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Thread: How Many Knuckleheads still kicking

  1. #11
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    Oct 2011
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    Kind of like 32 fords.
    Tom

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Slocombe View Post
    I heard there were 1800 1936 knuckleheads built, of which 2000 survive...
    How many times have you seen an ad for a model U/UL/ULH motor and fuel tanks? Some where another knuckle is born.

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Slocombe View Post
    I heard there were 1800 1936 knuckleheads built, of which 2000 survive...
    Arthur Davidson reported to the Shareholders that "Nearly 2,000 were built".
    Be sure to visit;
    http://www.vintageamericanmotorcycles.com/main.php
    Be sure to register at the site so you can see large images.
    Also be sure to visit http://www.caimag.com/forum/

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by DanM View Post
    What impact did the scrap metal drive of WW2 have on bikes, especially teens bike. I imagine there were some people interested in them, but the technological advances were so far reaching that by early 40s they were junked?

    Not sure if Knucks would have been impacted by the scrap drives
    My old friend (RIP) Paul George always joked about the "blue wrench" used during the WW2 metal drives. Paul said scrap salvagers used acetylene torches to cut the front and real wheels off at the axels.

  5. #15
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    Buddy Puckett was the son of Orlando's H-D dealer, Louis Puckett. Buddy was my age, and told me when he was about 8 years old, he saw his Dad cutting up frames, forks, and fenders so he could load more scrap metal into their dump truck. Now that is a good story, but Orlando's scrap yards were less than a mile from Puckett motors so why would someone work up a sweat cutting up frames in the Florida heat. Scrap steel was almost worthless in those days, but I don't doubt that Louis scrapped frames since he would get some money for his efforts, as opposed to just taking the stuff to the dump. Pucketts had 3 dealerships in Florida in those days and they did have tons, and tons of parts. Buddy took me into one of their warehouses and it was an overwhelming sight. I can only imagine what many Harley, and Indian dealers had in the early 1950s. Some dealers saved the stuff they liked. Just north of Sarasota, on Anna Maria Island was a retired dealer from Detroit (I think). His name was George Hopps and he brought tons of old bikes and parts to Florida which he kept in a warehouse behind his bicycle rental shop. He loved old motorcycles and was a true enthusiast going way back, so he had some very interesting, and unique early motorcycles that he had taken in trade, bought, or were just given to him. We are not the latest, or only enthusiasts that are queer for old bikes.

    Steve, I remember Paul George, and got some nice Indian parts from him.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

  6. #16
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    I remember that Paul George along with Howard Wagner and a few others were very approachable, friendly and helpful to me at my first visit to the Davenport Meet in the mid '80's when I was learning what I needed for my '31 Indian 101 Scout project. I was getting started and none of them had met me previously. They were more interested in the extent of your enthusiasm than what you had in your wallet.
    Kenny Edmiston was the best towards me (and many others) in this regard.

  7. #17
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    The VL Register has been running 20 years, and lists about 3% of the 43,500 Big Twin flathead bikes built 1930-36, including many that are just motors or crankcases. Some owners are reluctant to contribute their numbers, so maybe the survival rate is about 5%. For the younger and more collectable knucklehead, a first guess at the number of real bikes surviving might be 8-10% of total production.

  8. #18
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    On the subject of cutting up frames and taking old bikes to the dump, do you think that maybe the dealers thought they would sell more new bikes and parts if they got rid of the old stuff?

  9. #19

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    I heard that 8 out of 10 Harley Davidsons ever built are still on the road today. The other two made it home.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one. But seriously, talking about WWII scrap drives, you also have to consider the fact that not very many new civilian vehicles were produced during the war, so vehicles that were not scrapped for the war were pretty much used up during that time frame and then scrapped when production of new models resumed. Or, if they weren’t used up they rusted up. Even though people weren’t going on long drives due to gas rationing, a certain amount of miles were needed to keep things going, and not much was made for five years or so. You have to think that everyone was ready a new model after the war and the tired old models pre-war were pretty worthless.


    Kevin

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  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwl View Post
    On the subject of cutting up frames and taking old bikes to the dump, do you think that maybe the dealers thought they would sell more new bikes and parts if they got rid of the old stuff?
    I have heard that, John. I believe Dr. Sucher went into that in his book, 'Harley-Davidson, the Milwaukee Marvel'. And you know that every fact he wrote was triple checked, and peer reviewed Seriously though, getting old bikes off the market may have been good business for selling new bikes, but wouldn't the acquisition of a used bike, and it's destruction cut into the bottom line? Maybe big volume dealers could afford to do that, but I wonder if the Mom, and Pop dealers needed the used bike market to survive. Curious what others think, as I love these conversations.
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

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