at Mecum Las Vegas Motorcycles - APR 28-MAY 1 2021
Correct older restoration by the Indian expert Peter Bollenbach, Mountain, Wisconsin
Last year for the single carburetor
Model year 1936 featured improved cooling and performance
Indian entered 4-cylinder motorcycle production in 1928 after buying the rights and tooling of the Ace motorcycle from Detroit Motors in 1926. The Ace was the second major 4-cylinder motorcycle design from William Henderson, who had founded his own motorcycle company (with a little help from family at the Winton car company) in 1911.
Henderson’s Fours were elegant and beautifully designed, but 4-cylinder motorcycle production was a difficult proposition—speed, smoothness and refinement came at a cost. Henderson sold his company to Ignaz Schwinn in 1917 and founded the Ace motorcycle company two years later, with a totally new 4-cylinder design with 77.21 CI (1265cc) IoE motor. The Ace was the fastest production motorcycle in the world when it emerged, and a special racing model even took the American motorcycle speed record at 129.61 MPH, but, by 1924, it was in financial trouble.
The first 4-cylinder Indian used up old Ace stock and was marketed as the Indian-Ace. Indian’s engineers were soon at work transforming the design, making it look more like an Indian with a leaf-spring front fork and Indian-style tanks in 1929, and adding a stronger five-bearing crankshaft for the model 402. Progressive changes in styling and engineering made the Indian Four more robust and heavier, yet with about the same top speed, through 1936. The Model 436 of that year was a radical redesign, with the exhaust valves moved on top of the motor for better cooling and more power. The 436 had dramatic styling and a beautiful motor with the twin exhaust emerging at mid-level and sweeping downward, which suited the gorgeous Art Deco styling of mid-1930s Indians. It was the fastest Indian Four yet built and could easily reach 100 MPH.
This 1936 Indian 4-cylinder is a very rare machine and is stated to be a correct restoration by the late Peter Bollenbach of Mountain, Wisconsin. Bollenbach was held in high regard for the quality and accuracy of his restorations. This is an opportunity to add one of the rarest and most desirable open-fender Indian 4-cylinder models to your collection.