Parked 50 Years! Original Paint 1948 Harley-Davidson

Long before the billet aluminum craze, Harley-Davidson owners were finding ways to customize their bikes. You can see some subtle modifications on this 1948 Harley like the gems that follow the curve of the rear fender. This bike is said to be an original-paint survivor that was parked in 1968! It can be found here on eBay with a current bid of over $15,000. Located in Feeding Hills, Massachusetts, it was apparently a one-owner bike until a couple of years ago. If you’ve been looking for an original Harley that you can do a mechanical restoration on but leave the outside original, this might be the perfect one for you. Check it out!

I’m not sure where it was stored, but I’m guessing it was somewhere that the bike was exposed to some elements. The seller says “The original exhaust, tires, and saddlebags rotted off the bike…kickstand and battery box were also replaced…from sitting in the dirt for 50 years.” Thankfully the ad says that they have all the original parts except for the chain guard.

Man, this bike has great patina. You can’t fake or replicate the look that the tank, gauges, and the rest of the front end have. A little bit of light elbow grease and this thing would be ready for years of show or go.

Here you can see the engine stamping that matches the original 1948 title. The seller says the WL 45 Flathead engine turns over, but they have not tried to get it running. Obviously, after sitting for so many years, you’d want to carefully inspect the engine before attempting to get it running. The ad includes several photos showing the inside of the gas tank and it looks remarkably good. Overall, this seems like an honest survivor. What do you think?

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  1. Mitchell Gildea Member

    100% agree with Montana leave the cosmetics as-is and restore the mechanicals

    Like 3
  2. Howard A Member

    Oh, you don’t want to know what I think and I don’t mean to be a Fussy Freddy, but did all these bikes come from the factory looking like this? I never see a nice one. Clearly, nobody gave a hoot about this bike for eons, laid in the dirt, now, all of a sudden, this thing is worth $15g’s? AS IS? I know I need a new hobby, but it’s examples like this that confirm,,the world has truly gone mad.Don’t any of these bidders have disgruntled spouses to contend with? I can hear it now,,,”sorry, hon, that new bathroom is going to have to wait, I got a hankerin’ for this old motorcycle”. I suppose that’s it, they DON’T have to answer to anyone.

    Like 22
    • 370zpp

      But Howard, it even says “A little bit of light elbow grease and this thing would be ready for years of show or go”….

      Like 7
    • Mountainwoodie

      Whats always interesting to me is how cars and motorcycles are left to rot…….literaly left to rot. Then some enterprising individual says ” I’ll get that heap out of there”.and voila it’s for sale for a lot of money..not banging on the enterprising indiviual just noting the change in values. Someone didnt or couldnt keep it out of the weather.and now it has the p word/

      I’m thinking its headed at some point for a full restoration. And being an Indian freak from way back I think I’d rather have a ’47 Indian Chief……er…. ’47Native American Leader

      Like 11
    • Stu

      Howard, we can show you a nice 45 that’s been loved and pampered. If I can’t figure out how to upload pictures, help me figure out a way to send them to you.


  3. Bob

    I’m surprised there is this much left of it after sitting outside for 50 years. I would be concerned about frame rot. It seems like a lot of money for a rusty WL 45.

    Like 10
  4. LMK Member


    Like 2
  5. Richard Van Dyke Sr Member

    A complete restoration is definitely needed and well worth the money when complete.

    Like 1
  6. JudoJohn

    Where’s Wayne Carini when you need him?

    Like 2
  7. TimM

    It is sweet stuff like this still exists!!!

    Like 1
  8. Bill

    Like Tim m said, nice to see this stuff , beat up as it may be. Nice to see


    my “neighbor” (they’re ‘down in Springfield” area). For that kinda $ it would hafta B running well in this condition (50K $ is not sm change even 4 these). Gotta realize what it is (compared to others in the field, others like this, etc), when its sold, where sold, etc, etc.

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