Harley-Davidson 1942 WLA 750cc 2cyl sv 3401



Harley-Davidson 1942 “WLA” 750cc side valve V-twin frame & engine # 42WLA51542

Harley-Davidson began producing the WLA in small numbers in 1940, as part of a general military expansion. The later entry of the United States into World War II saw significantly increased production, with over 90,000 being produced during the war (along with spare parts the equivalent of many more). Harley Davidson would also produce a close WLA variant for the Canadian Army. This model was called the WLC. Production of the WLA/WLC would cease after the war, but would be revived for the Korean War during the years 1949 to 1952.
Most WLAs/WLCs in western hands after the war would be sold as surplus and “civilianized”; the many motorcycles available in the U.S.A. at relatively low cost would lead to the rise of the chopper and other modified motorcycle styles, as well as the surrounding biker culture. In Europe the Liberators provided much needed private transport in the years after the war, and in later years the indestructible Harleys became popular with students and old bike aficionados.
The splendid WLA we present here started as a rather run-down war specifications machine and has been fully restored to a high standard in civilian trim. A few months ago the machine took her Dutch MOT test with flying colours and thus earned her registration. She comes complete with rear view mirror and windscreen.