Harley-Davidson 1942 “WLA” 750cc side valve V-twin combination frame # B23029A engine # 42WLA 31643
The 750cc (45ci) flathead V-twin was introduced in 1929 as the Model D. The simple, reliable engine would remain in production for the next four decades, used in WL street bikes, WR race bikes, WLA military bikes and three-wheeled Servi-Cars, the latter being produced until 1973! The Harley-Davidson WLA became a standard during the war.
Some 70,000 units were produced during the war years, and probably enough spares were supplied to construct considerably more.
The WLA served the American forces and our Allied forces, while the Canadian issued WLC served that country and England, France and South Africa.
The Soviet Union received about 30,000 WLA’s under the Lend-Lease Program. Military motorcycles were primarily painted in drab olive and lacked most of the electroplating as those metals were more essential to the war effort than making a machine pretty, so paint and Parkerizing replaced most of the bright work.
Fenders in field service motorcycles lacked skirting to reduce clogging from vegetation and mud.
Blackout lights were mounted front and rear and a stout carrier over the rear fender would hold heavy equipment.
An enclosed oil-air filter was usually fitted but these varied according to the specifications.
However, the WLA/WLC was never a combat machine like the BMW or Zündapp combinations were; The Allies forces would use motorcycles for police and escort work, courier duties, and some scouting, as well as limited use to transport radio and radio suppression equipment.
Still, the WLA/WLC acquired the nickname “Liberator”, since it was seen ridden by soldiers liberating occupied Europe.
This WLA is fitted with a sturdy Golding type sidecar.
It comes with crash bars, front mudguard-mounted metal box and raised handlebars.
The combination is finished in olive drab livery and appears to be in good mechanical condition, but it has not been used for a number of years so a good check-over would be advisable.