Bonhams : 1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633

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Lot 532
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead'
Registration no. 934 YUL Engine no. 47FL5633

Sold for £ 28,750 (US$ 36,349) inc. premium
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead'
Registration no. 934 YUL
Engine no. 47FL5633
• Iconic Harley model
• Ideal for further improvement

Apart from beer, Milwaukee's most famous product is the Harley Davidson motorcycle, which was first made by William Harley and Arthur Davidson. Starting in 1901, it took them two years to make their first machine, and another year to make a larger engine and improve the design. The first 'production' machines appeared in 1905, and sold in only small numbers, but the journey had begun and, with two other Davidson brothers on board, manufacture of the bikes was improved and increased. Initial models were powered by single-cylinder engines, but in 1909 the first V-twin engine appeared, setting the scene for future Harleys. V-twins became a fixture of the Harley Davidson range in subsequent years, to an extent that any other configurations were something of a sideshow.

The first Harley Davidson Knuckleheads were the 61-cubic inch E-series models which were introduced in 1936. With its overhead valves and 988cc it was a huge improvement in power over the flathead predecessors. Endowed with a four-speed gearbox, it was made in three models, the E, the ES a sidecar-geared version, and the EL sporting version with a high compression performance motor. Improvement came in 1938 when the valve gear was enclosed, and the larger-engined F models appeared in 1941.

The F-series models were 74 cubic inches (1208cc) and basically the E with a larger bore and stroke. Like the E models, the sports model F was named the FL (a nomenclature which remains part of Harley's range to this day). However, production of civilian models was somewhat restricted for a few years due to the switch to war production, and the F was made in only limited numbers until civilian production picked up again in 1945/46. The FL Knucklehead was popular just after the war, and was made in significant numbers, until being replaced in 1948 by the next version of the FL with the new 'Panhead' engine.

47FL5633 was imported from USA in 2013, and appears to have been UK registered soon after arrival. It was purchased by the deceased owner in July 2015 and, whilst it was taxed by him the same month, and has remained taxed since, it has had little use in the present ownership. As the front mudguard was missing, a new, original-type mudguard was obtained, and is offered with the bike. The FL will require safety checks and re-commissioning prior to returning to the road with a new owner. Documentation comprises a current V5C, some import-related papers, and miscellaneous other paperwork.

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.
Contacts
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
1947 Harley Davidson 1208cc FL Special Sport 'Knucklehead' Engine no. 47FL5633
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