1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793

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Lot 311
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four
Registration no. 731 XUS Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793

Sold for £ 72,450 (US$ 94,178) inc. premium
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four
Registration no. 731 XUS
Frame no. 440 793
Engine no. DDO 793
• The ultimate Indian Four
• Imported from the USA in 2009
• Rebuilt between 2009 and 2011
• One UK owner

"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 re-style (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 discovered in the USA having been stored for over 30 years by the owner of a motorcycle shop. The machine was imported by the vendor in 2009 and restored by him over the next couple of years, the engine rebuild being entrusted to recognised specialists Formhalls Vintage & Racing Ltd (bills on file). The engine overhaul included re-metalling and line-boring the main bearings, and fitting modern H-beam connecting rods and Arias pistons. We are advised that the oil pressure is 50psi cold/25psi hot. Other noteworthy features include Matt Blake replica tanks, a Roy Davies clutch, and stainless-steel spokes. Last run in September 2019, this beautiful machine is described by the private vendor as in generally very good condition. Accompanying paperwork consists of purchase documents, State of Indiana Title, dating certificate, sundry bills, 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.
Contacts
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
1940 Indian 1,265cc Model 440 Four Frame no. 440 793 Engine no. DDO 793
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Motorcycle Spares and Memorabilia Clearance
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