Lot 319

Dare to Dream Collection

1932 Indian Chief


$48,000 USD | Sold

Canada | Toronto, Ontario



Frame No.
Engine No.
Canadian Registration
  • Very collectable “rigid frame” Indian Chief, featuring 74-cu. in. V-twin
  • Excellent livery of black with white accents and gold striping
  • Wonderfully restored, with great attention to detail
Please note, this lot is registered in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sotheby’s will assist buyers with importation and for residents of the USA, in obtaining a US title.

Harley-Davidson excepted, surely no American motorcycle is as fondly regarded as the Indian. Built in Springfield, Massachusetts, initially by the Hendee Manufacturing Company, the first Indians arrived in 1901. In 1911, the factory team made a 1-2-3 finish in the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race. During that decade, the company was the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world.

Introduced in 1922, the Indian Chief became the company’s principal model and the “big brother” to the Scout. It was powered by a 42-degree V-twin initially displacing 61, and later 74, cubic inches. A front brake was added in 1928, the year the company was renamed Indian Motocycle Company (sic). A new Easy-On gasoline cap became a very popular feature. Later additions were skirted fenders and a new sprung frame that predated Harley-Davidson’s rear suspension by two full decades. By 1950, however, the company was in dire straits and production ended in 1953. The Chief would live on in myth, however, and the model nameplate is once again proudly part of today’s reborn Indian Motorcycle lineup.

This 1932 Chief represents one of the most desirable variants of this landmark Indian. A “rigid frame” frame model without the rear suspension that would be added in 1940, it has the clean, pure, classic look for which these motorcycles are celebrated. Details abound, from the Indian-branded Corbin speedometer to the intricate “Indian head” chromed horn below the headlamp. Under previous ownership, this motorcycle was comprehensively restored in well-considered colors; its base color of black is accented with white tank-side accents and gold lettering and pinstriping. The blackwall tire-wrapped wire wheels sport black rims, tying the whole exterior look together, and the cognac leather seat adds a dash of contrast.

Since joining the Dare to Dream Collection in 2013, this Indian Chief has remained on static display, and it shows in excellent overall condition. Whether to ride or exhibit, this is a Chief to cherish—a splendid example of a model at the very foundation of the enduring Indian legend.