February 2000 Bike Feature www.virtualindian.org   
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   440 - Everybody gets one great deal in a lifetime!
   By Eli Sentman
Everyone should get one great deal in this life and this was mine. This is my 1940 four cylinder. I purchased it along with a 1936 Sport Scout and a bunch of Harley parts from the original owners widow in 1993.  Her 40 something year old son told me at the time he had never seen either of these bikes run.   
The bikes had been in the garage of a row house in Philadelphia, Pennsylvainia from the late 40s on and all of the bike parts were mixed in with plumbing, electronic and car parts. When I went to pick everything up it was about 98 degrees out and the garage door hadn't worked in years. Everything had to be carried out through the small laundry room and around a corner. I tried the best I could to seperate all the junk from the bike parts, but as I was no expert at Indians let alone Fours it was tough. I'm sure there's a plumber out there with a 1940 tool box that I didn't recognize as an Indian part until later when I had to find one.   

I traded off the Sport Scout and Harley parts so that I could afford to restore the bike. I was already in the middle of a 1939 Chief project and just couldn't do it all. A little less than a year later the bike was done, then about another year to get all the little and not so little bugs out of it. When taking the engine apart we found the reason it had sat so long was a busted cluster gear in the tranny.   

The bike is an AMCA winners circle bike although when it was judged the standards were not as strict as they are now and I'm sure it wouldn't score as high today. Not correct for 1940 is the fender trim, it shoud be half round but I opted for flat as the repros were not very good. I chromed a lot of parts that should be cad and by choice I painted the cowling behind the headlight the same color of the rest of the bike, it should be black. Other than some other nuts and bolts it is very correct.   

I do ride it quite a bit but usually no more than around sixty miles from the house. I still have the original title and riders handbook. Thanks Herman, I know your up there looking down saying "that's my bike".  

More pictures of Eli's beautiful 440 on his website:
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 Eli on his 440  

Halfway there!  
Testing the manifold  
The original owner's widow told me as I left "As poor as we ever were my husband refused to sell the bikes". When she saw the restoration finished she said "You know after I sold you the bikes everyone came around and said they would have given me so much more money, after seeing the bike I know I sold it to the right person"  

At the Harmony meet 
The other side