Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 33

Thread: Prototype OHV H-D

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    24

    Default Prototype OHV H-D

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/1939-Harley...cAAOSwOI5dOGCQ

    For sale 1 of 5 prototype OHV motorcycles Bill Harley was developing -some castings marked Ex for experimental looks for real to my UNTRAINED eye!!

    I like the look of the covers with the speed lines wonder why they did not keep that exact look hmmmmm atleast for a few years !! Pretty Cool I am really starting to appreciate the styling of Bill Harley years ahead of his time !!!

    Hollywood is missing a great story that with proper research could really tell a story of American ingenuity !! As well as celebrating that art deco era !!!

    I have seen Harley and the Davidsons but it seemed to move very quickly.


    Thought some on here may be intersted in this !!
    "you gonna sit there and argue ......or FISH " Claude Leadbetter

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    147

    Default

    fxcw64: This bike was for sale on Ebay 4 or 5 months ago, with the same listing info. I can't remember what it sold for, but it was not cheap ! I guess the buyer backed out or something.
    Craig

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    Posts
    24

    Default

    Thinking of this prototype made me wonder about the founders of H-D and when they passed and I was surprised to find out Bill Harley passed (1943)before the end of the Knucklehead production run Walter the year before(1942) and Arther in 1950 that is incredible that the company survived the loss of those three !!! But it could be said for only about 19 years till AMF took over ..................Which almost put them in the klincker for good !!
    "you gonna sit there and argue ......or FISH " Claude Leadbetter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    421

    Default

    If it wasn't for AMF there wouldn't be a Harley-Davidson today. It was AMF's investment that revived the company at their stockholders cost and made them sell it back to the family in far better shape then when they sold it to AMF.
    DrSprocket

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    147

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RichO View Post
    If it wasn't for AMF there wouldn't be a Harley-Davidson today. It was AMF's investment that revived the company at their stockholders cost and made them sell it back to the family in far better shape then when they sold it to AMF.
    RichO; You are correct. Doc Schneidwind who owned Doc's H-D in St. Louis told about AMF saving the MoCo back in the 1970's. The problem early on with AMF was they stressed production numbers over quality. A good friend of mine picked up his new Superglide at Doc's in 1973 when he returned from the service. After 500 miles, the bottom end came out of the motor. Another friend bought his new superglide in 1974 and the same thing happened at about 500 miles. I'm sure that after a few of these expensive warranty jobs they fixed the production problem.
    Craig

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    North Hills, CA and Pine Grove, CA
    Posts
    5,434

    Default

    Don't believe the old tale that H-D was on the verge of bankruptcy and AMF saved them. The fact is that H-D was enjoying record sales and need to expand their operation. Many companies were chafing at the bit to partner with H-D. The MoCo decided to partner with AMF because they were already in the recreational product business. AMF owned a complete manufacturing complex in York, PA which is the H-D final Assembly Plant today. In January 1969 H-D and AMF MERGED. It was not a sale. The only time H-D was ever sold is when Willie G. and the eleven other employees and one outsider purchased the company from AMF.
    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/

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    118

    Default

    The truth doesn't come more clear than this...

    https://www.jsonline.com/story/life/...mf/2217285002/

    1973-74 was a turbulent period with the production move to York and subsequent break-up of the Milwaukee workforce, also a 1974 worker strike. By the spring of 1974 my grandfather had 40 years in with the MoCo, in Feb '74 he and some fellow workers made a group purchase of Honda cycles from a dealer just south of the state border in Illinois. I remember him telling me they weren't allowed to park among the employee cycles where they were visible and directed to park out back and out of sight. He retired in May 1975 after 41 years.
    Last edited by badger34; 08-25-2019 at 12:45 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    147

    Default

    badger34; That is a great link !
    Thanks, Craig

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Beautiful Northern New Mexico
    Posts
    2,724

    Default

    Badger's link is the true story as to what was going on. I worked for a dealership from '72 to '80 and went through all the BS. When H-D announced the move to York we saw quality control plummet as well as sabotage on the new bikes. Many Milwaukee workers were told to either uproot and move to York or lose their jobs. It took several years for things to improve and by the late '70s the bikes were mostly staying together.
    The 1965 date is interesting because when H-D went public they also put pressure on their older dealers and many sold out or closed because of the new corporate management style going along with the new Board. The old dealer in my town just told them to suck eggs and walked away after being their dealer since 1934. I had been doing business with him for a short while before he left but got to know him much better after as he ran an indy shop for a couple more decades.They sent a company man to operate the dealership while they tried to find a buyer, eventually basically giving it to someone with no franchise fees as no one wanted it. Many folks felt they were washed up and done with in the late '60s. PDs were even trying out Moto-Guzzis!
    Robbie Knight Amca #2736

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Sarasota, Florida
    Posts
    4,128

    Default

    The big time Orlando, Florida dealer had been Louis Puckett, but he had been preceded by the early, and first H-D dealer whose name I can't remember because it is currently happy hour. Dick Farmer hated the forced Aermacchi deal that made him take too many hard to sell Italian bikes for American big twins, and Sportsters that he could sell. After those 2 dealers came Orlando's Dick Farmer who carried the H-D banner into the boutique era but was replaced by some corporate H-D guy who wanted to live in Florida, hence the awful dealership one can see from I-4 on the way to Dismal World. I got to know Dick Farmer's son Richard, and he told me his worst experience with selling H-Ds was when he sold a '72 dresser to a man who bought a new Harley every 2 years. He gave them his old bike, and took delivery of a new 1972FLH. He came back a 1/2 hour later on foot; gave them the keys, and said he wanted his old motorcycle, and his check back. Richard said he never came back for another motorcycle. That story is a microcosm of American industry, labor, world politics, and the general dysfunction in the 1970s. I'm glad H-D made it through all that, and I hope they find their place in the modern age. Harley-Davidson has always been good for the American psyche, and has proven the flexibility of American manufacturing for survival without government subsidy (in most non-military cases):
    Eric Smith
    AMCA #886

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •