1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372

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Lot 154
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car
Engine no. 41G3372

Sold for US$ 25,300 inc. premium
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car
Engine no. 41G3372
• Fully restored example
• 'Small Box' model

Once a favorite of Meter Maids everywhere, Harley-Davidson's three-wheeled Servi-Car was actually developed during the Great Depression, targeted at car dealerships and service shops as a way of increasing revenue while cutting the man-hours required to service a customer's automobile. In those days it was not uncommon for shops to retrieve a car from the owner's home, perform the required maintenance and then return the vehicle. Because it was designed to tow behind a car, clipping onto the bumper via a universal hitch bar, the Servi-Car turned this retrieval/delivery into a one-man operation. Additionally, the inherent balance of its three-wheel configuration meant the Servi-Car could be operated by those without extensive motorcycle experience.

"A new service system: The modern method for profitable pick-up and delivery of automobiles", blared the Servi-Car's multi-page introductory brochure. "Cuts down the gas, oil, tire and depreciation cost of pick-up and delivery with a car. Prevents the losses occasioned through use of service or tow cars in this work, when that equipment can be used more profitably elsewhere".

Other businesses soon discovered uses for the three-wheeled workhorse. The steel box between the rear wheels was available in two sizes through 1941, that cargo space making the Servi-Car a natural for intra-city delivery of all kinds of goods. The box also provided highly visible placement for a company's logo and telephone number, with accessory wheel spats available if even more billboard space was desired. And, of course, city police departments found Servi-Cars extremely handy for traffic control and the revenue-generating ticketing of parking violators. A left-hand throttle was even an option, freeing up the traffic officer's right hand to swipe his/her chalk stick on a loiterer's tire as the black-and-white Servi-Car trolled by.

The original 1932 Servi-Car utilized the engine from Harley-Davidson's 45ci R model, but by 1937 the familiar WL V-Twin was in place. This 750cc flathead design stayed with the Servi-Car until end of production in 1973, making the Servi-Car Harley's longest-running model. It also was the first Harley-Davidson to be equipped with electric start in 1964, a year ahead of its two-wheeled brethren. The Servi-Car incorporated a car-type differential, albeit chain driven, and had a reverse gear to ease maneuvering. In 1940 a stronger axle housing was introduced and the following year the Servi-Car received a new rear subframe, which coincided with the adoption of a welded (rather than riveted) rear axle tube.

The Jalbert Collection's 1941 Servi-Car is a 'small box' version, fully restored and showing less than 5 miles on its odometer.

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 title is in transit.
Contacts
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
1941 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Engine no. 41G3372
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