This is 1 of just 18 hillclimbers produced by Indian for racing purposes in 1938/39, it’s tuned to run on pure alcohol through its Linkert carburettor that has a rear facing air-intake to avoid having it ingest sand, mud, plants and whatever else the front tire might kick up.
This bike was ordered from the factory by Ken Edmiston, a well-known and highly regarded racer who took part in hillclimbs and other motorcycle racing events in just about every US state, including Alaska. Ken modified this bike over the course of the years that he owned and raced it, but he always kept the original components on hand in case he ever wanted to swap it back.
He decided early on that he wanted to stretch the frame 4 inches with a new front frame section, which meant he also needed to fit a different tank. In the years after it passed from his ownership two Indian collectors realised that between them they owned a complete, original Indian Scout factory hill climber – and so a few years were spent haggling over who would buy what, and eventually all the original parts found their way back into the bike.
Most of the factory prepared race bikes didn’t fare well in their post-racing years, many were chopped up, scrapped or otherwise ruined – so finding an all original hill climber like this for sale is a rare event.
As you can probably tell from the images, the bike is being presented in largely original condition and it won’t win any concours events – however it is perfect for entry into vintage racing events, if its new owner so desires.
Bonhams are listing its estimated value as between $60,000 and $70,000 USD but bidding could easily go quite a bit higher – it seems as though collectors are beginning to realise just how undervalued many of these rare vintage bikes actually are.
Click here to visit Bonhams to read more about this bike, or to register to bid.
Images courtesy of Bonhams.
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