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Thread: 1938 experimental harley

  1. #1

    1938 experimental harley

    Is this the real deal or smoke and mirrors trying to fetch a huge payday

  2. #2

    Re: 1938 experimental harley

    Harley did build experimental overhead valve 45" engines.
    Most books say five were built.
    Theoretically they could have poured aluminum into the mold and sleeved the cylinder and valves.
    You would need to compare the aluminum and iron parts to see if they are identical and came from the same molds.

  3. #3

    Re: 1938 experimental harley

    Interesting read. Bike was at mecum in 2016 and went up to 275k

  4. #4

  5. #5

    Re: 1938 experimental harley

    What are people’s thoughts on this bike?

  6. #6

    Re: 1938 experimental harley

    If enough people keep repeating "it's all aluminum", does it become aluminum?

  7. #7

    Re: 1938 experimental harley

    Don't know about that particular bike but in Greg Fields and Tom Murphy's book Classic Harley Big Twins there is a pic an blurb about one that is owned by Carmen Brown (well known knuckle owner and restorer) on pages 104 and 105. It is blue and is a 41 but appears to be the same motor configuration.
    Basically says it was an experimental 45" knuckle but never made it into full production due to cost but was said to be a rocket by test riders. All I can say it what the book says so don't shoot the messenger!


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Sarasota, Florida

    Re: 1938 experimental harley

    Jerry Hatfield also covered the Carmen Brown OHV 45 in his book, 'Inside Harley-Davidson'.

  9. #9

    Re: 1938 experimental harley

    It is aluminum. When I first saw it one cylinder and head had exploded. I have no idea where the replacement came from. It was originally discovered as only the engine. The rest is WL. A very interesting part of H-D history. As for the iron head of Carmen Brown it was built from an engine found in the Knuth warehouse.
    Chris Haynes
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  10. #10

    Re: 1938 experimental harley

    The 39 experimental is relisted on ebay, bid =$101k -

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