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1986 Laguna California Special 26

1986 Laguna California Special 26


There is a God, He does exist, He does not deny and He does answer prayers.

If you do not believe me then behold this '86 Laguna Cruiser California Special, and the story of where and how I found this big boy.

I was high for BMX one Saturday and set out to find a bike I could call my own.  I went out knowing I would find a real gem but not knowing where I would find it.  I hit just about every pawn shop, Goodwill Store and thrift store I could locate before I randomly came across a genuine junk yard just outside the city limits.  

When I arrived I met the owner Celso and asked him if he had any bikes.  He spoke broken English and replied he only had two.  So, we proceeded to walk through his junkyard littered mainly with old cars and all kinds of random stuff.  Walking through this place reminded me of being with my dad back in day and it was walk back in time.  By the time we made to the edge of the yard, he turned to me and said, "you know what, I lied.  I do not have any bikes."  

At this point my heart jumped into my throat and I thought he was going to rob me or something, but then it occurred to me that he thought I was looking for a motorcycle.  So I asked him in Spanglish, "you don't have any bicycles?" and a big grin came across his face and we both began to laugh. He told me in Spanish, "I though you meant motorcycles" and said he had "mucho" bicycles.  Celso was right, he did have a lot of bikes, a whole heap of them in fact.

He walked me back to the front of the junkyard and we made some chit-chat along the way.  Sitting right at the entrance of the junkyard was the largest mangled mess of bicycles and bicycle parts I had ever imagined.  I had walked by the heap when I arrived and didn't even notice it was all bikes.  In fact if you took this mass of bikes and put it in a museum, it would have been called art. 

You could not tell where one bike began and another ended there were so many heaped on top of each other.  I immediately started going through the mess to untangle them when I noticed a rusty pair of BMX-looking forks protruding from the ground up.  I noticed that connected to these forks was a rusting Chrome frame and handlebars still attached, so I started yanking harder to pull this find from the mess that lay rested on top.  

By the time I freed the frame set from the mess, I really did not what I was looking at.  My immediate thought was 'man someone jacked this frame up bad', but on second look I saw the Laguna Cruiser decal and thought to myself 'no way!'  I immediately set the Laguna aside and started to examine this big boy closely.  I could not believe what I had uncovered, a near complete Laguna Cruiser California Special frame and fork with original stem, handlebars, grips, cranks and Tracer 44T chainring. Even the decals were still intact, and I remember thinking 'it's a freaking miracle!'

I can't say how long this bike had been left in Celso's junkyard, but it had been there long enough to be at the bottom of the pile bikes and rust.  It was a two week process to clean the old twenty-sixer.  The stem had become stuck over the years and it took a third week at the bike pro to free it loose.  At the end of it all, I kept the cruiser to its original parts only having to replace the original cranks with a Sugino 86 Cr-Mo .  I added the GT stamped platform pedals, seat post and seat clamp; a Viscount Aero seat, old school Dia-Compe 1182 big brake lever with Lee Chi rear brake; Kenda 26 X 2.125 whitewall tires; Weinman AS7X rims and a white chain to finish this Special out California style.  It is by far my favorite bike I own.

Till this day I still can't believe I set out to find a bike to call my own and found this big boy waiting for me in a junkyard.





Submitted by TEXMEXBMX