Indian in the Attic

Indian Motorcycle This story is from our friends @ Indian- Polaris web-site  (click on the highlight) please view their website for other great stories

  • Story submitted by: Annette Van Essen
    In June 1959 my grandfather spotted a motor cycle in an old garden shed in De Bilt, The Netherlands, thinking it was a Harley he alerted my father who had owned a Harley before and was looking for another bike. My father bought what turned out to be an Indian 741B for a song (20 Dutch Guilders, less than $ 12.50!!). The previous owner had bought the bike in 1953 when it was still in the army version. This owner had been in a crash and the bike was in a bad state of repair. Between 1959 and 2009 my father had to divide his time between family, work and the Indian (not necessarily in this order ) to restore the bike and converted it into a civilianised version. It is unclear how the Indian ended up in The Netherlands; it may well have been left behind in Europe after the Second World War.
    The Indian has always been (and still is) a part of our family history. I can remember the Indian being craned out of the attic (don’t ask why) where my father had started restoring the bike. Some days we could not have dinner at the table as my father was lacing the spokes in the wheel rims…One day we caught him on the bike (in the attic, still without the engine) pretending he was riding it, doing his own version of the potato potato sound!
    When he came home on the bike we kids would fight over ‘the spin around the block’ sitting on the fuel tank in front of dad. Those days you were still allowed to do fun things like that, nowadays child protection would get involved! He of course always maintained a very moderate speed in first gear. Sitting on the bike as a child you had to choose; either your right or left hand on the handle bar, it was too wide to hold on to both sides. It was good to see the next generation having the same problem when they sat on the bike with their grandfather. In 1986 we had our wedding pictures taken on the bike.
    My father has taken part in many veteran motorcycle rallies and won prizes at times. Last year, on his 80th birthday he decided that the time had come to retire the bike, it is now well wrapped up sitting in his garage gathering dust but we suspect that every now and again he sneaks to the garage and pretends to ride it for we recognise the familiar sounds coming out of the garage, sounds that remind us of the bygone days when the bike was still in attic!