Harley-Davidson 1943 WLC 750cc side valve V-twin frame # 435203 engine # 43WLC 5203
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, called the WLC.
Moreover, the company would also supply smaller numbers to the UK, South Africa, and other allies, as well as filling orders for different models from the Navy and Marine Corps.
Many WLAs would be shipped to allies under the Lend-Lease program.
The largest recipient was the Soviet Union, which was sold over 30,000 WLAs.
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 at very low cost would lead to the rise of the chopper and other modified motorcycle styles, as well as the surrounding biker culture.
The US Army 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.
Allied motorcycles were almost never used as combat vehicles or for troop mobility, and so were rarely equipped with sidecars as was common on the German side.
Still, the WLA/WLC acquired the nickname “Liberator”, since it was seen ridden by soldiers liberating occupied Europe.
The Blue-White WLC we offer is fitted with front and rear crash bars, Miller side lights and studded leather saddle bags.
What makes this WLC very special is that it comes with a meticulously kept information file with technical data, notes, sketches and maintenance information, including bills from 1997-2019 relating to parts ordered and overhaul work done.
It also holds detailed notes on technical work carried out by the late former owner, who must have been a keen Harley-Davidson enthusiast and a skilled mechanic.
What is really amazing is that this gentleman kept a detailed log book on the monthly mileage he and his Harley covered from May, 1974 till January, 2021.
It all adds up to slightly more than 300,000 km that he covered in almost 47 years.
Imagine riding the same Harley from your early twenties till your late sixties, a real lifetime companionship!