Dave Brackett grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and like most kids in school in a water sports area, he drew racing boats and hydroplanes during classes.
That all changed when he moved to Southern California in 1958 as a high school freshman. His interests changed to race cars and hot rods. He took welding, machine shop, and drafting in high school, then got a four year degree in Industrial Technology, from Fullerton College, majoring in auto shop, welding, machine shop and engineering. Getting his drivers license in 1959, his first vehicle was a 1949 Cushman motor scooter. He had to be different, so he painted in light blue, with pink and yellow flames, and did some modest customizing.
Dave spent two years in the Army as a missile repairman and supply inspector. He helped a friend build a Willys pickup, and as always trying something different, made a complete wood bed with carvings. He also helped out with "Pure Heaven II", when they were on tour in his area. Dave did art work and leather work to keep busy, which brought him many awards in art and craft shows, but he was longing for his return to hot rods. In January of 1969, he returned to Southern California to resume his normal life.
When looking up old friends, he chased down Tom McMullen, who was now building chopper motorcycle parts in Buena Park, Ca. Tom immediately hired Dave and they started building one of the leading chopper parts manufacturers in the industry, "AEE Choppers". Dave started by improving jigs and fixtures to increase production, and hiring more people to build all the new parts Tom, Dave and the gang were creating. Tired of the chopper trend toward mostly Harley motorcycles, Dave started to build parts for Japanese bikes. Tom wanted Dave to make different accessories that were not available yet. Dave designed bolt-on and weld-on hard tails, side car kits, three wheeler kits, and complete rigid frames for many makes of bikes. He followed with new style exhaust systems, front ends, sissy bars, and helped with designing complete kits to build a chopper, called "Kit Bikes". He also did destructive testing to insure AEE products were safe, helped the government with safety studies, and wrote magazine articles about the "Chopper" industry.
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