c.1913 Indian 7hp Big Twin Engine no. 72E712

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Lot 318
c.1913 Indian 7hp Big Twin
Registration no. SV 4990 Engine no. 72E712

Sold for £ 17,250 (US$ 23,406) inc. premium
c.1913 Indian 7hp Big Twin
Registration no. SV 4990
Engine no. 72E712
Oscar Hedstrom and Oliver Hendee, both active in the cycle racing world, got together to found the Hendee Manufacturing Company and build the first prototype Indian motorcycle in 1901. That first Indian single proved immensely successful and would provide the basis for the first of the powerful, large-capacity v-twins for which the marque is best remembered. Indian's first, 38.61ci (633cc) v-twin appeared in 1907 and for the following year was updated with mechanical inlet valves. The twin's rear cylinder continued to form part of the frame until 1909 when a loop frame of the type favoured by rivals Harley-Davidson was adopted. The Springfield company's first 'Big Twin' debuted that same year displacing 60.32ci (988cc). In 1911 Indian broke new ground yet again with their ohv four-valves-per-cylinder racers, and then in 1913 the Big Twin was up-dated with Indian's innovative, leaf-sprung, swinging-arm frame. At the end of 1915 the Big Twin (by this time equipped with a three-speed countershaft gearbox and displacing 998cc) was superseded by a new 'flat head' v-twin - the Powerplus - thus bringing to an end a noble line.

This Indian twin was found by the vendor circa 1980, at which time it was described as complete but in need of total restoration. The rebuild was undertaken over the next 14 years as a 'part time project', finishing in 1994. Most work was carried out by the vendor; the exceptions being a re-manufactured fuel tank and wheel rims, which were too dilapidated to safely re-use. Restoration photographs are on file. Due to circumstances beyond his control, the vendor has been unable to complete the rebuild or test the machine, which has remained unfinished and unused since 1994. Prospective purchasers must satisfy themselves with regard to its condition before bidding.

On file is correspondence with the DVLA dating back to 1994 when the vendor applied for a registration number. As Indians did not have frame numbers in period, the DVLA incorrectly dated the machine from the (1915) gearbox, number ('91D48'), which was used as the frame number. This gearbox has since been replaced with a correct 1913 unit. It should also be noted that the date letter code 'E' on the crankcase appears distorted. Further DVLA correspondence is on file dated January 2015 regarding the correction of their error.

Obviously, the original inspection had implications for obtaining a dating certificate. A Pioneer Certificate has been applied for but the result of the application is as yet unknown. Presented in cosmetically good condition and apparently complete, this very pretty Indian twin should require only relatively minor fettling and finishing before use.

Saleroom notices

  • The machine is now offered with a Sunbeam Motor Cycle Club Pioneer Certificate (No. 2027) for '1913'. It should be noted, the registration number SV4990 has been transposed on the Certificate: VS4990. The machine is offered with a V5C.
Contacts
c.1913 Indian 7hp Big Twin Engine no. 72E712
c.1913 Indian 7hp Big Twin Engine no. 72E712
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