Indian 1919 “Daytona” racer 998 cc side valve V-twin engine # M 230
On April 13 to 15, 1920, professional rider Gene Walker and amateur Herbert McBride, riding Indian machines, broke all amateur and professional solo records at Daytona Beach, Florida. A few months earlier Harley-Davidson had set a number of land speed records on the same venue, but Walker and McBride would crush them all. They rode distances of one kilometre and one, two and five miles, using single and twin 8-valve ohv racers and a special race version of the side valve PowerPlus, tuned by Charles Franklin. The highest speed recorded for this machine was on the 1 km track, where Walker reached 105.7 mph (170.4 km/h), the 8-valve ohv racer was 10 mph faster. After this fantastic record braking performance the special racing version of the PowerPlus became known as the Indian “Daytona”.
Throughout the 1920s various configurations of factory racers were built around Indian’s record-setting side-valve Daytona engine. The cylinder fins which “wrap” around the exhaust ports, the big diameter valves and the forged steel flywheels are some of the features that distinguish it from its standard PowerPlus counterpart. The frame and petrol tank are also quite different from the standard PowerPlus parts. The serial numbers on “Daytona” race engines are unlike the ones on standard production machines: the standard PowerPlus engine has a two digit numerical prefix before the letter in the serial number. “Daytona” race engines have no numerical prefix. The few we have encountered all have an engine with “M” prefix.
This authentic machine has a single gear competition transmission with clutch, no brakes, two sprockets on the rear wheel to change gearing on different types of circuit and a special Schebler AMX type racing carb. Slowing down is effected by a magneto cut-out on the racing handlebars. As to the machine’s history, we know she was sold at a Christie’s sale in Beaulieu on July, 9 1979 and has spent her later years in an Italian collection. This is a rare chance to acquire a genuine Daytona racer, they seldom come up for sale.