To be offered exclusively on Bring a Trailer with NO RESERVE
Vintique Motors is thrilled to present this 2,800-mile 1999 Indian Chief Anniversary Edition #56 of 1,100!
Originally founded by George Hendee in 1897, the Hendee Manufacturing Company produced bicycles with model names such as “Silver King”, “Silver Queen”, and “American Indian”. In 1898, Hendee rebranded his line of bicycles as just “Indian” for product recognition. In 1900, fellow bicycle racer Oscar Hedstrom joined and the two decided to produce a motorized bicycle with a 1.75hp engine which sold well. Further development of their motorcycle followed in 1901 with their production model first sold to the public in 1902. With success, other manufacturers started producing their own motorcycles but ultimately their main competition was from William Harley and the three Davidson brothers; Arthur, Walter, and William, and their Harley-Davidson brand founded in 1903.
Indian motorcycles would go on to become an iconic American brand producing motorcycles from 1902 until 1953 but the post-WWII period between 1945-1953 is when control over the company would ultimately lead to the demise of the traditional Indian brand. Between 1953-1998 the Indian trademark was bought and sold to several manufacturers of bicycles and motorcycles with very limited success until a court battle ensued in 1998 over the ownership of the Indian trademark. Ultimately, a bankruptcy court in Denver, CO awarded ownership of the trademark to IMCOA Licensing America, Inc which stood for Indian Motorcycle Company of America. IMCOA was formed with the merger of nine motorcycle manufacturers intending to produce motorcycles with the Indian name as the second coming of the historic brand.
Production commenced in 1999 at their Gilroy, CA assembly plant with one model, the “Chief”, with many design ques recalling the beautiful body work of the Indian Chief from the 1920s and 1930s. These first run of Chiefs became affectionately known as the “Gilroy Indian” with 1,100 Anniversary Editions produced. The Scout and Spirit models would join the Chief in 2001 but ultimately the success was short lived, and the firm declared bankruptcy in September 2003. The brand sat dormant until July 2006 when the newly formed Indian Motorcycle Company, which was owned by London-based Stellican Limited, announced their new production facility in Kings Mountain, NC and commenced production. Success was moderate and in 2011 Polaris Industries, seeing a need for a mainstream motorcycle to add to their product portfolio following the commercial failure of their Victory Motorcycle brand, purchased Indian with the direct intention to compete with Harley-Davidson. Polaris moved production to their facility in Spirit Lake, IA and made a modern success of the storied 122-year-old brand with sales continuing to this day.
This 1999 Indian Chief is #56 of the 1,100 Anniversary Editions produced during the first run of production at IMCOA’s Gilroy, CA assembly facility. It features an 88ci S&S v-twin engine producing 75 horsepower mated to a 5-speed transmission. It comes standard with many features such as full-coverage fenders, a dual seat, dual saddle bags with tassels, pull-back handlebars, a large, chrome headlight with auxiliary headlamps, a suspension package composed of a chromed telescopic fork and a hidden monoshock rear suspension, a dual exhaust system, and classic-inspired two-tone red and white paint scheme.
We acquired it from its long-term Zionsville, Indiana based owner earlier this year and today we are offering it with just 2,836 original miles. The 2006 issued Indiana title documents mileage at that time 17 years ago was 2,299 miles. It is in fantastic condition and ready to ride.