Monday, August 31, 2009

Von Dutch Monday

These pictures come out of the book The Art Of Von Dutch. It's an Indian 4 that Von Dutch, along with it's owner Bo Jones, built in the late '50's, early '60's. Von Dutch handled most of the fab work, along with the paint and striping. Even back then, an Indian 4 wasn't a common sight to see on the road. I can hear a lot of Indian purists moaning as they read along thru these pictures.

This bike is just full of "Dutchness". Dutch made a louvered tank cover to go over the Wassell "banana" tank. Why? Because he was Von Dutch. Dutch also swapped the Indian leafer front fork for a Brit hydraulic unit. Look at the various number "4's" scattered around the bike - one in the center of the handlebars, one atop the sissy bar, and two used for fender mounts on the side of the sissy bar. Those were way ahead of their time.

What I really want you to look at, are the very cool and sculpted clutch pedal, and the shifter. Von Dutch ran the shift lever over the center of the gas tank! You shifted by either pulling up on the lever, or pushing down. Look at the height of that clutch pedal. Can you imagine clutching/shifting with that setup, and then hanging onto those tall ape hangers with one hand while you did it?
The text for the pictures said " '38-'39" for the year, and they're probably close, because the cylinders are the '38-later "split pair" configuration. Notice that each exhaust pipe logs into a single pipe, that goes around the crankcase, and then exit into four pipes again on the L/H side, in front of the rear wheel.

Also notice the SW oil pressure gauge, not a bad idea with an Indian 4. Check out where the rear brake pedal/footpeg is located - right behind the rear cylinder's exhaust pipe, I bet that made for a toasty big toe!

If you look close, you can see The Imposter lettering on the tank side, thru the louvering. Lots going on in this picture - check out the dual Amal carbs, the automotive MG fuel filter to feed the carbs, a SW amp gauge mounted in the tank cover, and the shift linkage for the hand shifter.
Just for comparison, here's a stock '38 Indian 4. A beautiful bike in its own right. I have a friend in Milwaukee that has TWO "100 point" Indian 4's - a '40, and a '41, both with Factory sidecars. I hate my friend. OK, not really, I'm just a little jealous.

The text also says a Japanese kid bought the Dutched 4 from Jones, and proceeded to take it apart (why do people DO THAT!). It then goes on to say that his dad hauled some of it away to the dump (OK, now I'm moaning!), and what survived is in the hands of various collectors now.

1 comment:

CycleDelicCycles said...

Man, thats a killer scoot, I've never seen it before. Fitzgeralds Electric Chair was always a fave; nice to see another 4 chop. Nice post!!