Last week I posted a brief discussion about the upcoming Old’s School Tour car rally which will be held in September. As background to that post I had a very enjoyable telephone conversation with Timothy Cataldo, who is the organizer of the Old’s Cool Tour. During our conversation we began to talk about motorcycles. Timothy mentioned that he had made a video about Indian motorcycles and that he would send a copy of it to me. Late this past week Timothy’s video arrived at my house and I’ve had the chance to watch it.
Timothy Cataldo’s Indian Motorcycle Video
The Indian motorcycle, at least through the original company, was built from 1901 to 1953. For many years it was the biggest motorcycle company in America. In its later years Indian fell behind Harley Davidson in sales, but remained a strong competitor, until some poor management decisions led to its demise in the early 1950s.
The Indian Summer video is very unique and informative source of information and stories about Indian motorcycles. It was recorded in 1994 and at that time Timothy went to numerous people who were directly involved with Indian motorcycles as riders, workers, company ownership, racers, restorers, and enthusiasts. I am sure that many of the people in the video have since passed on. Their stories will never be heard again which is what makes Timothy’s video so important. This is a visual and audio history of this once-great marque that Timothy has preserved on this video.
1938 Indian Four
While these days Indian’s are mostly remembered as V-Twin engined motorcycles, one of the nicest Indians was the four-cylinder inline-engined Indian motorcycle of the 1930s. The image of the four-cylinder Indian shown above appears to be a survivor motorcycle, not an overly restored show motorcycle.
The iconic Indian motorcycle is the Indian Chief of the late 1940s and early 1950s, such as the 1947 Indian Chief shown below. The valanced fenders with the Indian chief light on the front fender are the unique Indian visual features.
1947 Indian Chief
If I had a dollar for every time that I have read about the revival of the Indian marque over the years, then I would have enough money to buy an original Indian motorcycle. Recently the Polaris company has revived the Indian motorcycle name. However this time it looks real. Polaris is a smart, well-funded company with a motorcycle manufacturing history through their Victory motorcycle models. One of the new Indian motorcycles, the Indian Chief Vintage, was on display for several months in a big-box retail store in Franklin, MA that I frequent. I must confess that more than once I have seriously considered going to the Indian dealer to see what kind of deal that I could get for one of these motorcycles.
2016 Indian Chief Vintage
In conclusion, if you are interested in Indian motorcycles, then I would recommend the Indian Summer video as you will hear the story of Indian motorcycles from those who actually lived it.
The video is available from fiasCo. Films, 202 Georgetown Road, Weston, CT 06883 and can be purchased via Amazon.