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Thread: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

  1. Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

    Here's the link to Eric's '41 WR.

  2. #12

    Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

    Here is the factory ad for the Oakland 200 win as it appeared in the December '40 "Motorcyclist". Note on the second page lower right that the picture of Ben Campanale shows him on what appears to be a '41 model. It may well be one of the first WRs. The winner, Louis Guanella is pictured in the previous months issue on his mount which appears to be a '40. Most likely WLDR "special" and Tom Sifton was his tuner! The final is a crop of the Campanale shot.

    Last edited by Rubone; 04-15-2012 at 01:55 PM.

  3. #13

    Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????


    Just located a '39 WLDR factory ball bearing engine case, and wanted to send you a few pictures for your research. Edison mag, belly number around 2900. Lost your email.
    Matt Walksler

    '38 Knucklehead -- '39 WLDD
    '41 ULH -- '53 Panhead
    '16 J-model Cutdown (in progress) -- '49 Dual-Carb Panhead (in progress)

  4. #14

    Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

    Thanks Guys!

    I think we can figure this out pretty well. The only wild card is the Oakland 200 race on Oct. 27, 1940, where we see Campanale's bike with 1941 style trim from the Dec. 1940 article from The Motorcyclist that Robbie posted.

    That article cuts off for me before it tells what happened to Campanale's bike in the race. It states that he made the fastest time trial, suggesting that he had the best equipment and possibly an early WR, but it doesn't appear that he finished the race--at least in the top ten.

    Does the article state what happened to Campanale's bike? Did it blow up or drop out? Does it state that he didn't finish and why not?

    From other period info I have, Walter C. Davidson talks about their "new 1941 job" at Daytona in Feb. of 1941. That verifies what Emde said in his book. The "new 1941 job" can only be the 41-WR. H-D won neither race at Daytona that year, and 3 of their new jobs blew up, so possibly the early WRs had reliability problems.

    From the BOS website I obtained the following 41-WR VINs and have made a few notes on them. From this we can deduce first delivery dates.

    41WR-2207 (Mark Austin, Australia)
    Notice how there is one 2000 range number. Might this be Campanale's bike seen at Oakland in Oct. 1940?

    Numbers then jump into the 4000 range:

    41WR-4527 (1949 Race Program)

    Note that this one was sold to dealer Harry Molenaar. The order was placed on Dec. 31, 1940, and the bike was SHIPPED from the factory on Jan. 24, 1941. Since other 4000 and up numbers exist, this seems to nail down when regular production began. These 4500 range 41-WRs could have been ready for Daytona in Feb. 1941. In a letter dated Feb. 6, 1941, Walter D. says he is LEAVING for Daytona on Feb. 8, just a few days after 41WR-4532 was shipped. 41WR-4527 and 41WR-4534 would be other candidates for the 1941 Daytona races. Thanks to Bruce P. for some of this info.

    BOS says sold by H. Molenaar and maybe it was, but I found this:

    41WR-4534 in 1941 Wis. Regs. #3129 says that Bernie & Vernon Gessler, Milwaukee (Class C racers) owned it, and they would have bought the bike from Bill Knuth and not Molenaar. I know Bernie Gessler ran at Daytona in 1940, but I'm not sure about 1941. I wonder if 41WR-4534 in BOS should actually be 41WR-4532 as above?

    41WR-4701 (Dale Walkster bike)

    41WR-5048 (Eric J. Mathieu, France)

    41WR-6600 (Dale Walkster bike)

    41WR-6601 (Jo Gosson, engine only)

    41WR-7335 (John Ramsey, NOT ball-bearing, believed to be spare motor for original motor)

    41WR-7656 (1949 Race Program)

    41WR-7666 (Known to exist, called "The Beast")

    41WR-7695 ('43/143) Al Lepsch, Fond du Lac

    41WR-9707 (David Monahan, USA, was Henry Reiman's hillclimber)

    It looks to me that regular 41-WR production started up in late Jan. of 1941 just before Daytona. But that at least one lower number example was produced before that time and possibly others. But since in 1941 both army and civilian bike VINs were run together, the jump from 2000 range to 4000 range motor numbers might have happened over a short time span. The Jan. 24, 1941, ship date for 41WR-4532, however, is solid and can be relied upon. The real mystery is whether Campanale's bike at Oakland in October was an early 41-WR, possibly a prototype example.

    This timeline verifies new findings about even earlier prototypes with important WR features that I'll explain in full in the article.

  5. #15

    Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

    In the article on the Oakland 200 it states that Campy led at various times but dropped out in the 161st lap. No other info given on it. I'll post the text.

  6. #16

    Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

    Quote Originally Posted by Rubone View Post
    In the article on the Oakland 200 it states that Campy led at various times but dropped out in the 161st lap. No other info given on it. I'll post the text.
    Thanks! I'm thinking Campanale's job at Oakland in 1940 was an early production 41-WR, and possibly that lone "2000" range bike.

  7. #17

    Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

    Not only did the WR not win Daytona in '41 , it never won Daytona

  8. #18

    Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

    41WR4531 was listed in the Springfield racing entries in the early 50's.
    41WR4532 and 34 are not.
    As an indicator there are 49 different 1948 WR's listed in Eric's registry of which i only found 5 in the racing programs from one location; Springfield 1951 through 1954. 4 national events
    Just 4 racing programs adds 44 new bikes to that registry for 1948 alone.
    I'm certain that a lot of privateers never made it to the Springfield Nationals at all.
    I'm not saying it's not a valuable resource, just that to assume that it's anyway near complete and to start substituting numbers on supposition, I feel, would lead to false conclusions.

  9. #19

    Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

    I miscounted the 48 WR's in the registry by about 10. Looks like about 38 entries for 1948 plus 44 more in the 4 race programs.

  10. #20

    Re: 1941 Model "WR" First Sales & Delivery Dates????

    springfield programs 1950 and earlier do not show motor numbers-The AMA must have had these ,but may not have kept them.No other programs pre '50 that I have seen have numbers

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