Proper Patina: 1926 Indian Prince

As time goes on, we are beginning to see more and more 100-year-old vehicles as we get to the 100th anniversary of mass manufacturing. There are plenty of these cars and bikes on the road today which is a testament to their strong bones, and the careful upkeep by their dedicated owners. However, it’s rare to have a vehicle that’s almost 100 years old, and still has its original paint. Yet that’s what we have here today, a 1926 Indian Prince motorbike, from Victoria, Australia available for $12,500 here on Barn Finds Classifieds.

Our Indian Prince is one such bike, with not only its original paint but no leaks, a free-moving engine, and plenty of original parts. The Indian Motorcycle company was started in 1901 and was originally known as the Hendee Manufacturing Company which manufactured pedal bikes. They built their first motorbike in 1901 and then proceeded to break the motorbike world speed record in 1903 at a whopping 56mph. Production was limited in the first few years to about 500 units per year, but this quickly rose to 32,000 per year by 1913.

The seller’s Indian Prince here is from a 4-year period where they built these bikes, which were intended for beginner riders with a simple single-cylinder engine. However, given that like the Ford Model A – there was not a great deal of standardization across the industry, which resulted in some quirky mechanical features that thankfully don’t remain on bikes today. One of those is having the gearbox separate from the engine but it did have coil sprung girder forks, rather than the more common leaf sprung approach on the other Indian bikes of the time.

This bike looks like it has been in a museum and has not been ridden for a long time. Even the new parts included on the bike have been painted to match the patina of the rest of the bike. It would need a relatively uncomplicated restoration to bring it back to spec, but how would you do it – restore it as a museum piece or restore it and ride it out on the open road again?

Comments

  1. Harvey Member

    It will take a lot of time and 💰 before his hits the road.

    Like 7
  2. Big C

    Shipping it to the States would be a hoot

    Like 2
  3. Lance

    Coming from Australia… the world’s slowest Indian!

    Like 9
    • Bill McCoskey Bill McCoskey Member

      Lance,

      I love your comment! Sadly, most people probably won’t get the inference!

      Like 8
  4. Gary

    Great movie

    Like 5

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