1948 Indian Chief Motorcycle
It was during his high school senior year that Bob Crismon was offered a ride on a 1948 Indian Chief Motorcycle. I was fascinated and vowed I would own one some day. Years later while driving to the JFK Airport I saw an Indian parked on a street in Queens, New York. It had a for sale note affixed to the windshield. With no response to a knock on the apartment door I left a note asking for a phone call. Several weeks passed with no answer. On a Saturday I drove to where the bike was and saw a man and woman polishing it up. The owner had misplaced my note and said I was the only potential buyer to contact him. He said he needed money in order to attend the upcoming New York Woodstock gathering. He said he wanted $2,000 for the Indian and I immediately said SOLD! The owner told me the new Indian had been purchased in 1948 for use as a New York City Police motorcycle. The Indian had been in an accident with considerable damage done to the front fender and wheel. I was able to replace the front end with like new parts. I removed every bolt/nut, rubber and chrome part and either replaced it with a new or used part. All of the manufacture number of major components (engine, transmission and frame) matched. The speedometer showed less that 1,500 miles.
In 1984 John and Betty Leatherwood visited Bob in California. At that time the Los Angeles Olympic Games were being held. John and Bob snuck the Indian into the Torch Parade - what fun that was. John was wav'n and grin'n. In 1988 Fred and Bob tuned and cleaned up the Indian for sale. The person I sold it to said the 1948 Indian Chief Motorcycle would be permanently parked in the Yahama President's office in Tokyo, Japan. As far as I know it is still there on display.