Sold For: $50,000
1938 Harley Davidson UH 80 Police Motorcycle with Sidecar Restored
I am pleased to offer this gorgeous 1938 Harley Davidson UH 80” Flathead Police Special with sidecar. This beauty is completely restored - take your time and enjoy the clear pictures.
1938 Harley-Davidson UH Police Special
ENGINE: 80 CUBIC INCH FLATHEAD
TRANSMISSION: 4-SPEED TANK SHIFTER
RETAIL PRICE: $415.00
TOTAL /MODEL PRODUCTION: 8058/108
ENGINE # UH3765
Mileage on the odometer shows 7154 and miles since restoration is less than 100.
This motorcycle was ordered early in 1938 by a Hollywood Studio stunt man as a Police Special to add variety to the studio fleet of Indian Motorcycles (provided at no cost to the major studios by Indian as a promotional effort). Before the machine was delivered, the intended rider was injured in an accident and was unable to ride this, or any other motorcycle.
Los Angeles Police Officer James Maloney purchased the bike and used it for eight years as his person transportation and to train future motor officers for the department.
After WWII, R.R. Stevens purchased the motorcycle and rode it regularly until the early 1950’s. After three “close calls” in one day, he placed it in garage storage and it was not ridden until 1991 when it was purchased by a subsequent owner.
It should be noted that until the mid-1940’s, many police departments allowed officers to ride their own machines and almost all departments held the policy that regardless of the ownership of the motorcycle, the officer could add “extras” such as red light, siren, speedometer thumb locks, saddlebags, etc. as he saw fit, or could afford. These items remained the property of the officer, and he moved them from machine to machine or took them with him when he left the department. This policy changed after the war in an effort to maintain equipment uniformity and with the development and increasing acceptance of the mobile two-way radio, which often cost more than the motorcycle.
This motorcycle has been faithfully restored to the livery and configuration as used by the LAPD. It has also been returned to public service in the recent past to help create awareness for D.A.R.E. programs in the Greater Chicago Metropolitan Area.
Motorcycles were an ideal mode of transportation for police officers because of their high-performance, maneuverability, and power, all very useful qualities in an urban setting. They also needed good handling at low speeds, which they achieved with lighter, twin-cylinder machines. Special equipment found on police cycles included police radios, sirens, and additional lights. While BMW dominated this market in Europe, Harley-Davidson was the major provider in the U.S.
This 1938 Harley-Davidson UH epitomizes the zenith of Harley-Davidson design that became a permanent part of Harley lore and still represents the classic style…
The condition of this machine is restored to a high degree. All numbers and major components are original to the machine. The engine number, which is factory correct and original is the original engine to the frame. The gearbox is also original to the machine. Current owner is believed to be the fourth owner from new. It was restored using only N.O.S. parts to exacting historic standards that are expensive to replicate and is a true historical document that will be preserved for many years to come.
This machine has been in the owner's collection and is ridden a short distance a few times per year, just to make sure everything works. The speedometer is original to the machine and he believes that the mileage on the odometer represents the original mileage, although it cannot be guaranteed.
When the current owner purchased the bike, it had been sitting as a static display in its restored state. He set out to perform a sympathetic re-commission by checking all the major engine, transmission, and braking components for wear and safety.
The gas tank was cleaned and coated, and the original carburetor inspected, cleaned, and re-installed along with a new air filter.
A complete cleaning and detailing was performed, and although detailing a machine is never complete, the overall condition of the finishes is remarkable considering the age of the machine, and is in line with the low original mileage and complete restoration that took place.
The tires are the original type equipment on the front and rear, and are in new and near perfect condition. All of the tires are 4.50 x 18. The tires are fitted to the original wire rims, which were painstakingly refinished. The entire braking system was checked and inspected and continually checked every riding season.
The engine and transmission are in excellent interior condition and were rebuilt when restored. The gearbox oil was changed when purchased and owner felt it not necessary to change it again, because it is stored in a temperature controlled environment throughout the entire year.
All of the sheet metal fenders and gas tanks are original to the machine and were in good condition when the restoration took place.
The aluminum parts are in excellent restored condition, with all of the original parts in place.
The paint is the correct color for the machine and has a slight metal flake in the paint, which, while not a stock Harley color, is the exact color its first owner painted the motorcycle immediately after delivery in order to make the bike show up better on film. It is beautifully applied with the correct decals on the gas tanks.
The seat and the upholstery are in excellent restored condition with no wear evident. It was done to an exacting original standard with all of the proper seams and stitching. The seat pan is steel.
The sidecar is an original sidecar and not a reproduction. It was restored at the same time as the motorcycle and is in the same condition, being faithfully restored its original condition. The body was painted in the same color scheme as the motorcycle, is damage free, and has not been subjected to any sort of accident. The interior is factory correct and is also in near perfect restored condition.
The Harley and sidecar on the road are very easy to handle, and ride down the road very tight, with no shakes, shimmies, or rattles. It shifts and accelerates smoothly and holds the road as it should with the tires installed. There is absolutely nothing that needs to be done to this machine to ride and enjoy it.
The owner has additional historical documentation including previous registrations, etc. If you would like to see it, please let me know and I will email the information to you.
The description of this machine is written to the best of my knowledge, and although I have owned quite a few vintage Harleys over the years, I am by no means an expert on vintage Harley-Davidson motorcycles. If you have a question about any part of the motorcycle, or you know something I don't, please let me know! Also, please don’t hesitate to ask for more photos of any part of the machine and, if possible, come and look in person before the auction ends. ALL SALES ARE FINAL.
I can also arrange crating for shipment on my end for a nominal extra charge. Please contact me before the sale ends, if possible, to discuss the specifics.
If you have any questions, please contact me. If you live close to Chicago, I encourage you to come and inspect the bike in person, and as long as there's no snow on the ground, you're welcome to take it for a test ride!
For more on the 1938 Harley UH 80, read on…
The 1938 Harley-Davidson UL motorcycle was one of the innovative models Harley offered as the company made its big comeback from the doldrums of the Great Depression.
After recovering from a difficult period in the early 1930s, Harley-Davidson was poised to forge ahead with a complete lineup that included 11 different models. It was built around "Big Twin" engines of 61, 74, or 80 cubic inches, all of which shared several components.
However, the 61-cubic-inch V-twin was the famous "Knucklehead" with overhead valves, while the 74- and 80-cubic-inch V-twins had side valves.
The 1938 Harley-Davidson UL motorcycle was a Sport Solo model with a 74-cubic-inch flathead powerplant.
Flatheads had been modernized in 1937 with the adoption of the recirculating oiling system introduced on the Knucklehead the year before, and in 1938 gained more subtle changes: Higher handlebars resulted in a more comfortable riding position, the instrument panel was simplified by replacing the ammeter with a red warning lamp and the oil-pressure gauge with a green lamp, and new colors and striping were made available.
Surprisingly, Big Twin flatheads remained in the Harley line for a dozen years after the debut of the famed Knucklehead overhead-valve models.
And the smaller 45-cubic-inch flathead V-twin continued to power three-wheeled Servi-Cars into the 1970s -- both indications that many riders continued to admire the inherent simplicity of the flathead design.
Notable Harley-Davidson related events in 1938:
-Ben Campanale wins the Daytona 200 on a 45 cubic-inch WLDR. The race was run on the 3.2-mile beach course.
-The Jackpine Gypsies hold the first Black Hills Rally in Sturgis.
A great addition to any vintage motorcycle collection or the cornerstone of any new collection.
European, Far East and Canadian Bidders
I have not personally inspected or photographed this vehicle. I am relying on the pictures and descriptions provided by the seller. I can tell based on conversations with the owner that this vintage Harley is in excellent condition with very low miles since restoration.
*If you own a special interest, exotic or high end automobile or motorcycle that you need to sell, consider having me represent you. Take the hassle out of selling your vehicle and give it to me. Click on the ME and follow the link to my website*
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Terms & Conditions
This item is being sold as is, where is with no warranty, expressed written or implied unless there is a warranty in effect from the factory. The seller shall not be responsible for the correct description, authenticity, genuineness, or defects herein, and makes no warranty in connection therewith. No allowance or set aside will be made on account of any incorrectness, imperfection, defect or damage. Any descriptions or representations are for identification purposes only and are not to be construed as a warranty of any type. It is the responsibility of the buyer to have thoroughly inspected this item, and to have satisfied himself or herself as to the condition and value and to bid based upon that judgement solely. The seller shall and will make every reasonable effort to disclose any known defects associated with this vehicle at the buyer's request prior to the close of sale. Seller assumes no responsibility for any repairs regardless of any oral statements about the item.