This 1948 Indian Chief was purchased by the current owner in July 1992 from the Bose Collection of Hollywood, original paint was orange (see photos). This bike had been featured in a Levi’s jeans commercial that same year.
Current owner was in Germany more than the US at that time and shipped the motorcycle there. Upgrades were needed to accommodate German safety laws. The work in Germany was performed by renowned German historian, Michael Buck. (This motorcycle remains rideable in Germany)
In 1995 the owner of this 1948 Chief shipped the bike back to California, where he was then living, and added a new seat, new exhaust system, and had some engine work done at “The Shop” in Ventura, CA. He also had the bike reviewed by Wilson Plank who added his special brakes and carb flow system (Amazing, he got it back within 9 months wow!)
In 1998, the 50 birthday of this Indian Chief, the current owner decided to do a complete restoration with customization including modifications to the motor. The bike was taken apart, everything stripped and restored, and was completely rebuilt from the ground up. There have been several modifications with high-end parts to preserve the classic look of this Indian Chief. The engine, transmission, generator, etc., were refurbished in Ventura and all other restoration work was performed by Richard Brazas as well as Wilson Plank. The restoration cost, including the upgrades in Germany, totaled over $35k.
Engine is all original parts & pieces that have been restored to original condition. Frame is in excellent condition. Custom exhaust system, two into one. The gas tanks are clean and serviceable, and the caps appear to be the originals. The floor boards and rubber pads for the brake pedal and clutch were brand new with the restoration. Stock Indian gauges. Dash is in great working order.
3,903 showing on a working odometer.
New black paint in June of 1999. Frame, tank, front and rear fenders, headlight and tool kit were all painted. Current paint condition is great with a few road marks. Takes an excellent shine. Owner lives two miles on a gravel road now and wants to protect the paint. Paint on cylinders is noted as failing and flaking. Review the pictures. This is a running, operating motorcycle. It is in need of a good bath and polish to be presented at a show. It will shine well!
All sheet metal in great condition. It is factory original and has a been well prepared during the restoration. A few road marks may be found. Tanks are in excellent shape and show no sign of leaking. No dings or dents currently noted.
Front end is nickle chromed. Chrome covers for the shocks, dual shocks. Dash, hand controls, shocks, forks, pipes, headlight, two running lights, tail light, original Indian fender lamp, fender rack and trim, horn, crash bars, wheels, hubs, kickstand, carburetor cover, suicide shift and various nuts and bolts are chromed. There is some pitting appearing on some of the chrome because of the bike’s proximity to the ocean in storage. Most will shine right up with some TLC.
The engine, transmission, generator, etc., were all completely refurbished. Engine is all original parts & pieces that have been restored to original condition. Modifications to the motor have this bike running better than ever. Custom exhaust system, two into one. All electrical is in great working order. The left foot control is the clutch and right is the rear brake correct for the time. The hand gear shift is on the right side which makes the throttle position on the left. All controls are in great shape and all lines are braided steel. This bike is an easy start and a very reliable rider, smooth and quick, probably 80-inch with special tuning.
Wheels & Tires
Rims: Wheels are chromed steel.
Front Tire: Dunlop MT 90 B16 – whitewalls in excellent condition, rideable safe to use.
Rear Tire: Dunlop Touring Elite – whitewalls in excellent condition, rideable safe to use.
Current California Title and current registration through 2019.
Engine: CDH 1183
Frame: 348 1183
Valuation Resource Guide
This would rate as a very good to excellent because of the grades and the mechanics that are performed the work.
Very Good $22,175
Hagerty Values: This bike would rate as an excellent or better because of the items suggested above.
• #1 Concours $30,000
• #2 Excellent $25,000
• #3 Good $22,000
As pictured and some of the build receipts including German registry paperwork, and the receipts from all restoration work.