Barn Fresh 1948 Harley-Davidson WL

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The seller states this 1948 Harley-Davidson WL received its distinctive yellow paint job in the 1970s, but its appearance made me wonder whether he is out by a few years. I reason that it looks strikingly similar to the machine ridden by the character B.J. Hunnicutt in the final episode of the iconic TV series M*A*S*H. Regardless of the truth, it is a classic with so much character its new owner may elect to leave it untouched. The Harley is listed here on eBay in Huntingdon Valley, Pennsylvania. Bidding sits below the reserve at $11,000, although a BIN option of $22,000 is available for those wishing to bypass the auction process.

The seller purchased this Harley in the 1990s, and it was already wearing its distinctive paint shade at that time. It shows age and would benefit from a refresh. However, with age comes character, meaning the winning bidder may favor preservation over restoration. The wheels are freshly powdercoated, and the speedometer is recently rebuilt with the odometer set to the machine’s original mileage. Some plated items exhibit deterioration, but their condition is acceptable in an unrestored seventy-five-year-old motorcycle. The leather seat is in good order, as is the saddlebag.

Although Harley-Davidson didn’t invent the V-Twin motorcycle engine, it has remained a brand staple for many decades. This WL features the bulletproof and flexible 45ci flathead twin that sends its power to the road via a three-speed transmission. I describe the “45” as flexible, and the transmission choice demonstrates its ability. Most modern roadgoing motorcycles offer riders more power, but can you imagine the motor from one of those machines feeding a three-speed? The more “peaky” nature of those engines wouldn’t work effectively in those circumstances. This Harley is in excellent mechanical health, with the transmission and engine top and lower end restored in May 2022. The seller supplies n embedded video in their listing, and this classic sounds as crisp and clean as you could hope to find in any classic from this era.

Harley-Davidson enthusiasts are passionate, and some will undoubtedly find my reference to M*A*S*H unforgivable. In my defense, I have spent hours researching the subject and cannot confirm which motorcycle brand the producers used in the final episode, “Goodbye, Farewell, and Amen.” I hope that some of our readers can shed light on the subject. In the meantime, potential buyers like this classic enough to submit thirty-six bids in under two days. Are you tempted to join the action by making the thirty-seventh? If you do, I wish you luck in your quest to park this beauty in your garage.

Auctions Ending Soon


  1. Gomez Anderson

    American Pickers

    Like 5
  2. geomechs geomechsMember

    Memories galore here. I still miss my 45. Tried so many times to buy it back. The guy I sold it to left it sitting outside under the eaves of the garage out back of his mother’s house where the rain and residue from the roof landed on top of it. The guy was working off-shore rigs and was too busy “unwinding” from the rigors of work when he was back home. I finally drove over there one last time but things were different. The bike was gone and it was obvious someone else lived there. Hopefully the bike found a good home. I DID hear that the bike was sold to the H-D dealer. I remember seeing a fully restored 45 in front of the shop. It was painted white with black and orange trim. Looked great. Never had a chance to quiz the dealer about it…

    Like 14
  3. Mr. Dan

    You’re looking at one of the first “twin cams

    Like 0
  4. Cam Usher

    BJ had an Indian in series 10 , unsure what it is in the last episode but pretty sure it’s not a Harley & it’s definitely not a WL , looks like a single cylinder

    Like 0

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