1947 and 1938 Indian Barn Finds
It’s that dream that comes to us now and then – the one when we find an old motorcycle in some obscure location. Through the magic of good fortune we are able to acquire it and bring it back to life. But then we awake and feel that twinge of sadness: it was only a dream.
But here’s one story of a man who found not one, but two great barn, umm chicken coop, finds – a 1947 Indian V-twin and a 1938 Indian Four. He (buyer wanted to remain anonymous) purchased them in February, 2014. Here are some details from the find:
The rubber tires were crisscrossed with age cracks and either low on air or flat. The wheel spokes were laced with spider webs. Chicken and Duck feathers clung to most any surface that had some oil or grease on it.
Dust-like talcum powder, many years deep, covered not one but two motorcycles even though tarps had been draped over them when they were last parked. A few parts were missing, mostly cosmetic. These two vintage rides stood strong as they day their motors were last shut down. No composite shrouds here to hide the craftsmen’s work. Each exposed component could be seen for what it’s purpose was.
The fellow that acquired the 1947 and 1938 Indians early in 2014 had first laid eyes on them nearly 10 years ago. The owner was not interested in selling either bike at that time. The thought of those two iron horses put to the back of his mind as he was transferred out of the area for his job and had other priorities besides chasing “The Dream.”
As luck would have it his job brought him back to this southeastern Washington area and he once again found himself thinking of the Indians.
On a whim he returned to where he last knew the owner lived and was shocked to learn they had not sold the bikes and once again was able to gaze upon the objects of his desire. He didn’t push the offer to purchase then but over the next year or so became quite good friends with the owner.
The owner’s position in life had taken a turn and knowing the great interest the potential buyer had in the vintage pair they reached an agreeable price and both motorcycles transferred ownership.
The reader would see that many details were left out of these writings. This was done at the request of both buyer and seller due to the strong sentimental connection the seller’s family had with these last two vintage motorcycles the family patriarch had left to his his children at the time he passed away.
However, the new owner is confident Ultimate MotorCycling will have another photo shoot opportunity once refurbishment is completed. We’re going to hold you to that sir.