1937 Harley-Davidson 74ci UL Police Spec
Engine no. 37UL2254
A new generation of sidevalve engines evolved from the Milwaukee firm for the 1937 model year. Replacing the V series Harley-Davidsons which retained total loss lubrication, the U series motors were of dry-sump oil design. Most of the cycle parts were made in common with the Model E 61 inch OHV motorcycle that debuted a year earlier. The completely revised engine had many upgrades that separated it from the earlier V motor including new cases, cylinders and now roller bearings throughout the lower end. New forks, frame and sheet metal improved the image of the new bike, with styling cues from the OHV machine.
This UL was designated as the Special Sport Solo with 74 cubic inches of displacement, high compression engine and included the same four-speed constant mesh transmission as on the Knucklehead. The new engine, like the last year VL, was available in both 74 and 80 cubic inch size. While the technology for the sidevalve twin was trickle down from the more advanced OHV motorcycle, Harley-Davidson produced three times as many sidevalve motorcycles than the OHV. The UL production in 1937 was 2861 units and sold for $395.
Obtained through a police auction and later purchased by famed motorcyclist and collector of American motorcycles, Bud Ekins, this 1937 Harley-Davidson UL was leased to a variety of movie productions where motorcycles were needed. Roles varied from biker and war movies to police bikes so the motorcycle has been repainted numerous times. This motorcycle was featured in movies like Speilberg's 1941, Pearl Harbor, The Rocketeer, Hells Angels 69, and Hughes & Harlowe. Its final role was in The Black Dahlia and was repainted as a police motorcycle for movie. This motorcycle could be maintained and enjoyed in its current state as a reminder of its past work, or it could receive a full restoration back to its art deco days of styling.
- The title for this lot is in transit.