205: 1953 Indian Roadmaster Chief : Lot 205

19 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on 205: 1953 Indian Roadmaster Chief : Lot 205
Indian Chief Roadmaster


40hp, 80 cu. in. V-twin engine, three-speed handshift transmission, plunger-type suspension with coil springs. Wheelbase: 62

Wearing its stylish Indian ‘Eighty’ tank emblems, this 1953 regal red Roadmaster was Indian’s swan song, a celebration of a half-century of excellence now drawing to a close. More than a dozen years earlier Indian had embarked on its classic Art Deco influenced skirted-fender era. All the 1940 models took on this streamlined look, and public response to the dramatic fender treatment elicited both positive and negative reviews.

For its last incarnation, the transmission of the 1953 Chief was now lubricated separately from the main drive, while the use of leaf spring and girder front-ends of previous model years had been updated with modern hydraulic forks. It still relied on a flathead engine design even though its competitor Harley-Davidson had moved on to overhead-valve motors, but the Chief benefited from a more advanced ignition system.

It was its smooth, effortless torque, comfortable at a crawl or at triple digits, combined with its elegantly expansive bodywork that represented Indian’s crowning achievement. Factory literature proclaimed, ‘Full eighty cubic inches packed with power, the Chief engine is the biggest and huskiest ever housed in a motorcycle frame. Each of its mighty barrels develops as much power as most other motorcycle engines, and together they spell ‘Go!!’

Indian Chief Roadmaster

Author and historian Jerry Hatfield summed it up best ‘ ‘Skirted-fender Chiefs turn heads among any group of motorcyclists.’ That holds true more than fifty years after this highly original example first rumbled off the assembly line in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Despite a backlog of orders, in great part from numerous police departments all over the country, Indian entered the history books in 1953, its much mourned demise chalked up to poor management rather than any fault with the machine bearing its name.

The late model Indian Chief remains the prominent symbol of the Indian marque. This example is remarkable for several reasons. It was purchased from the original owner with only 9,600 miles on the odometer.

Fully dressed, it features a wealth of correct options and accessories including fringed seat and matching leather saddlebags. Furthermore it is one of the last 200 Indians produced bearing a five-digit serial number. Highly desirable indeed, it remains in superb condition, well suited for the discerning motorcycle enthusiast.

Indian Chief Roadmaster

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