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Thread: 1940 Indian Chief 440 Colors

  1. #1

    Default 1940 Indian Chief 440 Colors

    I am getting ready to paint my 1940 4 cylinder and have the original codes, which none appeal to me.
    Since DuPont owned the company, for an extra $5.00 you could have your bike painted any colour.
    My questions are
    1. If I decide to have my bike judged, and it isn't one of the 7 or so standard 1940 colours, do I need to "prove" that my chosen color was available? Remember my choice will be a vintage pastel colour.
    2. Can anyone tell me the correct colour of the toolbox ( black or bike colour) and the 2 brackets that strap the lower frame tube.
    3. Was extra chroming available from the factory on items such as handle bars, brake controls, etc. As an option or upgrade?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    154

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    Another member with more judging experience will weigh in on the "nonstandard" color choice(s) and possible point deduction; however, your tool box should be black, not sure about the brackets but I would think they would be black too.

    As to your chrome question I'm not sure if Indian offered it or not in 1940. Yellow53 Chief might know, he has a lot of good factory documentation to draw upon and he might add his thoughts to this thread. Most owners have personalized their bikes as you are finding with your Four, a lot of these older pre war Indians often have been given an extra dollop of chrome at some point. Now the fun part of restoration begins, what to fix what to leave alone.

    I personally like the prewar bikes to have black crash guards, rims and handlebars but that is my preference and it was the way they were offered as a standard cost from the factory, whether the extra chrome was as a factory order add-on or dealer installed later for 1940 I'm not sure. But if you are going for a point bike you'll need to get verification from someone with the documentation to back it up.
    Last edited by Green Indian; 11-30-2016 at 06:49 PM. Reason: better thought process, I think

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    3,771

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    You should get a copy of 'The Indian News, 1940, All Issues' from Butch Baer & Sons. It has many 1940 Indian photos, and probably many gems of arcane information particular to 1940 models. Also, find a copy of Jerry Hatfield's 'Indian Restoration Guide'. If you're trying to make your '40 judge worthy, you have a lot of research to do, and documentation to nail down.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    214

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    1. If I decide to have my bike judged, and it isn't one of the 7 or so standard 1940 colours, do I need to "prove" that my chosen color was available? Remember my choice will be a vintage pastel colour.
    If want your bike amca judged you have to use a standard color or provide original order form with non standard color specified.
    If want your bike amca judged you have to restore exactly as the factory made it, not the way you want it.
    Last edited by 1950Panhead; 12-01-2016 at 08:33 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    116

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    Hi,
    Here is the color chart for 1940. If you are going to ride your bike a lot - AMCA judging standards may not be the way to go; paint the bike a color you like and don't worry about AMCA guidelines. If you are not going to ride your bike a lot, and if AMCA judging is a primary concern; paint the bike one of the six available colors, and then turn the bike into a museum piece. With the extremely wide variety of paints and colors currently on the market; choosing the restoration route severely restricts your color options. You can always let the next owner paint the bike one of the six original colors.
    1940 Indian Color Chip Chart A.jpg1940 Indian Color Chip Chart B.jpg

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