Running Panhead: 1960 Harley Davidson FLH

It’s been a while since we last featured a motorcycle barn find, well let’s remedy that! This 1960 Harley was found in a barn in Texas. After being cleaned up, it went through a complete mechanical restoration. Cosmetically, no work has been done and it’s still wearing as the seller puts it, “57 year old patina”. I’m not about the patina, but this bike does have a cool look to it. It would definitely be eye catching to see it on the road as is. You can find it here on eBay in Austin, Texas with a BIN of $23,900.

The seller’s asking price seems a bit steep. That’s fully restored FLH kind of money and there’s still a lot to be done here to have it in perfect condition. I’m sure the seller put a decent amount of money into rebuilding the engine, transmission and primary drive, but it won’t be cheap to redo or replace all the chromework. Of course, if you are into the look leaving it alone will save you considerable money, but it’s hard to justify this asking when Hagerty values a #1 condition bike at $25k.


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  1. DrinkinGasoline

    I made the grave mistake of selling my fully restored to order spec ’52 Police Special 5 years ago. I let it go for 33K when I knew damn well it was worth and insured for more. I’m not sure why this one is for sale but it’s a mistake on the part of the seller.
    The one I vow to never sell is My 47 Indian Chief Roadmaster.
    Hopefully, one of My Great Grandson’s will take it into their care.

    • Gene Parmesan

      Tough break on the 52 but that’s still strong money! Love the 47 Chiefs too though. One of the prettiest and most iconic shapes in the history of motorcycling. Glad you’re keeping that one in the family!

      • DrinkinGasoline

        Thank you for the encouragement Gene :) I purchased the 52 from a County Sheriff’s auction as a basket case. Their MVM had tossed in parts from about 4 different years to make it a somewhat complete sale. It took about four years to put her all together, lights,radio and all. The 47, I purchased as an incomplete basket case. That one took seven years to complete as I didn’t want any repro parts on it. It is not numbers matching but it is all OEM. It is a left hand throttle with right tank shift. Not many folks can ride it :)

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      I had a ’45 trike many years ago and made the grave mistake of selling it. The guy I sold it to never did a thing with it other than park it next to the garage where the rain dripped down on it for 15 years before the Harley dealer managed to talk him out of it. It now looks fantastic. But I sure regretted selling it. I owned a Shovelhead some years later and I let myself get talked out of it. Another big regret. If I had the chance to do it again, the bikes would stay and something else would have to go. I’d love to have a Panhead or a Knucklehead but those will probably have to stay in the broken dreams file.

      • LAB3

        Most people couldn’t get rid of their Shovelhead fast enough once the blockhead came along. In many ways I find it comical that people revere something that was a POS right off the dealer floor.

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi LAB3. Mine was an AMF Shovelhead, an era alleged to have problems. However mine was great right off the showroom floor; it took me virtually trouble-free (front exh. rocker broke at 65K) for 72K miles. I sold it back in ’98 and the guy who bought it ran it three or four years before he did the top end for the first time. As of last summer it still ran the original bottom end. Some AMF Shovels had bottom end problems with the motorshaft bore being .005″ out of line in the flywheel but once that was fixed, very few problems. One thing I didn’t like with the Blockhead was you had to take the engine out to pull the cylinders. Of course with the seeming lack of problems in that area that wasn’t all that bad. The most spectacular engine failure I saw was in Sturgis, back in the 70s. A Knucklehead blew the rear cylinder–literally. Like, it was GONE–exploded; just the bottom flange bolted to the crankcase and the top part with the top fins bolted to the head; the main part was scattered all over the road with shards denting the oil tank. The remains of the piston and rod were out there on display in front of God and everybody.

    • Debbie

      These bikes are the true classics. I haveDebbie been looking for a 57 panhead for years but the prices are unbearable. Hang on to what you have. I had a 45 Flathead years ago I sold to pay bills.. Heart still hurts.

  2. Gene Parmesan

    The price of panheads and knuckleheads has absolutely gone through the roof these days, but it hasn’t stopped me from wanting to own either of them. This old FL pan ticks a lot of boxes for sure. What a beautiful bike.

  3. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Josh, this could be the best post ever! Does seem a little high priced, but what a beauty! Looks like an S and S carb. Nice up grade. Strange, a good friend of mine just got an old Panhead from his Brother, been in his Brothers apartment for about 20 years in Vegas. Tank shift. Thanks for the post! Mike. Oh, it could use a Tombstone taillight though.

    • Howard A Member

      Hi leiniedude, I hear ya’!! More bikes, snowmobiles, and such,,

  4. Steve R

    Interesting seller.

  5. LAB3

    I’d have preferred to have found it prior to the rebuild and done that part myself. It seems pretty steep price wise to me but finding something that stayed in tact through the era where everyone was customising their bikes is rare in of itself.

  6. Solosolo KEN TILLY Member

    I have owned a 1925 (JE I think it was). A 1939 750, a 1941 750, a 1943 750 and a 1981 1340 Low Rider and they were all crap! Bigger oil leaks than any Brit bike I ever owned and I’ve had about 30 of them. Give me a Triumph Tiger 110, pre unit construction, over any Harley, and day.

  7. Steve R

    I must have missed where the ad says it was found in a Texas barn. The 1970’s vintage California license plate doesn’t necessarily support that assumption either.

    Steve R

  8. Howard A Member

    Finally,,, this, I believe, is a “Duo-Glide”. It featured an improved swingarm and conventional dual rear shocks. Still, a manual start, ( the old joke was, if it didn’t fire on the 2nd kick,,,oh oh, gonna be here a while, whose turn is it to kick the HD now) I had a friend that I helped restore a ’65 Electra-Glide, 1st year for the electric start and last year for the panhead. When we were done, it was an awesome bike, best there was in the 60’s. ( and still is today) City of Milwaukee Ploice ( and many other cities) used these extensively. He got all the period correct gee-gaws, like the “fishtail exhaust”, the “rat trap clutch” which I think this one is missing a chrome cover, and yes leiniedude, a “tombstone” tail light. Bike prices for these are gaining steam ( not THIS much steam for an unrestored bike) but it’s a heck of a machine, and these bikes kept my hometown of Milwaukee humming.

    • Howard A Member

      Oops, I see it,,,Police,,,

      • geomechs geomechs Member

        Hi Howard. Ploice? You’re starting to write like I do. Maybe we shouldn’t hang out; bad habits are contagious….

  9. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Boy, that was some explosion geomechs. I hope the rider still had legs. I bought my first HFD in 1973, a 1971 FX/AMF. It did not have the boat tail fender, a wild chopper. I had pretty good luck with that Shovel, a head and exhaust gasket now and then. I had always heard of the sabotage and poor workmanship during the AMF days. Not sure if that was people blowing smoke or true. I rode that scooter until I got my CBX new in 1981. The old Shovel just could not hang with the rice burners. One good thing I guess, is I still own her, and the CBX. Both waiting for there resurrection. And yes Howard, she does have the Tombstone taillight, Yeh!

    • LAB3

      My first HD was titled as a 74 FLH that had been pieced together out of several other bikes. Bought a Low Rider straight off the showroom floor in 83 which I still have, a long way from stock with a weld-on hard tail. These days you’re most likely to see me on a 1200 Goldwing but that tends to change every couple of years since I tend to pick out a nice one from the bikes I flip. Once I get the Yamaha Royal Star (V4) I want in my hands I’ll probably stick with one of those awhile, that ones got a heck of a rep longevity wise and values tend to hold well.

    • geomechs geomechs Member

      Hi leiniedude. According to the story that was circulating around Gunner’s Lounge, the guy was really turning it on, coming out of Spearfish the night before. Witnesses said it was quite a fireball when it blew. I can only imagine what that was like. I watched a video on YouTube called: ‘Tractor Bang,’ where a super modified tractor blew the top half of its engine right out of the tractor. I would think that the flash of that ill-fated Knucklehead was similar.

      Some say that the problems in the AMF days were perpetuated by outside sources who were determined to bring H-D down. One in particular was really sore because it missed out on purchasing Harley. I wouldn’t know and I sure won’t speculate. I had Harleys and British bikes for many years; only a couple of Japanese bikes and they served me very well. I had an acquaintance in Missoula who bought a CBX and it was sure smooth but the guy said it was very heavy on the front end. Of course it being a six caused me to tease him about aspiring to own a Chevy 292. All in good fun….

      • Howard A Member

        Hi geomechs, I’m sure volumes have been written on the “AMF” years, and coming from Milwaukee, I can say with most confidence, it was NOT from within. Harley workers always maintained a certain standard, because they loved what they were doing and I doubt would do anything to ruin the HD reputation. It was AMF, that had more expertise with bowling balls, and Roadmaster bicycles, that slashed the workforce and ordered corners cut. Machining was hardest hit.( flywheels, crank pins, etc. making up most of the problems) It was bittersweet, as AMF probably saved Harley from extinction, but it did little, if anything, to update the bike, while Japan was having a field day. Like Jay Leno once said, “HD for 1974, all new handgrip”. I remember, you couldn’t give a Harley away, except for the very wise that bought AMF Harley’s then. With proper upgrades, they are in high demand today.

    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      Thanks for the rest of the story George, had to be brutal. My buddies brother owned a chopper shop back in the day, they always whined about AMF, wrenches left in trannys and so on. Old school riders for sure. Never really saw any evidence. The CBX is a little front heavy, but as a sport touring scoot it was really nice for my needs at the time. And it was fast enough to motor by the 750 and 900 F. Love the 292 line! LAB3, I can understand why you are riding the Wing, Hardtails are cool. Butt, if you get it. Ouch. And I agree with Howard on the quality of craftsmanship at the plant. Cutting your own throat. And keeping Harley alive. And his comment ” More bikes, snowmobiles and such, and thanks for the info gang, gotta go, unfortunately, I have to turn the furnace on.

  10. Wayne

    Those things were pains in the ass. Owned a 61fl and a 63 police special.. slow, leaked oil, charging systems failures,, brakes marginal, rode like trucks. Ah nostalgia, time blurs all pain

  11. Mr.B

    Price is too rich for my blood. Can buy a new FLSTN for that money.

  12. PopaJohn

    But it won’t be a classic Harley Davidson

  13. Wrong Way

    If only we could see into the future! I used to have a 49 pan, I wonder what kind of money that would bring now days?

  14. Dan Koch

    My very First Harley Davidson was a ’47 61″ Knuckle Chopper that had spool front hub still a mechanical rear brake & Z bars l doubt that I wud even ride it now but @ 16 you’re indestructible! My 2nd Harley is a 1969 Generator Shovelhead FLH Police Special that l bought in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1975 & he’s still right out in my Garage not 300 yards from my bdrm where l am rite now & l’ll have Old Black on the day l die It’s been under my ass for half a million miles & no reason to get rid of him now!

  15. James

    This one is a nice bike but a bit high on the price but with Knucklehead numbers going through the roof it was just a matter of time for the Pans to follow. Mine is a 54 but a Frankenstein bike. The 81 Shovelhead is a original 2nd owner bike with 32,000 miles. Made the 5000 mile round trip out to Sturgis for the 75th without a hiccup. Nothing wrong with them old Shovels.

  16. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Nice ride James. Enjoy, Mike.

  17. sluggo

    About damn time we got some classic bikes featured, but I think you guys could have picked some better feature material. This guy is just a shrewd flipper taking advantage of the growing nostalgia market.
    Panheads forever! But a lot of coin for a agricultural bike trading on name and rep. I grew up with a lot of people who knew how to make these things run, and run well,. Shovels as well.
    Amusing is the Ironhead sporty resurgence as well. I have multiple Sporties and Buells, but got out of the laz-boys on wheels years back. Just because I love old machinery and lack common sense though most of my motorcycles are vintage British. Sure the modern bikes are fun. (I have a Ducati 998 Superbike as well) but nothing speaks to me more than a bike from the 40’s-60’s.
    My step mothers dad used to wind me up about stories about his 48 Indian Chief, He was in local ANG Flight squadron and had pictures and a ton of stories as well as another air crew guy he sold it too and claimed it was still in that guys basement.
    My other step relatives warned me the stories were 30 years out of date and they too ran down the leads and it was long gone. But it was fun to hear, and look into it.

  18. waldon herdman

    Sort of off topic, but a funny story. Back in 88, I had a 76 Trans Am that was in ok condition for that time. A friend of a friend offered me a 58 Pan even up for my T/A. It was coming into winter and I told him no. I always said that was where two fools met. Me for not trading, and for him wanting to. LOL Live and learn.

  19. sluggo

    Waldon, great story,. If you look at prices today you can see the folly of your ways. As a Car & Motorcycle guy I often point out you can store 6 motorcycles (+ or -) in the same square footage a car like a TA would take up.
    But I got a ton of coulda-shoulda-woulda stories but storing all those vehicles is problematic.
    Still kicking myself hardest on a Nice Cuda (72?) with no motor or trans but in good condition for $400 in 1984 I missed by 2 hrs. Then a RT Challenger in 1989 for $1200, went back to put down a deposit and the guy changed his mind and backed out due to pressure from his buddy not to sell. 2 months later their garage burned down and he lost ALL his projects. Still makes me sick today.
    I know a local guy who is long standing 1% club guy and he has been buying up old pans, knuckles and flatties for decades as nobody wanted them or wanted to work on them. Has 2 barns packed full. Wants to downsize but still cant bring himself to let them go. He also is sharp as a tack and wont be any bargain deals either. But when he does start selling it will be raining money. He is amazed about the resurging interest in these bikes and complains still about how all the good deals dried up.

    • waldon herdman

      Good clean shovels are next to have a big bump up in price I believe.

  20. sluggo

    Shovels are ,,, amusingly ALSO well sought after. Go to biker events, or internet forums and youngsters are drooling over them. for example is full of 20 & 30 somethings who think the greatest thing in the world would be a shovel. Pan or Knuckle if they won the lottery but most of these guys already feel a pan or knuckle is just a dream they will never realize but a Shovel is attainable.
    Old people like me give advice is start with an evo and just ride.
    But they dont want that. Points ignitions and magnetos are highly sought after,. EI is BORING! I get tired of people recycling the old chestnut that “Our interests/hobby is dying, we are the last who care about this stuff” Bullpuckey!

    Look up the ONE moto show in Portland Oregon and look for videos,, the crowd is ALL ages and tilts heavily to late 20s and 30s, Most are hipsters but they are passionate biker hipsters.
    (This year there was vendors selling flannel, Danner boots is a sponsor and there was a barber there with a really cool vintage chair doing beard grooming and selling pomade) will get you an idea, but these types of events are growing all over the US and overseas. We got a ton of people flying in from Japan, and vintage biker and chopper stuff is VERY popular there!

    I deal in vintage british bikes mostly and again,, wildly popular but i spend a lot of time trying to convince people not to customize restorable bikes, theres no lack of orphan parts to chop so have at it.

  21. leiniedude leiniedude Member
  22. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    Ended: Nov 11, 2017 , 10:17AM
    Sold for:US $17,500.00

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