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No Reserve Chopper: 1946 Harley Davidson Servicar

This custom Harley-Davidson chopper began life as a now-rare Servicar, which was a clever concept that marketed motorcycles as a sort of service vehicle, born of out the company’s desperation to generate sales. Of course, the body that made the Servicar a standout is long-gone now, but you can see how the 42 inch rear axle made it fairly straightforward to create a three-wheeled chopper by simply removing the storage compartment that sat behind the driver. The seller notes that the bike was built in 1972 by the second owner, and it certainly reflects the style of the period. Find the hot rod Servicar here on eBay with an opening bid of $5,000 and no action yet.

The Servicar concept was pretty novel when first introduced, as it was conceived with a very specific purpose: to be towed behind an automobile that was freshly serviced, allowing the technician to return the vehicle to the owner and then unhitch the tow-behind Servicar so they could drive back to the dealership. It’s amazing to think about how years later, there are still some dealers without a complimentary shuttle or loaner car service; clearly, the need to leave your car at the dealer and then either get a ride home or get a ride to pick it up has proved challenging for some time. The Servicar wasn’t necessarily a huge seller, but it was popular beyond just the service technician market.

If a quick Google search is any indication, the practice of converting a Servicar into a chopper-style setup. Like many other takes on the classic hot rod, I’m sure the original builder may wish now that they left the Serivcar setup in place, as those rare, slightly-oddball Harleys command a fair price on the collector bike market. Regardless, choppers built in-period also have a following, but it’s hard to say whether it’s strong enough for someone to jump at that $5,000 opening bid. The seller notes it was built in 1972 and features many custom touches, including the paintjob, wheels, seat, molded frame, and 8+ OEM springer with twisted chrome front. It’s been off the road since ’79, so it didn’t see much use after it was built.

The seller notes that the engine moves but the valves are stuck – as a bonus, it retains the original cylinders and heads. The tank will also need to be cleaned out, so it has the usual pitfalls of long-term storage. The good news is it comes with a load of new and aftermarket parts (but doesn’t specify which are new), including a Linkert carb with velocity stack; OEM distributor; OEM chrome clutch foot control with Suicide shifter; OEM chrome octagon style oil tank; and more. The paint is custom and hasn’t been touched since the 1970s, which isn’t a bad thing for a period custom like this. Would you preserve the chopper build or recreate the original Servicar setup?


  1. arkie Member

    Somebody really needs to pull this ol’ hippie killer out of its neglected state and have some fun with it.

    Like 9
    • Allen

      Restoration would be expensive but worth it. You can find the original parts, there are a lot of Servicar parts out there. But I feel the price is too high for that much of a project.


    45 cubic inch flat head. Lucky to see 50 mph going downhill. Pass!

    Like 2
    • Stu

      Yep. We all rode Pans or Shovels (one with a Knuckle) back in the ’70’s/’80’s and had one bud who rode a 4-5. We’d stop and have a beer and wait for him to catch up when we went on runs.

      Like 1
    • Dave

      They were never meant for highway use beyond the two-lane out of town. They were popular with parking meter enforcement in many cities and I’ve seen a Honda version based on the CX series of bikes. Today, this is a Bike Night special or something to bar cruise places like Daytona or Sturgis.

    • Bruce

      Pull that flat head out and slide an iron head sporty in it’s place

  3. chrlsful

    yes, that is certainly an option.
    But every custom is so personalized as 2B (in my mind) ‘out of it’ for nxt owner. We find cars, trucks, boats, planes and yes, bikes bring in higher dollars on average when ome (sure some get a moderate amount due to the expansion of the market – internet). So if U want a sort of cultural time machine – something like this fits the bill.
    Its got 3, 4 attributes I like – springer, motor, transmis, rear end. I’d bring them back to ‘normal’ and source all other parts ome or “as if’. I like floor boards, 6 bends or bull horns, very small mods to original manufacturer’s equipment anyway. Utilizing gives one a sense of the time even down to cloth covered wires & mechanical breaks. But, hey, to each their own (& I don’t own).

    Like 3
  4. BigDoc Richard Van Dyke Sr

    I’ll keep the one I got thank you at least it’s an 88

  5. martinsane

    When i was a kid in the early 70s my folks had friends that had what they called trikes, not sure if they were this Servicar you write about or not but boy were they cool amd i seem to remember them to be quite prominent out here in the PNW.

  6. Mike

    We had someone in the family that bought a chopper made from various MC parts with a hot 4 cylinder Honda motor. This bike was built by inmates from the Walla Walla penitentiary under some weird program back in the 70’s. It was so low to the ground, shifted with a knob at the transmission and the front end was so long you never took your hand off the bars because it would flop. Tried to do some research on it, but could only find a passing mention about it on some Walla Walla history webpage.

    Like 1
  7. 370zpp 370zpp Member

    That seat (and perhaps the whole bike) had to come from south of the border.

  8. Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

    The reason there are no bids is the high price. All you have to do is a quick Google of Servi-cars to find very nice examples for $7k and up. $14k will get you a 1958 with a full professional restoration, with less than 100 miles since completion. The plating costs alone will put you over the top.

  9. Kenn

    Throttle control cable goes straight from handlebar grip to the carb. Why couldn’t they find a longer one to rout along the handlebars and down the frame? Bet more than once leg got tangled in the cable.

  10. david r

    god I hate choppers

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