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Thread: Indian Four production numbers?

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    ACE 4 and Indian 4 Engine & Serial Numbers for different years seem to differ depending on the source quoted and therefore the number of bikes produced in any given year could be hard to determine. Below is a table of year, engine and serial #s from four sources. Sucher and Hatfield put theirs in books. Browes and McKie were two old Indian "nuts" I knew well many years ago - both gone now but left me an amended listing of all the Indian #s for all models 1909-1953.
    Maybe it could be of some help, so I am passing it along.
    AFJ
    (Al Johnson in Georgetown, Ontario)

    Ace and Indian 4 Engine & Serial #s by calendar or model year
    (from Sucher, Hatfield, Browes, McKie sources)
    prepared Jan. 2018 by Allan Johnson – afjohnson@sympatico.ca

    Year (month) Make Engine # Serial # (if different from Engine)
    1920 Ace AMM00 -up
    1921 “ AMM000 -up
    1922 “ BMM00 -up
    1923 “ CMM000-up

    1926 Ace EMM00 – up
    1927 Ace VF100 – up
    1928 Jan. Indian Ace CA100 – CA209
    EA101 – EA225
    1928 April Indian 4 EA226 – EA775
    1929 Oct. “ EA776 – EA1509
    1930 Sept. “ EA1510 – up
    1931 Sept. “ A982 – up (Hatfield)
    1931 Sept. “ DOC101 - up (Sucher)
    1932 Sept. “ DCD101 – up (Sucher)
    1932 “ DOC101 -up (Hatfield) 403 101 - up
    1933 Sept. “ (Sucher says no change in Sept. 1933)
    1933 models “ DCC101-up 433 101- up (Browes, McKie)
    1934 “ “ DCD101 – up 434 101-up “ “
    1934 Sept. “ DCE101 -up (Sucher)
    1935 models “ DCE101 -up (Hatfield) 435 101- up
    1935 models “ DCE101 -up 435 101 -up (Browes, McKie)
    1935 Sept. “ DCF101 – up (Sucher)
    1936 models “ DCF101 -up (Hatfield) 436 101 – up
    1936 models “ DCF101- up 436 101 – up (Browes, McKie)
    1936 Sept. “ DCF609 – up (Sucher)
    1937 models “ DCG101 -up (Hatfield) 437 101 – up
    1937 models “ DCG101 -up 437 101 – up (Browes, McKie)
    1937 Sept. “ DCH101- up (Sucher)
    1938 models “ DCH101- up Hatfield) 438 101 -up
    1938 models “ DCH101- up 438 101 – up (Browes, McKie)
    1939 models “ DCI101 – up (Hatfield) 439 101 – up
    1939 models “ DCI101 – up 439 101 – up (Browes, McKie)
    1939 Sept. “ DCI101- up (Sucher)
    1940 models “ DDO101 -up (Hatfield) 440 101 – up
    1940 models “ DDO101 – up 440 101 -up (Browes, McKie)
    1940 Sept. “ DDA101- up (Sucher) (“Jan./41-Mar./42 similar”)
    1941 models “ DDA101 -up (Hatfield) 441 101- up
    1941 models “ DDA101 -up 441 101 - up (Browes, McKie)
    1942 models “ DDB101 -up 442 101 – up (Browes, McKie)

    (Sources 1. Sucher, H., The Iron Redskin, 1977, Haynes P. 323, 325. 2.Hatfield J.,Illustrated Indian Motorcycle Buyer's Guide, 1989, Motorbooks International. P. 150. 3. Information obtained from D. Browes and R. McKie, Indian enthusiasts in Ontario, Canada in the 1970's.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Headingley Manitoba Canada
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    Once again Al you never cease to amaze on your ability to have access to awesome historical data. I for one, always appreciate hearing from you. Cheers
    Ross

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    England
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    Ing. Stefano Milani gives essentially the same info on page 20 of his Pluricilindrici book for ACE/Indian 1920-42. While the starting numbers are interesting, it is of course the finishing engine numbers we need in order to find production figures by year. That still needs someone to collate existing engine numbers to make this estimate. Any volunteers?

  4. #14

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    My curiosity is limited to 1941 at the moment, is there an educated guess?

  5. #15
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    Jun 2014
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    Kirkland, WA
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    I prefer 1938-1942 Fours and have noted the following VIN over the past 15 years.
    These are from auction catalogs, AMCA meets and my own bikes.

    1938: 255, 268, 327, 604 (highest)
    1939: 264, 321, 537, 671 (highest)
    1940: 140, 160, 301, 426, 481, 740 (highest)
    1941: 120, 132, 205, 206, 233, 254, 328, 376, 399, 791 (highest)
    1942: 101, 104 (highest)

    Based on this small sample I would say the production would be at least:

    1938: ~500 (604-101)
    1939: ~570 (671-101)
    1940: ~639 (740-101)
    1941: ~690 (791-101)
    1942 <100 (Need more VINs)

    Does anyone have a VIN higher than these?

    Cheers,
    Andy

  6. #16
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    Jan 2003
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    England
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    I've got the same question on 1929-31 Henderson KJs, where I'd like to know the production numbers each year. For the Hendersons you have a double check on the engine numbers from the casting dates in the crankcases. For the Indian listing above the outlier bikes are hundreds higher than the bulk of them, which raises doubts in my mind. Maybe Indian left big gaps in the numbers to flatter production figures? If you ignore the outliers then production numbers would be little more than a couple of hundred a year. There is a list around with all the known ACE four cylinder bikes, produced some years ago, which should give a cross-check against the production estimates in the literature.

  7. #17

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    I have seen more 1929 fours than 1930 -1937 fours. when ever I see any four I always look at serial numbers, I only wish I had jotted them down. 1933 is considered lowest production year, it seems that I know of more people with a 33 four than a 33 chief. Highest 4 number was a couple of years ago at Oley #300 & blown up asking $10,000.00

  8. #18
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    Yes 1929 was a good year for four cylinder bikes, with the successful launch of the Henderson KJ and Indian getting into their stride after taking over ACE. But October 1929 saw the Wall Street Crash with all motorcycle production nose diving. Schwinn pulled the plug on Excelsior and Henderson early in 1931, and Harley didn't make a four, so that just left Indian from 1932-42. For both remaining manufacturers 1933 model year (1932 calendar year) saw the lowest production levels, with Harley down to 1910/11 production levels and losing money on a two day week running at about 15% of factory capacity. January 1933 saw the inauguration of Franklin D Roosevelt and the New Deal, with an improvement in customer morale leading to increased, but still very restrained, sales of motorcycles. Indian stumbled with the upside down fours and then WW2 stopped domestic four cylinder bike production in the 1942 model year.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
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    Can you give any clarity to the 1928 production year???? Indian Ace & 401 having a conflict with an original 2nd owner family owned 1928 Indian Ace CA 305....,bike was restored by Mark Hill...well documented, wonder where this would fall. What about the DA series of 401's....not seeing the clarity or accuracy in this time period. What am I missing in interpretation.

  10. #20

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    the vast majority of fours you see at meets are 40 - 41 those would be highest production years, my bet would be 1941 & I would be shocked if they made 900.

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