1953 Indian Chief Frame no. CS6653
Lot 58
1953 Indian Chief
Frame no. CS6653
US$ 35,000 - 40,000
£26,000 - 30,000
To be sold without reserve

Amended
Lot Details
1953 Indian Chief Frame no. CS6653 1953 Indian Chief Frame no. CS6653 1953 Indian Chief Frame no. CS6653 1953 Indian Chief Frame no. CS6653 1953 Indian Chief Frame no. CS6653 1953 Indian Chief Frame no. CS6653 1953 Indian Chief Frame no. CS6653
1953 Indian Chief
Frame no. CS6653
No motorcycle is as easily identifiable as an Indian Chief. Those iconic fenders are unmistakable and set the bike apart from anything else on the road. For a style so associated with the brand it's surprising that the outrageously valanced fenders didn't make their first appearance until 1940, some 39 years after the company's founding. With war looming and Indian increasingly turning to the production of military models, the Army version of the Chief emerged stripped of its skirted fenders and chromework, finished in olive drab.

After World War II, the civilian Chief made a return, as did the fenders, but by 1953 Indian was in deep trouble. The company's new-design singles and twins, meant to blunt a postwar invasion of highly competent lightweights from England, had teething problems and were dead in the marketplace. That left the venerable Chief to soldier on, a flathead design in an increasingly overhead-valve world. Not that the proud old Indian wasn't ready for a fight. The motor had been punched out to 80ci (1,320cc) and an up-to-date hydraulic telescopic fork replaced the traditional girder arrangement. Styling-wise, the art-deco fenders looked as good as ever, maybe even more so as the front was trimmed back and a small shroud was added to the headlight area.

Still, the financial handwriting was on the wall and Indian was destined not to survive past '53. This matching-numbers bike is from the last batch of Chiefs produced. A fresh restoration, with engine and gearbox rebuilt by Canadian marque specialist Fred Crawford, it has been test-ridden for just 2.6 miles. Many NOS parts were used in the chassis restoration, including an exceedingly rare set of new gas/oil tanks. Built to ride, it is fitted with a later Amal Concentric carburetor, though the proper Amal 289R is included in the sale. Likewise, for aesthetic reasons an earlier tractor-style solo saddle has been installed, with a correct reproduction bench-style dual seat also included.

Saleroom notices

  • Please note that the engine number for this bike is CS6653.
Activities
Auction information

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