1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610

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Lot 611
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA
Registration no. BSL 627 Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610

Sold for £ 14,950 (US$ 20,564) inc. premium
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA
Registration no. BSL 627
Frame no. WLA56610
Engine no. 42WLA56610
• Ex-military machine
• UK registered since 1999
• Restored between 2017-2019
• Requires finishing (see text)

Introduced in 1929 as a competitor to Indian's successful 750cc sidevalve v-twin, the Harley-Davidson Model D - better known as the '45' (its capacity in cubic inches) - really took off when the USA's entry into WW2 created an unprecedented demand for military motorcycles, around 90,000 of the WL (military) version rolling off the Milwaukee production lines before hostilities ceased. After rigorous testing in 1939, the US Army ordered its first batch of WLs in March 1940, with further substantial orders of machines from South Africa and Great Britain following soon after. These military Harleys benefited from the new aluminium cylinder heads fitted to the civilian version from 1939 and came with a full complement of equipment including D-shaped foot-boards, crash bars, skid plates, cargo racks, and panniers. Designated WLA (Army) or WLC (Canadian-built), the Harley '45' saw action in just about every theatre of war. 'De-mobbed' Harleys helped meet the upsurge in demand for motorcycles in the immediate post-war years, doing much to establish the marque's reputation worldwide.

Completely stripped and rebuilt between 2017 and 2019, this civilianised WLA was first registered in the UK in June 1999 and has had only one owner in this country prior to the vendor. The latter advises us that the previous owner was able to supply photographs of the Harley in military livery. We are further advised that the frame, wheels, brakes, etc have been reconditioned; the engine rebuilt from the crankshaft upwards; the transmission overhauled, and a new clutch fitted; and most of the brightwork renewed. In addition, the electrics have been upgraded to 12-volt operation; auto advance ignition fitted; and the original carburettor replaced with a modern Mikuni. According to the vendor, only a small amount of work (engine tuning, road testing, etc) is required to finish the job. Accompanying paperwork consists of sundry restoration bills; a VMCC dating certificate; and a V5C registration document.

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

  • Please click the link to view the walkaround video of Lot 611: click here
Contacts
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
1942 Harley-Davidson 739cc WLA Frame no. WLA56610 Engine no. 42WLA56610
Auction information

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Buyers' Premium and Charges

Memorabilia and Spares
For Memorabilia and Spares (Lots 1-123) the Buyer's Premium is 27.5% on the first £10,000 of the hammer price 25% on the excess of £10,001 and up to £450,000 of the hammer price 20% on the excess of £450,001 and up to £4,500,000 of the hammer price 14.5% on the excess of £4,500,001.

Motorcycles
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