1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B

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Lot 153
1953 Indian 74ci Chief
Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B

Sold for US$ 31,050 inc. premium
1953 Indian 74ci Chief
Frame no. CS6756
Engine no. CS6756B
• Last year for the original Springfield Indian Chief
• Recent repaint and new fringed solo seat added
• Period Indian accessory driving lights and rear carrier

No motorcycle is as easily identifiable as a skirted Indian Chief. Penned by Indian stylist G. Briggs Weaver, 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 WWII looming and Indian increasingly turning to production of military models, though, 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 Dyna-Torque vertical 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 (1320cc), an up-to-date hydraulic telescopic fork replaced the traditional girder arrangement, and on the engine's timing side a rounded shroud was meant to impart more of a modern, automotive feel. 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, financially the clock was ticking and Indian was destined not to survive past '53. This matching-numbers machine from the Jalbert Collection is among the last batch of Chiefs produced. It is an older restoration that was recently treated to a paint respray. The fork tubes have been chromed, a common period touch. Likewise, the less-than-aesthetic stock bench seat has been replaced by a fringed tractor-style saddle, another popular mod back in the '50s, this one a quality reproduction from Heather's Leathers. Useful factory accessories include twin driving lights and a rear fender luggage rack.

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1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B
1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B
1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B
1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B
1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B
1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B
1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B
1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B
1953 Indian 74ci Chief Frame no. CS6756 Engine no. CS6756B
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