Bonhams : 1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150

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Lot 528
1940 Indian 78ci Four
Registration no. to be advised Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150

Sold for £ 59,800 (US$ 77,099) inc. premium
1940 Indian 78ci Four
Registration no. to be advised
Frame no. DDO150
Engine no. DDO150
• One of the rarest and most desirable American motorcycles
• Restored in circa 2000
• Imported in 2003
• Acquired for the vendor's private collection in 2003

'The Four is the greatest motorcycle showpiece, the Duesenberg of motorcycling.' – Jerry Hatfield, 'Illustrated Indian Motorcycle Buyer's Guide'.

Marketed as the Indian Ace for 1928, the Springfield company's first four-cylinder motorcycle had resulted from its purchase of the Ace rights and tooling from Detroit Motors the previous year. The Ace company, although bankrupted twice, had developed a fundamentally sound four-cylinder motorcycle based on William Henderson's original design, and this provided Indian with an opportunity to offer an inline 'four' with minimal development costs.

Having acquired the Ace, Indian made few changes for the next couple of years before beginning to put its own characteristic stamp on the Four, beginning in 1929 with a restyle (Model 401) and following up with a new five-main-bearing crankshaft. Introduced on June 1st, 1929 on the Model 402, the latter was the biggest single change made to the motor, which retained the Henderson Ace's basic architecture right up to 1936.

Following the debacle of the 'upside-down' Four, Indian reverted to the tried-and-tested 'F-head' (inlet over exhaust) arrangement, adding aluminium cylinder heads and fully enclosed valve gear to the specification. Mechanical changes after 1938 were few, the one most worthy of note being the introduction of 'plunger' rear suspension for 1940, which also brought with it the large, skirted fenders characteristic of the Indian Four in its final incarnation.

Production of the Indian Four, America's last four-cylinder motorcycle, ceased in 1942. No sales literature was distributed for the 1942 season - this would normally have been done the preceding fall - probably because the defence build-up prior to the United States' entry into WW2 was already causing manufacturers to focus their attention elsewhere. One of the world's most beautiful and collectible motorcycles, this Indian Four was imported into the UK in 2003 and has been on display inside the vendor's house as part of his private collection. Restored circa 2000, the machine has been re-commissioned and mot'd by the vendor prior to the sale. Accompanying documentation consists of a C&E Form 386 and a V5C Registration Certificate.

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

  • This lot is offered with a current MOT expiring 03/2020. It should be noted that the frame and engine number have been transposed on the V5C.
Contacts
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
1940 Indian 78ci Four Frame no. DDO150 Engine no. DDO150
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Motorcycle Spares and Memorabilia Clearance
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