I have been thinking about building a custom Chief again. The problem I have is that (in my opinion ) very few are an improvement on an original 30's rigid. There was a guy in in Vallejo years ago that built a really cool little 48 Chief, but I think it gained from the use of a lot of stock parts.
Harley Davidson was always an easy platform to improve upon. They were a bit clunky and gained quite it bit in the looks department when all the excess equipment was removed. There is probably not a cooler looking bike than a well done Knucklehead or even a nicely executed XLCH Sportster.
I think the issue with bobbing or chopping a Chief is that the stock frame was kind of ungainly when viewed without it's sheet metal. I know a lot of builders jumped all over the use of an Indian leaf spring front end lately, but they are a little weird looking without the front fender to balance them out. Kiwi built some custom Indian frames that clean up the lines on his bikes. I wonder what an original Indian glide front end would look like when coupled with one of his custom frames ???
I posted a picture of a 35 Chief as a base line, pretty hard to improve upon.
This picture courtesy of Occhio Lungo
Indian Larry on his Indian Chief, this is a very clean little bike. I wish i could find a good clear picture of this bike, but so far no luck.