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Archive for Friday, August 4, 2006

Classic motorcycles featured on new stamps

August 4, 2006

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— Olive is about to be famous and her owner couldn't be more excited.

"I'm very pleased that my little treasure would be chosen. I think it's a real honor," Penny Nickerson said of Olive's selection to appear on a new U.S. Postage Stamp.

Olive, by the way, is a 1918 Cleveland motorcycle, one of four classic cycles appearing on 39-cent stamps that will be released Monday at the annual motorcycle rally in Sturgis, S.D.

The others are a 1940 Indian Four owned by motorcycle collector Larry Spielfogel, a 1965 Electra Glide owned by George Tsunis and a rendering of a 1970 chopper by artist Steve Buchanan.

Nickerson, a retired history teacher from Long Island, first met Olive 36 years ago, but wasn't able to buy and begin restoring the cycle until 20 years ago.

Olive is, of course, olive drab, "because in 1918 that was the only color you could get a Cleveland in," she explained. They were used in World War I for dispatch duty and some in the medical corps, so every Cleveland in 1918 was olive drab.

That's not why she named her cycle Olive, however.

During her research on restoring the cycle she read about a woman who bought a 1918 Cleveland and named it Olive because, "It's like an olive, you don't know how great it is until you bite into it."

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