A Rebel Spirit's Confederate Motorcycles

A New Orleans litigator left his practice to found an upscale motorcycle company
Matt Chambers, the founder of Confederate Motorcycles, which counts Bruce Springsteen and Brad Pitt among its clients Photograph by Daymon Gardner for Bloomberg Businessweek

After 13 years arguing cases as a New Orleans trial lawyer, Matt Chambers, now 57, felt like the courtroom was closing in on him. “I was devolving, becoming the man in a box,” he says. “I wasn’t doing something that someone else couldn’t do.” So in 1994, using seed money from a settlement won in a police brutality case, Chambers set up Confederate Motorcycles’ first factory in Baton Rouge. “When I was a little kid, I read a cool book about motorcycle entrepreneurship,” he says. “I fell in love with those guys.” Two years later he delivered his first bike. By 2001 he had sold 500, at more than $50,000 each.

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