1939 Indian Scout Racer — Classic American Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics

20 Июн 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1939 Indian Scout Racer — Classic American Motorcycles — Motorcycle Classics отключены

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Some motorcycles and dribble lubricant. Some charm, charisma and history. Big Base 1939 Indian racer defines the latter.

for no other reason than to go stink on a dirt track, it has one of special sand cast race engines and was campaigned by no than Iron Man Ed Kretz.

And the that this machine is to several important figures in the of motorcycles including Ed Kretz, Thuet and Kenny Howard — aka Von — just adds to the entire

Museum piece

Gary first saw this Indian  racer in 1997, when it was in a off area of the Performance Car Museum in his of Sioux Falls, S.D. He get close to the machine, but he didn’t about it. A year later, was at the Celebrity Hotel and Casino in S.D. which has a small (Nelson’s Garage) filled cars and motorcycles.

In the collection sat a Volkswagen Beetle used in The Bug, a James Bond Martin, an Evel Knievel bike and several more including — you guessed it — the Indian couldn’t forget.

The Indian was displayed with a that offered very information, apart from the motorcycle as a Big Base Scout to one famed Indian rider Ed Man” Kretz had raced. He the … owners — brothers who ran the Performance Car Museum — if they’d selling the Indian, and they to part with it.

“I knew about the bike, except it looked like a neat Indian racer,” Gary He brought the motorcycle home and got it sneaking it around the neighborhood a few until he took it to the 1999 Motorcycle Club of America swap meet and races in Iowa.

“While there, I it would be fun to do a couple of parade on the race track,” Gary “The organizers said I have to pay the same fee as the racers, so I to race it instead.” Gary in the heat race to enter the On the starting line in the final, a dozen or so other engines Gary couldn’t hear his Indian was firing on just one When the starter’s flag everybody was off — except Gary.

He to the infield, where he discovered the had blown a head gasket.


Although he didn’t get to taking the Indian to Davenport had a of unanticipated results. First, it some memories. People talking to Gary about the and gave him some leads on down its history.

And second, after he got back Gary took the engine and had a real good look at the

Once he got inside the engine, knew immediately that important had once owned and this Indian. “The were drilled, lightened and to a mirror finish,” Gary “The rods were a KR Harley, and not Indian. The engine were modified to run ball on the pinion and drive sides. The cams were square.

The was a Linkert M3 ‘Bomb Sight’ used on Harley racers. The had all the meat hogged out of the insides. The ports were larger on a 74-inch Chief. My thought ‘Who did this?’”

Factory hot rod

In the racing department at the Indian in Springfield, Mass. produced sand cast “Big Scout engines. These prewar engines are not to be confused the 1948 Big Base Scouts known as 648 Big Base race Gary says there two batches of Big Base engines; the five in 1939, and then of the 648 Big Bases in 1948.

It’s to tell the prewar Big Base from the later 648s, as the engines are the only ones were sand cast.

In Big Base engines were to standard Sport Scout with one difference; there is a triangular wedge near the rear portion of the crankcase. by Indian factory engineer Carter, this wedge a pocket to catch oil from a scraper that diverted oil from the flywheels. Left to on the rotating flywheels, oil would the engine down, keeping it running as fast as it might.

The wedge isn’t readily with the engine in the bike, as the case blocks it from the and the exhaust pipes, footpegs and mounting plate block it the right. As to the engine’s moniker, doesn’t have any answers. “I really know why they’re Big Base cases, because the aren’t any bigger than in a standard Sport Scout,” says.

Going back in

With help from enthusiasts who shared their and some old race programs, traced the history of his machine starting with Denny a racer who had sold the bike to the Car Museum. Kannenberg last the Indian, which bears number FDB 381, at Sturgis in and Davenport in 1990.

Using old programs, Gary learned the of riders who might have against his Indian. Working there, he made a few calls, connecting with famous Coast tuner Shell Thuet tuned Indian bikes for the likes of Jimmy Ted Evans and Don Hawley, and he co-owned FDB 381 in the

Thuet later worked his on the Yamaha XS650 flat machines raced by Kenny

Gary talked to Thuet the bike, and also learned racer Ted Evans that the 1939 Big Base engines sent to various handpicked to compete in Class C racing. C was meant to be for the average rider and allow factory sponsorship of or machines. “AMA rules of the required that 25 bikes be and offered for sale to the public to homologation rules for Class C Gary says. “This no ‘specials’ or ‘one offs,’ and that were available to

Indian Scout

“The truth is, both and Indian cheated. [Having] brand in the win column sold Neither could complain they were both Gary says. In 1941, sent three of the five Big engines to the West Coast, they were placed Ed Kretz, Jimmy Kelly and Ted

In the hands of such expert the engines proved very

However, Evans blew his in its second race at Southern in Gardena, Calif. and Indian the two remaining engines back to the at the end of 1941. In 1942 Kretz two of the prewar engines, FCI 173 and FDB 381. The engine, FCI 173, is currently in famous blue and white bike, while FDB 381 is in Gary’s.

The number is significant: “F stands for D stands for 4, and B stands for 2 [as the motorcycle was to Kretz in 1942]. The 38 was Kretz’s number, and the 1 filled out the three number that all Indians In short, Scout 1942, racing number 38 and a 1 to make it a Indian serial number.

these five engines not legal, and to number them would be a … giveaway,” says.

Racing was suspended in but when the tracks opened in 1946 Kretz still had the Big Base engines. From his in Los Angeles, Kretz had many top riders race FDB 381, Floyd Emde, Jack Bob Holt and Bobbie Turner. In Horn won the 1947 Daytona race, while Holt third in 1948 and fourth in with FDB 381.

From the archival photos collected, it is evident that FDB 381 has had at three Indian Scout both early and late

The late 1940s and most of the is when FDB 381 was most competitive, but sold the bike in 1952 he had become a Triumph dealer and to race the brand he sold.

Thuet told Gary to racer Bob Nichols about FDB and when Gary talked to it was suggested he contact Galen When Gary spoke to Brookins said he had bought FDB 381 Kretz in 1952. “Jackpot,” Gary. “This was the first I knew FDB 381 had a Kretz connection. said he still had the title Kretz’s name on it.

He said he give it to me when he came it. I have made a couple of out to Galen’s home, but we still found it.”

The Von Dutch

So, FDB 381 went from Kretz to to Thuet. At the end of 1957 Thuet the racer to Pate Killian. knew Von Dutch and had him paint the three different times — the Von Dutch paint job is still on the racer.

Gary says the is starting to crack, but he hasn’t it, nor will he, given the values associated with anything by a Von Dutch brush.

In 1961 FDB 381 went to Bob Fleckenstein, an engineer, who kept the Indian through 1967 with like Doug Hardt. to find riders who could an antiquated, hand-shift motorcycle — though the machine could keep up with newer BSA and Harley-Davidson racers — he eventually FDB 381.

Late in 1967, the passed to race-fan friends of who remembered seeing him race the in the early 1940s at Carrell and Southern Ascot, both in Calif. They kept the for 20 years until 1988, it was sold in an estate dispersal landing in the hands of Denny who we’ve already met.

Ed son, Ed Jr. or Eddie, was reunited FDB 381 in 2009. Eddie’s first in 1948, when he was 16 years was aboard this very Gary took the Indian to Eddie’s home where he the bike for the first time the early 1960s. “The thing about FDB 381 is that it on a national level from through 1967, a span of 25 Gary says.

Incredible, MC


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