It was such a pleasure finally meeting Buz Ras of Seattle Speedometer at The One Motorcycle Show in Portland, Oregon a couple weeks ago. Buz is the go-to guy when it comes to custom gauges, with many of the best builders out there tapping his shop, because the design, quality, and finish are top notch. For me, seeing the 12 custom speedos that he did for The One Show blew my mind. Lined up on his tidy table like little soldiers, each one was a beautiful work of art. I wanted to buy one on the spot, but they were all CB (Honda) speedos, great for display because of their big faces that really show-off his incredible work. After a couple drinks, a few hugs, and many laughs later we headed over to Sassy’s across from The One Show and kept the good times lubricated while we shot the shit about what he does.


TSY:  So Buz, I’m not the sharpest knife in the drawer– but I couldn’t help noticing at The One Motorcycle Show that you are one tall drink of water, brother. I mean, how the fuck are you 6″10″ and allowed to profess that you hate sports? Ain’t nobody got time for that! Did they just tear your poor Dad up?

SS:  My dad was an amazing basketball player in school, won awards. I played basketball for one season in high school. Fouled out of every game, and got ejected from 8 games. After that I decided I was not a sports guy. I kinda regret not pursuing it more because I could have made a ton of money with very little effort, but there’s no going back now…

TSY:  (That’s what she said, Buz.) So have you always been a motorhead, Buz? Was this a natural career path for you, or did you just kinda fall into it?

SS:  I’ve always loved motorized things. Taking stuff apart, seeing how it worked. I was going to go to college to be an engineer but I quickly learned its 95% paperwork, 5% actual building. So, I ended up with a degree in anthropology.

TSY:  This is so interesting for me, because I’ve always been drawn to speedometers since I was a little kid. I remember walking up to cars and bikes and going straight to the speedo to get the critical 411. And I’d be so matter-of-fact in stating, “Yes, this Mercury Bobcat will do 150 mph. I know because it says so on the speedometer right there!” Funny, doesn’t quite work like that, but as a kid…. Anyway, how do you go from anthropology to speedometers?

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I’m crazy for vintage Curt Teich linen postcards. The warm, fuzzy, softness of color, printed (sometimes slightly off register) on the linen-weave stock, of scenes when America had a youthful glow. It makes me yearn for a life and times that I was born too late for, by golly.  I find myself gazing at neighborhoods and cities, trying to chronologically piece them together.  I ask myself– what was it like here 100 yrs ago… which houses came first… which were layered in later, and when?  A lot of the scenes in these incredible windows to the past are places where I’ve lived, or passed through that are in one way or another core to who I am.

Imagine living again in a time with no cell phones, internet, and the other so-called modern conveniences that “save us time.” I could go back in a New York second.  Technology and consumption is moving at a scary pace, folks.  I wonder what we’ll be looking back at with nostalgia-glazed eyes 25 yrs from now… Planet Earth?

Ford Model T – 1908-1909, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Dearborn, Michigan

Statue of Liberty on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor, New York City

Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street, New York City

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