That statement re-frames the oft-told story of the Harley-Davidson Motor Co. from being an American success story to being really being an international success story. Indeed, there is evidence to suggest that in countries where high-tech superbikes are produced, it is the sight and sound of a Harley-Davidson that generates more excitement in front of a café than anything else.As with other books about Harley-Davidson timed to hit bookstores about the time of the H-D Centennial in 2003, this one has many of the trademark features: number one, it is huge. It is 384 pages in length packed with historic and contemporary images of Harleys of every description. Twelve inches high by 10.75 inches across and an inch-and-a-quarter thick, and weighing in at about five pounds, this book is not what you might call light reading.But The Harley-Davidson Century does something most other books don’t — it brings a lot of different voices to the story, including some of the most noted motojournalists around. For example, Herbert Wagner (a long-time H-D employee who wrote a book of his own about the brand), Jerry Hatfield (noted vintage motorcycle expert and author see more here), Mike Seate (reviewed here), Hunter S. Thompson through an excerpt from his book “Hell’s Angels” comprising a chapter (reviewed here), Allan Girdler (reviewed here), Peter Egan, (reviewed here), Kevin Cameron (reviewed here), and Greg Field (reviewed here).This results in a book that is as entertaining and informative to read as it is to page through, just to look at the hundreds of photos contributed by some of the best photographers in the business such as Michael Lichter, David Dewhurst, Jeff Hackett and Nick Cedar, among others.Organized in 11 chapters, it mainly follows the timeline of the emergence of each new engine: Flathead Era, Knucklehead Era, Panhead Era, and so on, with a chapter about the Hell’s Angels, the Sportster, Buell and the Future added in.The book includes the inside story on the development of the Softail, a feature on Jim Feuling’s W3 150 cubic inch triple-cylinder bike, and a terrific chapter on racing penned by Allan Girdler.Book Data:
- Title: The Harley-Davidson Century
- Author: Edited by Darwin Holstrom
- Published: 2002, hard cover.
- Publisher: Barnes & Noble Publishing, Inc., by arrangement with Crestline, an imprint of MBI Publishing Co.
- ISBN: 10-0-7607-8445-0