Perry Wills: The full suspension Panda as far as I know around 450 made, designed in '74, produced in '75. I currently own 2 of the originals “one still in pieces” and s as shocker. 2 which has a slightly different configuration.
When you need parts for a bike like that, where do you start?
Perry Wills: As far as parts go usually I’m pretty creative and also have accumulated a lot of small oddball items over the past 20 plus years usually. It’s a matter of looking or calling on someone I may know.
Who have been helpful in the BMX collector community tracking down parts for you?
Perry Wills: As far as tracking down parts I live close to 2 shops that had team riders. I’d say Scott Barrette kind of gave me the rekindled love for BMX. I initially had been dragging a bunch of bikes around with me wherever I moved. I took him all my stuff way back around I’d say late '90s early 2000's and sold it all to him for nothing pretty much in today’s standards.. When I caught the bug again he passed along a lot of deals and such we’ve traded back and forth many of years.. also Eric Dyer, we have done some dealings as well. Early on, pre smart phones, parts were much easier to source. I had quite a few hot spots. Times have changed, more collectors, smart phones and a lot of old sources dried up and went out of business..
When a bike is done, is that bike ready for the personal display rack, or is everything for sale when the offer is right?
Perry Wills: When a bike is done it all depends... For a while I quit building mainly 20” bikes and focused on cruisers, “things I could actually ride,” so I kind of rekindled building 20” bikes somewhat. I think I just accumulated so many frames I just started building some. Things have changed greatly. In my early days I did some kind of builds I look back and ask myself why?? Lol. As far as selling I’d say everything has a price, it depends on the situation. Sometimes I sell to fund other projects, sometimes I sell to add income, sometimes I go long periods of time just hoarding. It really depends on what kind of mood I’m in! I’ve been called a functioning hoarder!
Being in California, do you believe it's more common to run into interesting stuff at a local swap meet or do you really have to go to a BMX swap meet/meeting in order to find something interesting?
Perry Wills: Like I said previously things aren’t quite as easy to find but sometimes I think I enjoy the hunt more than having all the stuff! If you don’t look, you won’t find things. They don’t typically fall in your lap.. I’m a regular at flea markets and have several people who keep a eye out whether they buy storage units or what not. Sometimes I have sources bring me things. I’d say main thing is, get the word out to as many eyes as possible. Let yourself be known. Sometimes it pays off.. sometimes you accumulate a bunch of junk..
What's a bike (bike part) you have been looking for and haven't been able to find?
Perry Wills: Probably the most sought after bike would be an all original 26” Cook Bros cruiser with uniclamp and all Cook Bros goodies. I’ve had several Cook cruisers but that set up eludes me!
How can people get in touch with you when they have that part and want to hook you up?
Perry Wills: You can reach me on:
-Facebook under Perry Wills.
-BMX museum: suicyco
Previous Episodes on FATBMX:
Episode 1: Christophe Detandt (BEL)
Episode 2: James White (GBR)
Episode 3: JT Freestyle (USA)
Episode 4: Ben Murphy (IRL)
Episode 5: Rainer Schadowski (GER)
Episode 6: GAry Sansom (USA)
Episode 7: Michael Gamstetter (USA)
Episode 8: Grant Stone (GBR)
Episode 9: Steve Blackey (USA)
Episode 10: Shannon Gillette (USA)
Episode 11: Woody Itson (USA)
Episode 12: Oliver Kienzle (GER)
Episode 13: Kelly Swanson (USA)
Episode 14: Pat A Lar (GBR)
Episode 15: Billy Mills (GBR)
Episode 16: Steve Brothers (USA)
Episode 17: Aykut Hilmi (GBR)
Episode 18: Alex Leech (GBR)
Episode 19: Mike Janssen (NED)
Episode 20: Brian Gutierrez (USA)
Episode 21: Chad Powers (USA)
Episode 22: Alessandro Barbero (ITA)
Episode 23: Chris Daly (GBR)
Episode 24: Ian MacArthur (GBR)
Episode 25: Steve Strong (GBR)
Episode 26: Stephen Joseph (GBR)
Episode 27: Paul de Jong (NED)
Episode 28: Jon Western (GBR)
Episode 29: William "LaRock" LaRoque (USA)
Episode 30: Johan Janssens (BEL)
Episode 31: Darren Chan (USA)
Episode 32: Frank Lukas (GER)
Episode 33: Jason Teraoka (USA)
Episode 34: Shad Johnson (USA)
Episode 35: PJ McKenna (USA)
Episode 36: Henry Sarria (USA)
Episode 37: Jonathan Sherwood (SAF)
Episode 38: Trevor Henry (GBR)
Episode 39: Daniel Purcell (GBR)
Episode 40: Mark McCorkle (USA)
Episode 41: Tom Sustarich (USA)
Episode 42: Adam Cox (USA)
Episode 43: Perry Wills (USA)
Pics by Perry Wills