Indian 1932 model “ 403” 1265 cc inline four frame # 403139 engine # DOC 139
Early in 1927 Indian bought the entire assets of the famous ACE motorcycle corporation. Indian proceeded to manufacture the Indian–ACE until 1928 when the Indian Four took its place. The 1265 cc engine has overhead inlet valves and side exhaust valves and delivered in the late twenties form about 30 HP. About ten years later this had grown to about 40 HP and tuned examples were known to put out some 50 HP! But with output also the weight grew: a 1929 4 would weigh about 200 kg, a 1942 model (the last year of manufacture) weighs nearly 260 kg.
In the course of 1931 the effects of the Great Depression were such that the Indian management decided it was high time to cut down production costs. This was done by bringing the range for 1932 back to three main models that shared most of the cycle parts and differed only in the engine layout: a 750 cc Standard Scout, 1200 cc Chief and 1265 cc Four. This policy of economization wasn’t carried through completely though because the same year two new models, the 750 cc Motoplane and the 600 Scout Pony were introduced. There were quite a number of changes in the Four as compared to the 1931 model. A quote from the 1932 brochure: “The new Four has – like the new Scout 45 and the 74 – a new riding position and new comfort made possible by redesigning the whole layout of saddle, handlebars and footboards. All controls are placed for easier operation with longer pedals same as on the Scout and 74 and of course the Four also has the handsome twin steel tanks with reserve fuel supply shut-off. The new Four (…) has even smoother power output made possible by new design cylinders with bigger exhaust ports, a new and larger exhaust manifold, and a brand new exhaust tube with fishtail that gives ample road clearance.”
Total Indian production for 1932 was less than 3,000 machines; the Four was the most expensive model so probably no more than a few hundred 403’s have been produced.
The mighty Four we offer here came to Europe in 2005 and languished in a barn till 2014 when the previous owner bought her and had carried out a complete mechanical and electrical rebuild that was finished early in 2017. There were 31K presumed original miles on the odometer and the original pistons were still fitted. Frame and engine numbers are matching and there are no cracks or repairs in the crankcases. The handwritten notes on the work carried out amount to more than 400 hours. Details of the work carried can be supplied. A former owner stated that the paintwork was the authentic factory finish but we cannot verify that. All details are correct for 1932, even the original tool kit with most of the tools is there. Accessories include an Indian Corbin speedo and the original Bridgeport air pump. Since the rebuild some 1000 miles have been covered. The machine is currently road registered and we have videos available.