Unicorn Harley-Davidson StrapTank Sells for One Million Dollars at Auction
Unicorn Harley-Davidson StrapTank Sells for One Million Dollars at Auction
2 months ago Others
Sponsored by Moto Animals

By now, Harley-Davidson is more than just a huge motorcycle company. It is an American tradition as big as Thanksgiving. They have an illustrious history, and seeing how a 1908 Straptank just sold at auction for one million dollars, I think it is high time we took a glance at the model that laid the foundation of what we all love today.


The story begins in 1901 when William Harley drew up a 116 cc (7 ci) single-cylinder engine, and his friend Arthur Davidson helped him build said engine in the span of two years. After putting it in a bicycle frame, they found the creation to be pretty boring, so back they went to the drawing board.

So, the pair took that engine and grew it to 405 cc (24 ci), which was finished in September 1904. Merely days after it was finished, it entered a race at Milwaukee State Fair Park, where it placed fourth. This feat was impressive for the pioneers, but what was even more impressive was the fact that this motorcycle was able to climb hills without the need of pedaling - because yes, that used to be a necessity back then.


The following year, the building and selling of Harley-Davidson motorcycles officially started out of a small shed in Milwaukee. The production engines grew even bigger, to 440 cc (27 ci), to be precise, and produced 4 hp (4.05 ps) - which was impressive back then.


Over the following years, Harley-Davidson motorcycles production continued to develop, and in 1906, they moved out of that small shed to a new factory on Chestnut Street, which is where their headquarters still is to this day.


In 1907, they produced 150 bikes, with that number growing to 450 in 1908. These early bikes are known as the StrapTank thanks to the nickel straps that would hold the fuel and oil tanks on the frame - pretty self-explanatory name there.

These first bikes laid the foundation for Harley-Davidson as we know them today. When you consider that and the fact that they were produced in very small quantities, out of each even fewer survived, you can be sure that they are really sought-after.


So sought-after, in fact, that one just sold at auction for nearly one million dollars. This particular StrapTank is from 1908 and has a really interesting story behind it. It was discovered in a barn near Milwaukee in 1941, where it was kept for the next 66 years.


After all that time, as you would expect, it needed a restoration…badly - and it received one thanks to Paul Freehill. Take that expert restoration into consideration and add the fact that it still has the original wheels, tanks, seat cover, muffler sleeve, and even engine belt pulley, and the one million-dollar price starts to make sense.


Artifacts like these are getting rarer and rarer with each day, so it is amazing to see them still shining bright and proud at the hands of passionate people. They are a part of history that seems to be slowly dying, so let's enjoy them while we can and do our best to keep them alive, even with the hefty price tags.


0 623
No CommentsNo Comments yet. You can write the first
Please Log In or install the app. Comments can be posted only by registered users.
Sign In
Content creation
See More