This is a Harley-Davidson Panhead V-Twin engine with a difference, it’s been given an extensive series of cutaways to show the internal mechanisms for training new engineers and mechanics.
Of course this means the engine no longer runs, however thanks to its sacrifice many new mechanics have been trained over the years, and they’ve likely gone on to save more than their fair share of Panheads and other Harley V-twins.
Harley introduced the Panhead in 1948 as a replacement for the Knucklehead, quite a bit of the Knucklehead’s engineering was carried over however one part that was largely redesigned was the engine’s heads.
These newly designed heads were capped with much simpler looking valve covers that looked almost like upturned cooking pans, as a result it was nicknamed the Panhead. Production of these engines would run from 1948 until 1965 when they were replaced by the Shovelhead.
Due to the fact that the Panhead was in production from the late 1940s through the 1950s and into the 1960s meant that it became a primary engine of choice for many custom motorcycle builders in the United States – mostly bobbers initially followed by choppers later on.
The two choppers piloted by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper in the 1969 film Easy Rider were both Panheads, known as “Captain America” and “Billy Bike” respectively. Such was the popularity of the engine that after it ceased production with Harley-Davidson the design was modified and put back into production by private companies in the USA.
Still today over 56 years since it left production you can still buy a brand new Panhead engine.
The cutaway Panhead engine you see here doesn’t have a date attached to it but it seems clear that it was built decades ago, likely when the Panhead was still in production. Various parts of the cutaway metal and internal sections are painted in different colors to help describe their various tasks.
Although the listing is sparse on information it appears that the engine is fitted to a chromed steel base with a couple of switches on the side and an electrical cord. This would tend to indicate that it has an internal electric motor that turns the engine crankshaft via a belt to show all the internal mechanisms moving.
If you’d like to see more or register to bid you can click here to visit the listing on Mecum. It’s due to cross the auction block in late January and it has no reserve.
Images courtesy of Mecum
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.