1946 Indian Chief ENG. CDF5998 FRAME. CORRECT MILEAGE. 9548 $45,000 - $55,000
If ever there were a machine that captured the industrial design sensibilities of the roaring ’20s, it was, without a doubt, the Indian Chief. Designed with the throttle on the left-hand side of the machine to allow the police to brandish their pistols in the comic pursuit of all manner of bootleggers and slapper crooks, the Indian Chief was and remains the classic art-deco machine of the 20th century. Inspired at a time when youth culture was ‘the lost generation’ and F Scott Fitzgerald was prolifically writing his most enduring novels such as This Side of Paradise,
The Beautiful and Damned and The Great Gatsby, the Chief was somehow able to sit on both sides of the law and win. The Indian Chief, designed by Charles B Franklin, in some ways reflects the excesses of Indian’s decades of success. However, the true mark of success in any piece of industrial design is a fine mix of mechanical and aesthetic endurance and endure the Chief did, remaining in production for over 30 years. Throughout that time, the machine enjoyed numerous development improvements including the
pioneering adoption of front brakes in 1928 and no less than 34 colour options thanks to the factory’s connection with E Paul Du Pont who bought the company in 1930. In 1940, the Chief was fitted with the large iconic skirted fenders which have become the firm’s trademark; it also gained a sprung frame that was superior to those of Harley-Davidson. This 1946 Chief is a handsome and comfortable machine. The machine is production-year correct and offers a very straight account of one of the most iconic machines of the late 20th century.
CLASSIC motorcycles AND CARS OF THE DAY
Classic Motorcycles and Cars of the Day auction catalogue