True loves on display at Concours d'Elegance

Eugene Case bought his motorcycle new about 38 years ago, but the two-wheel, cherry-red vehicle doesn't look a day over 1.

"People have boats for toys, trailers for toys and all sorts of stuff as toys," he said. "But this is my toy and I love it."


Case, 83, of Huntington Beach will enter his 1976 Honda CB750 K6 into the 29th annual Huntington Beach Concours d'Elegance, a car and motorcycle show that raises funds for the Children's Resource Center at the city's Central Library.

Dozens of vintage and current American, European and Asian vehicles will be parked in Central Park on Saturday, allowing visitors to gaze at and take pictures of exclusive and rare automobiles.


Bart McGrath, founder and president of the Concours, said Ford Motor Co. is planning to set up a booth at the event to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Mustang. Additionally, he has organized a tribute to Audi vehicles.

Case is no stranger to the event, having been an entrant since 2006, when he took second place in his category. In 2012, he won the People's Choice award for the show. He has also become a volunteer for the Concours.

He bought his Honda motorcycle in October 1976 for $1,900, a bargain at a time when other manufacturers, like Triumph, were selling similar bikes for $2,800 to $4,000, he said.

The CB750 is considered by many to be the first mass-produced superbike, with its four-cylinder engine and single overhead camshaft. It was also the first to offer disc brakes.


Though Case's vehicle is almost four decades old, it has only 54,778 miles on the odometer. The owner, who performs his own maintenance on the bike, said it still pulls as if it were brand new.

"I've kicked it up to 115 miles per hour and then I backed off," he said. "I said, 'That's fast enough for me,' but I know I could have gone faster."

Case has made a few modifications, functional and cosmetic, over the years, though the chassis and the engine have remained stock.

He said he has added an oil pressure gauge and oil cooler to improve performance, numerous taillights to make sure he is visible at night and a windscreen to protect himself from debris, as well as converted his exhaust system into a two-into-one muffler because he preferred the look.

"I even got two new horns that you can hear from a mile away," Case said as he demonstrated.

Case has ridden his motorcycle to Ruidoso, N.M., and Arizona several times. Sometimes, he will drive up and down Pacific Coast Highway just to enjoy the view.

"I like anything that lets me feel free, and a motorcycle lets me feel free when I'm riding it," he said. "In a car, I feel more confined. But motorcycles are more dangerous, and I'll be the first one in the world to admit that."

Case said he will never part with his CB750, noting that the owner of the new Indian Motorcycle dealership off Goldenwest Street in Westminster recently approached him with an offer of $5,000.


"There's no way in the world that I can replace that bike," Case said. "They don't make that kind of bike anymore. They've got some nice and beautiful bikes out there, but I like mine better than any of the others I've ever seen."



What: 29th annual Huntington Beach Concours d'Elegance

When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 31; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. June 1

Where: Huntington Beach Central Library, 7111 Talbert Ave.

Admission: $10; free for children younger than 16 years old

Parking: $1 all day at Sports Complex