The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 152
1947 Harley-Davidson WCA

Selling on Saturday

1947 Harley-Davidson WCA


• High compression military-spec V-Twin engine
• Highly original and beautifully restored
• Three-speed hand shifter on the classic hardtail
• Originally an Army Surplus purchase

45 cid V-twin engine, 25 HP, three-speed hand shift, drum brakes, front springer fork; wheelbase: 57.5”

Harley-Davidson began producing the WLA in small numbers in 1940, as part of a general military expansion, but when World War II broke out, Harley-Davidson significantly increased production, with over 90,000 units being produced for the military, not to mention spare parts the equivalent of many more, and several different models for the Navy and Marine Corps.

Most WLAs in western hands post-war were sold as surplus and “civilianized”, and with many motorcycles available at very low cost, these bargains were very popular. It would lead to lots of customized bikes, the rise of the classic chopper and other modified motorcycle styles, as well as the new hard-core Harley-riding biker culture. Many a young soldier would come home hoping to get a Harley-Davidson like he saw or rode in the service, leading to the post-war popularity of both the motorcycle and the Harley-Davidson brand for many decades to come.

This big hardtail looks great and was obviously meticulously restored, using the correct black paint and much of the original hardware. From the lamps to the stainless trim and all the engine cases, it’s also obvious that this bike has been well-cared-for many years, and it’s great to find a WLA that sports all the original components. The consignor reports it ran well when last parked but has not been started for a few years. The WLA is simply the bike that defined the look of entire generations of Harley products to follow and is certainly one of the most copied motorcycles of all time. You can buy dozens of replicas of this classic look, but why not buy the real thing today in Corpus Christi? When you see a bike like this that is 74 years old yet is fully capable of extended highway touring and looks as great as this Sportster, it is truly a rare opportunity to add a highly influential motorcycle to your collection.

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