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Last Of The Mohicans: 1953 Indian Chief Police Special

Indian was a well revered American brand before ceasing production in 1953. This Indian Chief Police Special has lived an interesting life as a Police bike where it was then decommissioned and spent nearly 40 years in an equipment shed before it was brought back to life. In running condition, this Indian still needs a little work but is a great start to a preservation project. With 3 days remaining, and 46 bids, this Indian is currently bid up to $15,101.00. Check it out here on eBay out of Lincoln, Nebraska.

While this bike appears very original, the engine and frame are not a match to one another, although both are from 1953. With an easy kick this engine fires up and runs nicely. The transmission shifts well, and as a whole the drive-train is “oil tight”. The charging system is going to need some attention as the seller feels there is some sporadic operation with charging. Also the horn is not functional. Although nearly completely original, there are a few reproduction parts on this bike. Namely the exhaust head pipes, floor boards, belt guard, and the seat. Not the end of the world, but something worth noting. The seller speculates that the engine may have recently been rebuilt, but there is no concrete proof of support that suspicion.

The paint and overall finish of this bike is quite nice with only minimal corrosion to be found on the wheels, and virtually no corrosion to be seen on the engine. The paint is lightly oxidized, but I wouldn’t dare to touch it. The police siren is missing, but with some luck and dedicated searching perhaps an original could be found. This Indian has a telescoping fork, and features all of the notable looks that live up to the Indian name. A few weekends spent tuning this bike up would pay off in spades to be able to ride this great looking Indian survivor. Find yourself a period correct police uniform and you would certainly be popular at the classic bike and car events. What do you think this last year Indian will sell for?


  1. Classic Steel

    Okay I am confused as a billy goat on Astro turf? (Grass or not grass) 🙀

    Non orig engine and frame but carb suggests cop bike???

    Its like I think next possibly stating maybe err could of happened that my 1967 mustang was driven by
    Elvis 🕺🏼 and Steve McQueen.

    So bring gold and silver and bid cash on my mixed up parts bike 😉
    Buy it for a nostalgic mixed parts bike only that’s over priced but you like it👀

    “The motor and frame are NOT matching numbers but are both 1953 as I think all parts on bike are 1953 correct, if I am wrong I apologize. I feel with a little attention this could be a fun unrestored rider with no big surprises. Bike is located in Lincoln Nebraska 68512 ”

    • Classic Steel

      Last comment is how can one be unrestored original with non original parts🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡🤡👺

      Oh so confusing gibberish in listing🙄

      • grant

        Lol well they’re all original parts right? So… “all original!” I love some of these sellers.

  2. Steve

    Grammar Police -City Sins Ararayest! City sins Arayest!

    • ch3no2

      Steve,Now thats funny!!

  3. geomechs geomechs Member

    Whether it’s a collection of year-correct parts or original, it would be welcome at my place. This would’ve been close to the last gasp that Indian made. Great motorcycles but got too complacent and was too slow to change (something that almost destroyed the British motorcycle industry). I see it’s got the throttle on the RH side instead of the left. My H-D Servi-car had the LH throttle and RH spark advance, and it could get confusing at times. Most Indian bikes I saw had the throttle on the left; I wonder when it got switched over?

    • Neil

      The reason for the left hand throttle was:
      the majority of the population is right handed. Cops wanted to be able to shoot their pistols while chasing moon shiners and such, thus the left hand throttle allowing them to pop caps while in pursuit.

      • DrinkinGasoline

        That is pure myth. The Indian Chief was available with both side throttles as well as both tank shift sides as many were exported. My 47 Chief Roadmaster was ordered as a left throttle, right tank shift as a civilian U.S. domestic delivery. This example has had quite a few modifications such as chrome as well as quite a few deletions from it’s original delivery.

  4. EHide Behind

    it is an INDIAN!

  5. jdjonesdr

    I have 2 or 3 of the dynamo sirens in my living room, but IIRC they are HD sirens.

  6. Bob

    My first motorcycle ride was on a big Indian back in 1957, and I will never forget the experience. There will always be a special place in my heart for these classic bikes.
    I have never been a road bike owner, but I would love to have this bike in my garage. It is a good thing that the bike isn’t closer, or I would be tempted to start bidding.

  7. Rube Goldberg Member

    Historically speaking, it’s value is through the roof, but to actually ride one of these today,,,well, put it this way, we are spoiled by “modern ” motorcycles. Again, in the 50’s, and you bled “red, white and blue”, you had 2 choices, both severely out of date. European designs were so much better, but difficult to buy and we still had 1930’s technology. My GW is a cushy ride, and one can even forget you are on a motorcycle, but this would remind you every mile. I mean, would you actually ride this? Daily? Be kind of like driving a Model T around. Fun piece to look at, but all you ever see, are these lined up in a garage as part of someone’s collection, and never ridden. I guess that’s ok for some.

    • DrinkinGasoline

      I ride mine :)

  8. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Mar 11, 2018 , 8:00PM
    Winning bid:US $23,322.00
    [ 53 bids ]

  9. John Deebank

    An elderly co-worker bought a 35 when he was young and rode it to work every day.

  10. Leon

    I see this Indian has left hand clutch & shift lever. Same as my 1948 Harley. My friend back then rode a borrowed 48 or49 Indian, but was all opposite from my Harley. When did they (Indian) make the change?

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