However, a legacy remained of a wonderful motorcycle dealership from back in the day. And besides, Cuff and co managed to salvage some amazing bikes.
[Featured image credit: dcclassiccycles.dynamitedave.com]