1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B

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Lot 150
1939 Indian Four World's Fair
Engine no. DCI 217B

Sold for US$ 83,950 inc. premium
1939 Indian Four World's Fair
Engine no. DCI 217B
• Flagship Indian model
• Fully restored example

Indian motorcycle's flagship model was always the four cylinder offering, ever since the company purchased the financially ailing Ace Motor Corporation in 1927. The sales generally represented less than 10% of the overall production, but the Four was as unique as it was mystical. Most old photographs of Fours showed either a police officer mounted on one for duty, or a Hollywood star.

When debuted in 1938, the Indian Four was stunningly beautiful. Graceful streamlined fenders and gas tanks adorned the motorcycle as it had in the previous few years, but it was the engine that captivated the followers. Gone from the lineup were the so-called Upside Down Fours that Indian called Sport Fours. In actuality the Sport Fours were exactly that but gained an unfair reputation based on their looks. The new engine featured two paired cast cylinders of standard inlet-over-exhaust configuration, and a gorgeous exhaust system that began with a porcelain manifold and ended with a straight chromed fishtail muffler. However that year was a disaster for both the automotive and motorcycle industry with new sales plummeting about 40%.

Indian didn't falter however and in 1939, the exciting Four emerged once more with several improvements. Celebrating the New York World's Fair, Indian unveiled its World's Fair paint scheme and even featured the World's Fair on their catalog cover. They offered seven different stock colors and combinations, including their first metallic color. The full color Indian headdress tank decal was now standard. Equipment improvements included a new circular air cleaner, a chrome rear bumper, a larger leg heat shield, a high output Auto-Lite generator and interchangeable wheels rolling on 4.00x18 inch tires. An optional Edison-Splitdorf RM (rotating magnet) was also offered.

With only 2 miles indicated on the Corbin speedometer since its restoration. This Indian Four came into the Jalbert collection previously restored and since that purchase it was discovered that the engine cases, one or both, have been replaced, not uncommon to keep these fine motorcycles on the road. This year Indian Four is not only exciting to appreciate visually but a very capable motorcycle on the back roads as they have excellent tracking with Indian's leaf spring front fork and low center of gravity.

Footnotes

  • As with all Lots in the Sale, this Lot is sold 'as is/where is' and Bidders must satisfy themselves as to the provenance, condition, age, completeness and originality prior to bidding.

Saleroom notices

  • The frame number is 439192. The title is in transit.
Contacts
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
1939 Indian Four World's Fair Engine no. DCI 217B
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