It's the stuff of dreams: Stumbling across a windowless, tumbledown tin shed, you push open a door and peer inside. There, abandoned and lost to time, sits a battle-scarred race bike that hasn't turned a wheel in 50 years. Only this time, the dream is real.
That's just what happened to Larry Feese Sr. — except there wasn't just one old warrior covered in dust and cobwebs. Forcing open the door to the tin shack, Larry let his eyes adjust to the darkness and slowly counted. One … two … three … four little Indians. In this case, four Indian Sport Scout racing bikes.
But before you start wishing you had Larry's luck, stop and consider this: Luck doesn't just happen. You have to make it.
Making the Luck
Twenty years ago, Larry helped his local Yamaha dealer in northern Indiana value old bikes brought in for part-exchange. "Most of the bikes I looked at were nothing special, although occasionally something interesting would turn up. But I never expected to be asked to appraise old Indian racers."
The seller told Larry he had bought them in the late Fifties from a man named Buck Rogers and had intended to convert them back to road bikes, but never got around to it. He had cancer, and what he really wanted was a new V-Max …
"There were four modified Sport Scout racers in that rusted tin shack, each with the gas tank finished in the same maroon paint. Every one was wearing the number plate from its last race, and two even had the tech inspection tags still clipped on the handlebars," Larry says. "The tires were flat and rust was breaking out like an ugly rash on some parts, but otherwise they looked just the same as the day they were parked."
When Larry told the owner what he thought they were worth his face lit up. "Wow!" he said. "But what fool would pay that much for a bunch of old Indians?"
"This fool," responded Larry.
Order the January/February 2007 issue of Motorcycle Classics to read more about the Indian Sport Scout Racer. Contact Customer Service at (800) 880-7567 or contact us by email.