Scavenger Hunt: 1936 Harley-Davidson EL

A 1936 Harley-Davidson EL, another fine steed from the stable of Wisconsin-based motorcycle collector Paul Woelbing, is restored the hard way.

| July/August 2019


1936 Harley-Davidson EL

Engine: 60.33ci (988.56cc) air-cooled OHV 45-degree V-twin, 3-5/16in x 3-1/2in bore and stroke, 7:1 compression ratio, 40hp @ 4,800rpm
Top speed: 95mph
Carburetion: Single Linkert M5
Transmission: Constant mesh 4-speed, hand shift, chain primary and final drive
Ignition: 6v, coil and breaker points ignition
Frame/wheelbase: Dual downtube steel cradle/59.5in (1,511mm)
Suspension: Double leading link forks w/double springs front, rigid rear
Brakes: 7.25in (184mm) SLS drum front and rear
Tires: 4 x 18in front and rear
Weight (wet): 565lb (234kg)
Seat height: 32in (812.8mm)
Fuel capacity/MPG: 3.5gal (14ltr)/35-50mpg
Price then/now: $380/$75,000-$150,000

Relatively speaking, it’s easy to restore a motorcycle when it’s already complete. Wheels, gas tank, saddle, engine and transmission and all of the ancillary components that make up the machine can be photographed and documented before disassembly, then cleaned, repaired, painted and plated and put back together again.


That’s just too simple for some.

Others prefer to hunt for the parts and pieces to build up a complete machine, scouring deep in the bottom of dusty boxes at swap meets and constantly scanning eBay and other online sources for the last elusive shafts and gears.

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