What are 'Dealership Tee’s', how did they start and where do the backprints come from?
Legend has it Dealership T-shirts started at a dusty racetrack sometime in the 70’s. Although there are several companies who create dealership Tee’s one of the originators is RK Stratman who got their licence in 1983. Ron K Stratman, a race fanatic and a Harley guy through and through, came into agreement with the motorcompany to create Harley-Davidson Tee’s for the dealer network complete with backprint. Over time, new and interesting designs for the dealer backprints became popular and shops started giving their own spin on their designs, so becoming a collectable item.
We still order our T’s from RK Stratman, who are based in Wentzville, Missouri. Over the years we’ve printed a wide range of designs, each one incorporating a little piece of Scotland, after all, Harley-Davidson do have roots here in Scotland! It’s not just the T-shirts we customise, it’s our shot glasses, decals, keyrings, patches, tubes and much more. So, where do our designs come from and how do we choose our designs? Over the years they were a standard print, modified to add our location, but over the last few years we took our design process inhouse. Various team members have come up with ideas and they would be sketched and set to the motor company for modification and approval for release.
Our top designs over the last few years have been the Wallace print, our Anniversary print and the Stag logo. Our Wallace print features William Wallace’s “Pro Liberatate” family crest – having been born just a few miles from the shop’s current location, not only is he a local lad, but a bit of a legend here in Scotland and further afield. Wallace’s name has become synonymous with freedom, a value most bikers can relate to!
The Anniversary Eagle Print was a limited edition run designed by Ooor Big Ross. A mix of American and Scottish flags flank a Bald Eagle which is encircled by a traditional Celtic knot work stone circle, our 20th anniversary script and dates stamped proudly across a scroll. This design takes a fantastic mix of American and Scottish iconography and has created a logo which has been in high demand.
The Stag Print was designed by Sian in Motorclothes – Inspired by the Lochs and Hills of the West Coast and the stunning wild life you may see on our amazing road. These elements all come together by a geometry style design, culminating in a Saltire Flag in the centre. This design can be found on tubes, patches and decals and has been popular with locals as well as folk wishing to commemorate riding the North Coast 500.
The Rose Print, only available on women’s Tee’s this design was inspired by Charles Rennie Mackintosh & Margaret Macdonald. Born in 1868 here in Glasgow Mackintosh rose to become a leading designer and architect within the City of Glasgow and throughout Europe. This design fuses his famous Rose Design and Harley-Davidson logo for a proud yet subtle Scottish print.
So what’s next in the design line? Our latest sketch was drawn up to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Fatboy model. Both Scottish flags are featured on this print as well as an original Fatboy, and a proud Stag in the vista of Glen Coe. Designed by Sian, this logo will be available on Teeshirts coming towards the end of the year.