19-20 January 2017

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Lot 202

1946 Indian Chief

  • Frame no. 3461144
  • Engine no. CDF 6065

Sold for $23,000

Model 346. Est. 40 hp, 74 cu. in. air-cooled side-valve V-twin engine, three-speed manual transmission, girder front forks, plunger-type rear suspension, and two-wheel drum brakes. Wheelbase: 60.5 in.

  • An excellent example of an iconic American V-twin
  • Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Junior, Senior, and Grand National First Prize winner
  • Offered from private ownership since 1984

The 1940 model year was significant in the history of Indian motorcycles, with the addition of skirted front and rear fenders on all of its models, a feature that remains emblematic of the Indian line today. Mechanically, the Chief and Four models also received a new frame with an innovative dual plunger-type rear suspension as opposed to the decidedly low-tech unsprung rear wheels and large, low-pressure tires relied upon by Harley-Davidson. Based upon a remarkably solid large-tube frame, the updated Indian models continued to build on the marque’s well-deserved reputation for smoothness and excellent handling.

Following the end of World War II hostilities, the Indian model line consisted solely of the V-twin Chief, in order to meet the pent-up demand for new motorcycles, as well as to conserve funds for the development of a new model line. In 1945, under a change of ownership led by Ralph Rogers, Indian was purchased from DuPont and they began development on a new line of motorcycles patterned after the popular British singles. Unfortunately, in 1948, the historic Springfield, Massachusetts, factory—affectionately known as the “Wigwam”—was closed in favor of a new facility.

The 1946 Indian Chief presented here is finished in a beautiful deep maroon color and accented by tasteful chrome trim along the front and rear fenders. The Chief was acquired by the current owner in 1984 who then completed a comprehensive restoration. The motorcycle was finished in 1986 and then presented at several AACA meets, where it won its First Junior, Senior, and Grand National awards. Remaining in his private ownership for over 30 years, this exceptional American motorcycle continues to present well with only 170 miles showing on its odometer. The Chief includes a pair of chrome plated driving lights, a distinctive fringed saddle, as well as an abundance of bright trim and a pair of period-style whitewall tires.

Reported by the current owner to ride as well as it looks, this Indian Chief Roadmaster continues to exemplify the classic American V-twin motorcycle.

Please contact our exclusive automotive transportation partner, Reliable Carriers, for a shipping quote or any other information on the transport of this vehicle.

Alexander Weaver

+1 864 313 6844
California, United States

Alexander Weaver joined RM Sotheby’s in 2011 as a Car Specialist after graduating from Furman University in South Carolina. Born... read more

Augustin Sabatié-Garat

+44 (0) 74 1511 4179
United Kingdom

Augustin Sabatié-Garat joined RM Europe in 2012 as a Car Specialist after more than a decade in the collector car hobby. Gradua... read more

Barney Ruprecht

+1 203 912 7168
Ontario, Canada

Barney’s interest in classic cars began at an early age after being introduced to his father’s all-original 1965 Porsche 911. Barney l... read more

David Swig

+1 415 302 2247
California, United States

David Swig joined RM Sotheby’s West Coast division as a Car Specialist in May 2015. David is a life-long automobile enthusi... read more

Don Rose

+1 617 513 0388
United States

Don joined RM in 2006 after several years of professionally trading sports and classic cars, and after earning a reputation as a noted... read more

Donnie Gould

+1 954 566 2209
Florida, United States

Donnie Gould joined the RM team in 2002 as a partner and Car Specialist after more than two decades in the vintage automobile auction ... read more

Gord Duff

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

Gord Duff began his journey with RM Sotheby’s in 1998. Since then, he has gained an intimate knowledge of a variety of marques a... read more

Jake Auerbach

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Jake Auerbach got his start in the automotive industry at an early age, spending his summers during high school working at a classic c... read more

Kurt Forry

+1 717 623 1638
California, United States

Having worked for Bonhams’ Automobilia department for over 10 years, Kurt Forry joined RM Sotheby’s with more than a decad... read more

Matt Malamut

+1 805 231 6410
California, United States

A long-time car enthusiast and Southern California native, Matt studied Automotive Technology at San Diego Miramar College and complet... read more

Michael Squire

+44 (0) 20 7851 7070
United Kingdom

Michael Squire joined RM Sotheby’s European Division in the summer of 2016. He comes to RM with a prestigious racing background ... read more

Mike Fairbairn

+1 519 352 4575
Ontario, Canada

As one of the three founding partners of RM Sotheby’s, Mike has a long-standing interest in the classic car industry. Graduating... read more

Oliver Camelin

+44 (0) 75 0110 7447
United Kingdom

With an extensive background in exotic sports car history and sales, a particular passion for American curves, and fluency in three la... read more

Paul Darvill

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United Kingdom

Paul Darvill joined the RM Sotheby’s European team at the beginning of 2015. Paul holds a degree in French and Politics from the... read more

Pete Fisher

+1 519 784 9300
Ontario, Canada

Pete Fisher was first introduced to antique cars in high school, working for Classic Coachworks in his hometown of Blenheim, Ontario. ... read more

Shelby Myers

+1 310 559 4575
California, United States

Shelby Myers grew up with the classic car industry infused into every aspect of his life. He had the unique opportunity to watch the R... read more

Tonnie Van der Velden

+31 653 84 19 60
United Kingdom

Tonnie Van der Velden joined RM Sotheby’s European division in September 2015 as a Car Specialist. A lifelong enthusiast, Tonnie... read more