Celebrate Harley-Davidson's 100th birthday in style with this terrific machine! This 1946 74 cubic inch side valve (a U model in Harley nomenclature) was originally sold new in Victoria, B.C. by Brooklands Motorcycle Sales to a returning WWII veteran. The vet worked as a building contractor/renovator and the bike was factory ordered with a sidevan chassis and a three speed and reverse transmission. A flat deck was built on the sidevan chassis and the rig was used for many years to haul building supplies to job sites. Sadly the vet passed on in 1972 and Brooklands purchased the bike back from his estate. Immediately Brooklands disassembled the bike to restore it but the frame was subsequently stolen from their shop. I purchased the bike from Brooklands in 1986 just as they were preparing to close their doors for good. It was remarkably complete considering it had spent the previous 15 years in boxes in the back of a motorcycle shop. Obviously I purchased it less the frame and, unfortunately, the sidevan chassis it had left the factory with had been parted out in the intervening years.
I spent the next decade plus collecting the parts needed to bring it back to it's original splendour. I found a nice unmolested original bullneck frame. A 1946 sidecar chassis and, eventually, a nice original sidecar body. NOS aluminum heads (originally it had been equipped with cast iron heads). NOS plastic kicker and grips (hard to find!). NOS cloth covered timer, throttle and brake cables. NOS valves. Many NOS gears in the tranny (those that are not NOS are Andrews and yes, it's still 3 speed and reverse). Many other NOS parts including an NOS sidecar fender. Fenders and tanks are original 1946 Harley and were in excellent condition. The gas tanks needed no bondo and looked like new inside. Everything was disassembled. All wear parts were replaced. New races in the engine and tranny. Every single bearing has been replaced. The bottom end had an NOS pinion shaft and Jims crank pin and sprocket shaft installed. It was then balanced. Cylinders were sleeved back to standard. Unleaded valve seats installed. And on and on. No expense was spared to turn this back into a brand new 1946 motorcycle.
To ensure the bike was completed to the highest standard I had well known restorer Eldon Brown do the final assembly (you've seen his restorations between, and on, the covers of Harley Davidson Knuckleheads and The Spirit of the Motorcycle). Eldon had an unopened ¼ pint tin of touch-up paint in Skyway Blue, a correct 1946 colour, and we matched the paint to that (PPG DCC Concept series Acrylic Urethane 13306 for those that like the colour). The 1946 models had very little chrome and I cheated a wee bit and chromed the original wheel rims, tank emblems, horn face and air cleaner (blame me, not Eldon, for that (actually for the last three we can blame Brooklands since they were chromed when I bought the bike)). I also chromed the switch covers and grip sleeves. As I prefer rubber footboard mats to the metal ones that is what the bike has on it. Other than these the bike is very correct. Correct CP 1035 bolts. Correct speedo. Correct carb. Original headlight and taillight.. Optional sidecar parking brake. Cases have matching belly numbers. Good VIN with current B.C. title and registration in my name. Also a 1967 registration card with the original owner's name on it. Just a really, really nice bike.
In addition to the photos linked below I have many others and can take photos of any part of the bike that you may have a question about. Due to the lighting in some of the photos below, the paint may appear washed out and some of the parkerizing looks dirty/rusty. Honestly the paint and parkerizing are excellent. You won't be disappointed and you couldn't build it for my asking price. Sorry this bike has been sold. Thanks for your interest.
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