2020 Shannons Spring Timed Online Auction
Lot
99

1944 Indian Chief 1200cc V-Twin Solo Motorcycle

Melbourne

Sold

Specifications

Engine 1200cc V-twin
Gearbox Three-speed manual
Colour Candy Apple Red
Trim Brown Vinyl
Wheels Wire spoke
Brakes Drum/drum

Description

This lot is no longer available

Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, the Indian Motorcycle Company was the only motorcycle manufacturer able to compete on equal terms with the might of Harley-Davidson for the first half of the 20th Century. With its origins as a producer of bicycles, the partnership of George Hendee and Oscar Hedstrom followed the familiar practice of building a powered version in 1901, using a proprietary Thor single horsepower engine. From that emerged Indian’s first V-twin in 1907, the company quickly establishing itself as a maker of quality motorcycles. The growth in sales, combined with success on the racetrack, prompted an expanded model range, with a smaller 221cc two-stroke, then a flat twin, helping Indian secure the number one position ahead of arch-rival Harley Davidson. The First World War saw production focus on supplying the US military but the return to peace saw Indian consolidate its model range to the 500cc Scout and larger capacity Chief, with a common a 42-degree V-twin engine layout. Launched in 1922 at the instigation of Irishman and new vice president Charles B Franklin, who felt the dated Powerplus engine was due for replacement, the Chief’s new motor was certainly more advanced, with dual cams operating the valves and helical gears replacing the chain primary drive, with the clutch encased in an oil bath. A larger displacement 74ci version was introduced as the Big Chief in 1923, intended for sidecar use initially, although it quickly gained popularity with solo riders as well. The Indian Chief remained a mainstay of the company’s range right through until its demise in 1953 and are today these bikes are highly sought after by collectors and enthusiasts alike.