The Duesenberg of Motorcycles
During the hard times of the Great Depression and the war years, the Four was a luxurious anomaly. But Indian stuck with it, and today it’s a machine highly prized by collectors. Even more surprising is the purposeful, single-minded styling: it still has massive appeal seventy years later, and belies the remarkably convoluted history of the Four.
It first appeared as the Indian Ace, after Indian bought the Ace Motor Corporation in 1927. The Ace was heavily modified to become the Indian 401, which then became the 402 after adopting the frame from the Indian Scout. Many drivetrain modifications followed—some disastrous—but the mighty 77-ci Four soldiered on until 1942. Today, there’s a thriving Indian Four club scene and you’ll need $60,000-$80,000 to buy a Four on the open market — if you can even find one.
In the 90's I spent over 10 years looking for restorable Indians of the 30s, 40s, and 50s, ultimately finding 23 of them worth restoring, and then having Terry Krumm of Krumm's Indian restore them all. I was able to find and purchase a total of four Indian Fours. About 10 years ago I quickly sold three of the Fours for $60,000 each — and keeping the best Four and the best Chief for my Museum. Below are photos of the Indian Fours I sold in the late 90s.
As stated above, I kept the best of the Fours and had a professional nut and bolt restoration performed by Terry Krumm at Krumms Indian. It was one of the last Indians he restored prior to his retiring. The restoration took almost five years — and is most likely the best Four Restoration available.
It was painted in a 1994 Cadillac Medium Montana Blue, as that was my favorite color. A common oil system modification (with an oil filter and cooler) to correct a known design flaw was made, as I originally thought I'd ride the bike. After just a single shake down ride to prove it ran well — I drained the bike of all of its fluids and made it a museum piece — as it was too nice, too rare, and too expensive to ride. The oil filter and cooler can be easily removed if the buyer wished.
The bike has a lot of rare parts and is fully optioned. I dare you to find another Four with as many options.
I've seen very few Indian Fours on the market in the last ten years, and those with the knowledge to restore them properly are all but gone. The few I've seen are not near as nice, and yet are going for close to $80,000.
I will quick sell this Indian to the first person with $70,000. Use the contact page to contact me.