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Thread: 1947 Chief CDG6076 Original?

  1. 1947 Chief CDG6076 Original?

    There is currently a 1947 Indian Chief on eBay, with the claim of matching numbers. Here is the listing: Though the listing doesn't say what the engine and frame numbers are, the matching numbers claim is there, and one photo shows the left side of the engine well enough to see that the number is CDG6076. The matching frame would be 3476076. There are photos of CDG6076, and 3476076, but part of the stamping has been covered with blue tape. Below are photos from the listing; the left side of the machine and also the engine and frame number.

    1947 Chief CDG6076 left side by Steven Bailey, on Flickr

    1947 Chief CDG6076 by Steven Bailey, on Flickr

    1947 Chief 3476076 by Steven Bailey, on Flickr

    When I looked at what could be seen of the engine and frame number stampings, I noticed that the digit '7' in both stampings had a short vertical header. This was a strong clue that both stampings are bogus, as the '7' used in 1947, did not have a short vertical header in engine or frame stampings. The '7' discrepancy is all I needed to know that both stampings were bogus, but were there other clues? For the frame, the biggest clue is that the underlying metal is pitted from rust. There is no way that the 3476076 would be that clear on a frame that rusty. What about the engine? I went into the photo library, and what did I find? I found the original engine that was sold on eBay back in July of 2014. A photo of that engine's serial number is below.

    1947 Chief CDG6076 original by Steven Bailey, on Flickr

    Notice that the '7' in the original CDG6076 engine does not have a short vertical header. When the original CDG6076 engine was sold, it was an engine only, with no frame. Where did the frame 3476076 in the listing come from? That is not known. It is not the original frame for engine CDG6076. I don't know what happened to the original CDG6076 engine. Does it survive? Are there two engines out there with the same serial number? One number is correct, the other number (the one in the current eBay listing) is not a factory stamping. This machine is clearly an example where both the engine and frame have been stamped/restamped at a time other than when the machine was new. The engine and frame in the eBay listing do have superficially matching numbers, but neither stamping was done at the factory when the bike was new.
    The lesson here is; when an Indian advertisement says 'matching numbers', be very suspicious of the claim unless the stampings are scrutinized for originality, authenticity, and correctness. A seller might not know if the numbers are actually factory stampings or not. There is an old Russian saying that President Ronald Reagan used during nuclear disarmament talks; The saying is; 'Trust but Verify'. What is true for nuclear disarmament is also true for Indian serial number stampings. Considering what is going on in the world, I couldn't stop myself from throwing that last bit in.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    35 mi east of Pittsburgh

    Re: 1947 Chief CDG6076 Original?

    What makes this worst is the first two words in description is "Matching numbers". Once again a true statement but using it up front is intended to give buyers a false sense of authenticity. I have to wonder why even mention it and just let interested buyers ask about the numbers if they are interested. It would maintain a lot more credibility to seller.
    Excellent detective work.
    Jason Z - S.W. PA
    48 Chief

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Bethesda, Ohio

    Re: 1947 Chief CDG6076 Original?

    Seems to be a good many people set out to deceive others these days. Maybe on purpose, or maybe through their own ignorance. I think that E-shmay has brought out the worst of this to light. I've heard all kinds of stories over the past 60 years of how things are. Things like this occur in not our hobby , but the antique car/ truck, even guns , & guitars. Thanks to Yellow 53 for keeping abreast of these records, & keeping us informed...

    You Ain't A Man Till You've Rode A Pan, I'm A Man...

  4. Re: 1947 Chief CDG6076 Original?

    This same machine has resurfaced being sold by the same seller. I reviewed the current eBay listing, and also the information that appears earlier in this thread. Nothing has changed. Both of the serial numbers on this machine (engine and frame) are not factory original stampings. The actual original engine stamped CDG6076 is still out there somewhere - but its location is unknown.

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