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Lot 346: Indian Four

Quail Lodge Sale, Bonhams (16 August 2012)

Marketed as the Indian Ace for 1928, the Springfield company's first four-cylinder motorcycle had resulted from its purchase of Ace rights and tooling from Detroit Motors the previous year. The Ace company, although bankrupted twice, had developed a fundamentally sound four-cylinder motorcycle based on William Henderson's original design, and this provided Indian with an opportunity to offer an in-line 'four' with minimal development costs. The model changed little for the next couple of years, before Indian began to put its own characteristic stamp on the Four, beginning in 1929 with a re-style and following up with a new five-main-bearing engine for 1930. Following the debacle of the 'upside-down' Four, Indian reverted to the tried-and-tested 'F-head' (inlet over exhaust) arrangement, adding aluminum cylinder heads and fully enclosed valvegear to the specification. Changes after 1938 were few. Production of the Indian Four, America's last four-cylinder motorcycle, ceased in 1942. No sales literature was distributed for the 1942 season - this would normally have been done the preceding fall - probably because the defense build-up prior to the United States' entry into World War II was already causing manufacturers to focus their attention elsewhere. One of the world's most beautiful and collectible motorcycles, this Indian Four was bought by Mike Corbin from master restorer Pete Bollenbach, of Illinois in 1993 and restored by Bollenbach Engineering over the course of the next few years. On completion, the machine featured in Indian Illustrated magazine's Autumn 1996 and Winter 1997 editions and was cover bike in the latter (copies available). Presented in near-perfect condition, the motorcycle now sports a period correct, perfect match 1940 sidecar, equally well restored. Having covered little more than 100 miles subsequent to restoration, it is offered with restoration contracts, invoices and photographs; condition report; parts list; and Pennsylvania Certificate of Title.

Lot Details
Auction Quail Lodge Sale
Bonhams, Carmel, California, USA
TypeMotorcycle
Lot Number346
Estimate$70000-$90000
Outcome SOLD
Hammer Price$50000
Hammer Price (inc premium)$57500
Year1941
Condition rating
Registration number
Mileage-
Chassis number
Engine number440533
Engine capacity (cc)
Engine - cylinders
Number of doors