- Category : 1929-births
- Type : MEG
- Profile : 4/6 - Opportunistic / Role Model
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Consciousness 3
American motorcycle mechanic, artist, pin striper, metal fabricator, knifemaker and gunsmith, who was also known as Dutch, Von Dutch, or J. L. Bachs (Joe Lunch Box). His father, Wally Howard, was a Los Angeles sign painter; and, by the age of 10, the young Howard was able to paint and letter at a professional level.
While attending Compton High School, Howard excelled in track and field and was referred to as "the fastest man in LA." Family members gave him the nickname "Dutch" because he was "as stubborn as a Dutchman," he added the "Von" prefix later as an artistic signature.
Howard started earning money in the 1950s by pin-striping along with fellow striper Dean Jeffries. Von Dutch has been a major influence in the customizing of vehicles from the 1950s to today. Some of his famous works include the flying eyeball and the custom Kenford truck, along with numerous custom motorcycles and many award-winning custom cars. Among many custom car and motorcycle enthusiasts, he is thought of as one of the fathers of Kustom Kulture.
An avid gunsmith and knife maker, Von Dutch made numerous art knives and embellished firearms. Most of these were adaptations of existing items to which he added his artistic flair. In 1958, Von Dutch designed and produced the "Mare's Leg", a cut-down Winchester rifle for the television series Wanted: Dead or Alive.
Von Dutch's lifelong alcoholism led to major medical issues later in life. He died in Ventura, California at age 63 on 19 September 1992 from alcohol-related complications, leaving behind his two daughters.