1941 Harley-Davidson 74ci FL Frame no. 41FL6176

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 158
1941 Harley-Davidson 74ci FL
Frame no. 41FL6176

US$ 45,000 - 50,000
£ 36,000 - 40,000
1941 Harley-Davidson 74ci FL
Frame no. 41FL6176
It’s hard to imagine whether the founders of Harley-Davidson realized that they created an icon in 1936 when they offered their first full production overhead valve V-twin powered motorcycle to the public. Was the EL a radical departure from their past, or more like an evolution of designs and technology? The 61 cubic inch EL was certainly revolutionary for its time. The engine though suffering from some unresolved engineering issues, was a rocket ship and just what the nation’s dealers needed. Styling was another strong point that has withstood the test of time.

Police departments were quick to request a motor with more power and the dealers wanted something bigger to compete directly against Indian’s 74 cubic inch Chief. Debuted for the 1941 model year, Harley-Davidson offered another OHV model with 74 cubic inch displacement, the FL. It quickly became the sales leader, diminishing its smaller stablemate and virtually eliminating the old U series completely.

Both 61 cubic inch EL and 74 cubic inch FL models shared the same redesigned crankcase for 1941, and advancements like improved flywheels, crankpins, clutch, and coated pistons improved both machines. Top end performance was enhanced with improved oiling. Now standard for 1941 were 16” wheels for better comfort on rides. The streamlined gas tank remained however the art deco period was over and the efficient streamlined appearance of aircraft became popular. The tank sported a chromed badge and was trimmed with aluminum strips, complementing the beading on the fenders.

This 1941 Harley-Davidson FL was acquired a few years ago as a barn find and has gone through a complete and exhaustive restoration to make it correct. It will be featured in the 2010 Harley-Davidson calendar and is ready to go through AMCA national judging. It contains only a few reproduction parts and all sheet metal is original to the motorcycle. The 1941 model year was austere due to the United States pending involvement in the war. Details to the period are correct with painted tappet blocks and a noticeable lack of chrome with black wheels and handlebars.

Late in 1941, civilian production of motorcycles was halted because of World War II with total sales down around 6000 units but with production of military 45’s increased tenfold from the previous year. Production of the new 74ci FL was cut short with only 2,452 machines which sold new for $465. This is a significant Harley-Davidson to own being the first year for the powerful 74 FL, and at the same time, scarce due to the war. The quality of the restoration will make this motorcycle an immediate award winning machine.
1941 Harley-Davidson 74ci FL Frame no. 41FL6176
Auction information

This sale is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future sales, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this sale, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations


If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

Like the vast majority of auctioneers Bonhams charge a Buyer's Premium on the Hammer Price of each Lot purchased and this is subject to VAT. Some lots may also be subject to VAT on the Hammer Price and these lots will be clearly marked with a symbol ( †, Ω, *) printed beside the lot number.

For Automobilia the Buyer's Premium is 28% on the first £40,000 of the hammer price; 27% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £40,001 up to and including £800,000; 21% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £800,001 up to and including £4,500,000 and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £4,500,001. (subject to VAT)

For Motor Cars and Vehicle Registration Numbers the Buyer's Premium will be 15% on the first £500,000 of the Hammer Price of each Lot, and 12% on the balance thereafter.

VAT at the standard rate is payable on the Buyers Premium by all Buyers, unless otherwise stated.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card for returning clients only. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

If you have requested a shipping quote, we will send this to you via email within 5 business days of the auction ending.

Please note our shipping quotes are bespoke and require special care and handling from our team and shippers. Shipping will be booked after payment is received. Please allow 7-14 business days from the time of booking for packing and dispatch, depending on your chosen shipping method. If your purchase is time sensitive, or you wish to explore other options, please see our list of alternative third party shippers in New York and Los Angeles who may be able to assist you.

If you have any questions, please contact our Client Services team.

Lot symbols
Exempt from tax

Zero rated for tax, no tax will be added to the Hammer Price or the Buyer's Premium.