1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481

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Lot 325
1928 Indian Type 401 Four
Registration no. DSL 393 Engine no. DA481

£ 65,000 - 70,000
US$ 90,000 - 97,000
Amended
1928 Indian Type 401 Four
Registration no. DSL 393
Engine no. DA481
Smuggled out of Czechoslovakia before the Berlin Wall came down, this Indian Four was purchased by the vendor in 1988. The machine was in a very poor state and it would be a long time before it ever saw the road again. A friend of the vendor, marque specialist Alan Forbes of Motolux in Edinburgh was commissioned to undertake the restoration.

Once dismantled, the engine was sent to Bill Healing Restorations in Northfleet, Kent. Bill had done a lot of work for Fred Warr, the Harley Davidson dealer in London, and was an expert when it came to four-cylinder American motorcycle engines. Bill stripped the engine and produced a meticulous written report of everything required. The most important observation was that there were no cracks in any of the cases or cylinder fins.

Everything was rebuilt, the engine alone taking four years to complete. Far too lengthy to reproduce here, the list of works carried out, invoices issued and Bill Healing's original report are contained within the extensive history file (inspection recommended). During the strip down, Bill found traces of red paint on the crankcases. Research revealed that Indian had copied the Ace Four in having coloured 'cases. In the case of the Ace they were blue whereas the Indian Four's were red. Indian's advertising literature showed red crankcases, so it was decided to finish them in that colour. The machine certainly looks stunning.

Once the engine came back from Bill Healing, Motolux continued the restoration. Every nut and bolt was replaced and nickel-plated and the rebuild's attention to detail is impressive. Rick Parkington, who now writes for Classic Bike magazine in the 'Garage' section, worked for Motolux at that time and carried out most of the rebuild. The restoration was completed in 2000 and only a handful of miles have been covered since then. The machine is described by the vendor as in generally excellent condition, though we are advised that the dynamo requires attention. In addition, careful re-commissioning and the customary safety checks will be required before the machine returns to the road. Offered with V5 registration document.

Saleroom notices

  • This lot now has a V5C and not a V5 as stated in the catalogue. There is also a spare petrol tank which will require painting.
Contacts
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
1928 Indian Type 401 Four Engine no. DA481
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