The quintessential old Harley


Mid-50s Harley has no saddle bags or other adornments to obscure its classic silhouette. 
    HERE'S THAT Harley-Davidson from the last post, sans band members. It wasn't the oldest or rarest Harley at the meet, but it was my favourite – a 1955 or '56 (they're pretty much identical), finished in honest black and carrying, to my mind, just the right amount of chrome.
   With 74-cubic-inch panhead engine, it could be a standard FL model, but given its Cuban heritage – plus the purple auxiliary headlamps – I'm guessing it's the police-issue FLE that was tuned for traffic control duties. The hand shifter for the gearbox is another clue: a majority of civilian buyers were opting for Harley's new foot shifter in the mid-50s, but police and military customers remained loyal to the hand control.
   This is the last of my Harlista shots – at least for now. Time to turn back to cars and trucks. Maybe some buses, too.


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