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Lot 343: Indian Four With Indian Sidecar

Motorcycle and Motorcars, Bonhams & Butterfields (14 November 2009)

From the dawn of motorcycling, one engine design has risen above all others, reflecting refinement, elegance, exclusivity and comfort. In the beginning it was Belgium's F.N. four cylinder motorcycle, quickly followed by American companies like Pierce, Gerhart, Henderson, and later by Cleveland. Lastly, it was up to Indian to carry the banner of four cylinder motorcycles when they bought the manufacturing rights to Philadelphia's Ace motorcycle in 1927. When Ignaz Schwinn ceased production of his four cylinder Henderson motorcycle in 1931 to preserve his bicycle empire, it left Indian as the sole provider of four cylinder motorcycles in the United States. The sporty Ace became the Indian Four and quickly assumed key Indian elements into its engineering. With these improvements, the bikes became faster but at the expense of weight and size. Indian never sold as many Fours as it did the venerable Chief and Scout models but was probably maintained as a technological flagship of the model lineup. Police department orders probably accounted for most of the sales. In 1938, Indian unveiled its final evolution of their four cylinder engine with paired cylinder barrels on the familiar Indian crankcase. The engine in Indian's streamline-fendered chassis of the period produced perhaps their most elegant motorcycle yet. However in 1940, Indian introduced the very stylized skirted fenders in the Scout, Chief and Fours. Both the Chief and the Four also gained a new but heavier Spring Cradle Frame with Indian's leaf spring fork, with new 5.00 x 16" tires standard to improve comfort. These improvements made both far more comfortable than the comparable Harley-Davidson road bike. Indian was to have one more year with the fabulous Four in 1941, a year dramatically changed with the looming World War II on the horizon. Following the war years, the Four proved too expense to re-introduce and Indian itself was beginning to collapse. This 1941 Indian Four with Indian sidecar is truly an elegant motorcycle combination. It has matching engine and frame numbers. An Indian dealer's personal motorcycle, it was restored by Ted Tine's Motorsports and has only 1400 miles on the motorcycle since restoration was completed. In Antique Motorcycle Club of America judging, this Indian has scored near 100 points. Masterfully restored, it is finished in an authentic Indian color scheme of Seafoam Blue with White fender skirts. This is one of the finest Indian Four restorations in the country and can be equally appreciated on the road as well as the judging field.

Lot Details
Auction Motorcycle and Motorcars
Bonhams & Butterfields, Los Angeles
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number343
Estimate$100000-$110000
Outcome NOT SOLD
Hammer Price-
Hammer Price (inc premium)-
Year1941
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number441587
Engine numberDDA587M
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors