Value of 1946 Indian Chief - VTXOA
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post #1 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 10:22 PM Thread Starter
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Value of 1946 Indian Chief

A buddy's cousin has just inherited a 1946 Indian Chief. Was willed to him from his grandpa. The cousin doesn't ride and is kinda stumped on what he will do with it. He said he might "put it together". When I asked my buddy what his cousin meant by that I was told the bike has been stored in its original crate since gramps bought it. Also gramps was a collector of cars and had the crate stored in climate controlled garage along with other unknown numbers of classic cars. I am asking for pictures because the story is hard to believe.

IF (and that is a huge if), if this is true, what monetary value would ya'll place on this bike? To me, this is unheard of and possibly one of a kind so comparing to a rebuild is apples to fig newtons.


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post #2 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 10:46 PM
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If the story is true, and it is in super condition, I would guess some where between $25,000 - $35,000 Maybe more to the right collector
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post #3 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 11:15 PM
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And I'm guessing it would be worth a tad more in the original crate.... sounds like it has never left it....


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post #4 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 11:19 PM
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a buddy of mine just sold his "restored" 1948 Indian on fleabay for $19,400. With the right collector, a truly crated '46 could go much higher, I'm thinking even higher than $30k... Very cool story!


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post #5 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 11:36 PM
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If it were me I would look around for some reputable collectors. That is not just another bike and appraising it for a realistic value is going to require more than opinions from guys here. Unless someone can chime in who is a collector.
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post #6 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-17-2010, 11:44 PM
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Tell your buddy's cousin NOT to take it out of the original crate. Then seek out professional classic motorcyle appraisers.

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post #7 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Hardway View Post
Tell your buddy's cousin NOT to take it out of the original crate. Then seek out professional classic motorcyle appraisers.
The crate alone could be worth several thousand dollars to the right collector.
I have seen original Indian chief's that have been riding with miles go for $30-50k.
If this story is true... your buddy hit a mini-lottery

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post #8 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 12:13 AM
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A couple of weeks ago I met a man at a gas stop who was filling
up a 1948 Indian , he said it was new , the bike had been restored with only 400 miles previously put on it before the restoration, he had just acquired it and was going for his first ride and planed to put 50 miles on it that day

I didn't ask how much he paid for it but i did have my daughter take a picture with her camera and will try to post a photo of the bike soon

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post #9 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 12:22 AM
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According to Vintage Motorcycle Magazine and 1946 Chief which was the only model offered that year with a 74 cu. in motor has a range of $7K to $35K.

That is for condition 1 through 7. 1 is the best which must be restored to perfection.

For a good guess it may fall between a 2 to 3 which would be $21K to $28K

Even if in the crate and stored well. It is very likely to need work and would not command a 1 rating.

There was a motorcycle dealer in Europe who didn't like to sell his bikes. When he died they found many new Nortons in crates and other makes. they went to auction but I never heard about the results.

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post #10 of 30 (permalink) Old 06-18-2010, 12:27 AM
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A 1946 Indian Chief "stored in it's original crate since [your relative] bought it?!?! OMG, a NEW 2010 Chief purchased today would be at least $30K -- but this is unbelievably an original REAL Indian that's never been ridden. That's got to be the rarest of all rare bikes if it's brand new in mint condition; kind of like something placed in a hermetically-sealed time capsule. I can't believe you would or should get anything less than $50,000.

As somebody else said, leave it in the box, don't touch it. But FIRST, DO find an authentic, bona fide reputable motorcycle appraiser and have HIM give you an idea. Actually go online and contact that PBS show "Antiques Roadshow." THEY should give you a line on the most professional vehicle appraisers -- you need the absolutely most reputable. I bet they'd even fly to you to see it for themselves.

WhatEVER you do, don't tell anybody. Oh, this forum. Uh, too late... Funny, I bet your grandfather paid all of $3,000 for it brand new. Please keep us informed about what is happening on this once-in-a-lifetime find!!

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