Artwork for podcast Before It Happened
Driving the Nostalgia of Motorcycles into the EV Era with Paul d’Orléans
Episode 4031st March 2022 • Before It Happened • Donna Loughlin
00:00:00 00:34:15

Share Episode

Shownotes

The EV revolution is speeding up. If it’s on wheels, chances are someone has figured out how to take it electric. But what has been the path that has brought us here? In this episode, Donna talks with Paul D’Orleans, founder of The Vintagest and possibly the world's foremost authority on the EV revolution happening on two wheels. We spoke about his passion for buying and repairing rare and vintage motorcycles models from around the world and the moment when he decided to share his expertise with the world through his blog The Vintagent. Paul also shared his views on what will push the EV revolution forward. Join us and discover why Paul’s knowledge of motorcycles' past is just as exciting as the future!

Before any world-changing innovation, there was a moment, an event, a realization that sparked the idea before it happened. This is a podcast about that moment — about that idea. Before IT Happened takes you on a journey with the innovators who imagined — and are still imagining — our future. Join host Donna Loughlin as her guests tell their stories of how they brought their visions to life. 

JUMP STRAIGHT INTO:

(01:52) - Paul D’Orleans on his first motorbike and growing up in Stockton, California - “I cultivated a kind of street smarts or at least street awareness from an early age, but, you know, I was kid, so I mostly I had fun.”


(06:21) - Paul’s first business as a freelance painter in San Francisco and the vintage motorcycle scene in the 80s - “This was no ordinary unemployed hooligan club. These were people who all had college educations that loved carrying around on old British motorcycles.”


(12:25) All the way to the Soviet border: Paul’s motorcycle road trip to Europe in 1988 - “I was encouraged to take a trip in 1987 out to the Eastern Bloc to buy old motorcycles because there were quite a few ex-military and other machines and they were dirt cheap.


(15:33) - The growing momentum for motorcycles in pop culture and the creation of The Vintagent - “I just started posting photos with one or two sentences at first. And then as I learned how to play that instrument, it became much more elaborate.”


(23:02) - Why it’s important to understand the history of electric vehicles and the present transitional phase - “In early January 2009, I was able to be the first press anywhere to break the story of the world's first electric superbike. Who knew that 10 years later, I would have that bike in one of my Peterson exhibits.”


(29:08) - What will really push the EV revolution forward - “If you want mass adoption, you need legislation. That's what happened in China. They banned small internal combustion motors from the center of their big cities. Boom! They got 4 million EVs on the road.”


EPISODE RESOURCES: 

Follow Paul on Instagram, Facebook

Read The Vintagent

Read Paul’s book The Current 

Learn more about the Petersen Museum in Los Angeles

See the latest street fashions on The Sartorialist 


Thank you for listening! Follow Before IT Happened on Instagram and Twitter, and don’t forget to subscribe, rate and share the show wherever you listen to podcasts! 

Before IT Happened is produced by Donna Loughlin and StudioPod Media with additional editing and sound design by nodalab. The Executive Producer is Katie Sunku Wood and all episodes are written by Jack Buehrer.

Links