Just missed out on an Indian for $10K...

grandpaul

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Just missed out on an Indian for $10K...

I was at the annual Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation fundraiser classic bike show, chatting with friends while checking out an amazing old Indian, totally unrestored, with a genuine Shoshone war bonnet as part of it's display, when the guy I built the '53 Triumph T-Bird chopper for tells me "yeah, there's a guy in San Diego (Tx) that's selling an old Indian for $10,000".

I'm thinking to myself "I finally get one of those unbelievable barn finds, dirt cheap"; basket case Indians have been fetching upwards of $30,000 for the last 10 years, and haven't been affected one bit by the current economic downturn.

His son confirmed that indeed the guy was having serious medical issues and needed to sell his Indian; he made a few calls and got me the phone number. I wrote it down in my little pocket notepad, then on the way home yesterday, I called him from the gas station on the main drag in San Diego; he acknowledged that the bike was still for sale, and gave me directions to his place. We found the place after a wrong turn on one of the worst chuck-holed streets I've been on in quite some time, creeping along about 2 MPH with a trailer full of bikes in tow.

By this time my heart was pounding, and I was wondering how in the heck I was going to stall him long enough to chase down $10,000.00 without somebody else beating me back to it with cash in hand!

We arrived at his driveway and he was waiting out front; we introduced ourselves and started talking about the bike; I asked him what year it was and he stumbled on his words a bit, "two-oh-two" he says, "two thousand two".

My heart sank. I tried not to let my discouragement show too much as we walked around back to his shed. When he opened the door, there it was - a Gilroy Indian with S&S engine, HD seat, etc. nice enough, and probably a great deal at $10K, but nothing I'd be interested in even if I had 10 times that much play money in my hand. As it was, he actually wanted $11,000.00 for it.


I took a few pix and thanked him, then we drove on the rest of the way home.

Next time...
 
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I have a couple of friends who have Indians I can ask for you. What do you want, a Chief, a Scout, or something rare like an 841. One friend has an 841 nearly done but I think he is going to trade it for an old light plane.
North West the historian for Hiller Museum (History channel, PBS documentary on Howard Hughes) has a couple 841 frames and the case adapters, I think a Scout, and I recall seeing a nearly done Chief in his shop.
 

grandpaul

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Sure, ask around! just tell them I'll trade basket case Triumphs, Nortons or BSAs, or perhaps the odd Kawasaki 6 cylinder water cooled KZ basket case. That should be good for a laugh. Not only do i NOT have the money to buy an indian, I don't even KNOW anyone with that kind of play money right now.
 
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I think I recall a Scout going out here for around $8,000. It was an older restoration.
I've stayed away from Indians for both the expense and driving one is annoying with the controls in odd spots.
This Sammy Pierce bike has been for sale for a while by his son I think.
http://sfbay.craigslist.org/sby/mcy/1114705925.html
 
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I had lunch with North West and he has sold some stuff on, but still has a Chief bobber "kit". He also has some 841 stuff and promised to do a list that I'll email you if and when he completes it.
 

MichaelB

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grandpaul said:
Just missed out on an Indian for $10K...

I'm thinking to myself "I finally get one of those unbelievable barn finds, dirt cheap...

By this time my heart was pounding... I asked him what year it was and he stumbled on his words a bit, "two-oh-two" he says, "two thousand two"...

My heart sank...

I took a few pix and thanked him, then we drove on the rest of the way home.

Next time...
That's toooo funny. :lol: :lol:
Sounds like something Peter Egan would write.
Nice write up.
 
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