The Corpus Christi Old Car Museum Auction

Lot 101
1947 Indian Chief Motorcycle

Selling on Saturday

1947 Indian Chief Motorcycle

CHASSIS NO: 3472467

• A truly iconic “Big V-Twin” American cruiser
• Nicely maintained and preserved example
• Desirable later-production 1,210 cc example

1,210 cc air-cooled, side-valve V-Twin engine, sliding gear transmission with “jockey” tank side shift lever, coil-sprung front forks, dual plunger-type rear suspension, front and rear drum brakes; wheelbase: 60.5"

In production almost continuously from 1922 to the demise of its maker in 1953, the Indian Chief motorcycle remains an unqualified legend today. Known as Indian’s “Big Twin,” a larger and more powerful alternative to the smaller, more agile Scout, the Chief was essentially unchanged, yet carefully refined throughout the first half of its production run. Handsome and comfortable, the Chief was powered by a four-stroke, 42-degree V-Twin engine, initially displacing 1,000 cc from 1922 to 1928, with a 1,210 cc available for 1923-42 and 1946-48 and 1,300 cc for the final 1950-53 models.

Significant changes for the entire Indian line for 1940 made the renowned Chief even more popular and more enjoyable to ride. A new frame design now featured an innovative dual plunger-type rear suspension, enhancing Indian’s well-deserved reputation for smoothness and excellent handling characteristics. In addition, handsomely skirted front and rear fenders first appeared in 1940, lending the sleek Art Deco-inspired profile view that remains most closely identified with Indian motorcycles and the Chief in particular today. Easily capable of reaching 85 miles per hour in stock form, the Chief delivered strong long-range cruising performance to match its character, easily hitting the all-important 100-mph mark with careful tuning.

The 1947 Indian Chief offered here is simply a wonderful example of the marque’s flagship model line. Bearing a nice patina consistent with good maintenance, storage, and use, it remains nicely presented and complete overall. Featuring a good paint finish, this Chief includes a stylized Indian-head front marker lamp, abundant bright trim and rides on Dunlop tires. As offered, this classic Indian Chief will make a great addition to any worthy collection celebrating American motorcycling history or provide an excellent basis for a full concours-worthy restoration.

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