HomePick of the Day‘Labor of love’ 1947 Indian Chief motorcycle with factory sidecar

‘Labor of love’ 1947 Indian Chief motorcycle with factory sidecar

The Pick of the Day comes from a previous long-term owner who restored it with vintage original style


When it comes to vintage American motorcycles, there’s not much cooler than a full-fendered 1947 Indian Chief attached to a full-fendered Indian sidecar. 

The Pick of the Day is a “Sidecar Chief” in apparently immaculate condition, with matching numbers and coming out of long-term ownership by a committed rider who “sourced and loved and restored (it) over a long period of time with very little concern for budget.”  


“The previous owner felt that he had invested well over $75,000 dollars and countless hours of ‘free labor’ to get the bike to this level,” says the seller, an Elyria, Ohio, dealer advertising the motorcycle on  “This is one stunning, correct and excellent running/riding Chief.”

Every effort was made to restore the bike to correct stock condition, including the correct appearance of the V-twin engine, the seller notes. But inside the engine are upgrades that include an S&S flywheel, Carillo rods and custom machining that resulted in essentially no oil leaks. 


The transmission with its classic tank-mount shifter was upgraded to 3-speeds plus overdrive, making the bike a relaxed cruiser at 80 mph, the dealer says.

The restoration was done on a bike that was virtually rust free, having been found by the owner/restorer in “an old place in the desert.” 

“For sheetmetal, all three fenders are real, old-stock Indian fenders – no reproductions here,” the seller says. “The sidecar is all-original Indian steel.”


From the photos with the ad, the Indian appears to be absolutely magnificent, with vintage-hued paint colors and brown-leather seats with matching leather saddlebags.   It looks extremely attractive and authentic.

The speedometer shows just 4,594 miles, most likely put on since the restoration.

“When I had my conversation with the previous owner, I could certainly tell he was committed to this as a labor of love,” the seller says in the ad. “His intentions were to keep it forever and he built it just that way. He owned this bike for years.”

The asking price for this cherished and coveted motorcycle is a reasonable $42,900.

To view this listing on, see Pick of the Day.

Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen
Bob Golfen is a longtime automotive writer and editor, focusing on new vehicles, collector cars, car culture and the automotive lifestyle. He is the former automotive writer and editor for The Arizona Republic and, the website for the SPEED motorsports channel. He has written free-lance articles for a number of publications, including Autoweek, The New York Times and Barrett-Jackson auction catalogs. A collector car enthusiast with a wide range of knowledge about the old cars that we all love and desire, Bob enjoys tinkering with archaic machinery. His current obsession is a 1962 Porsche 356 Super coupe.


  1. It appears that the shifter has been moved to the left side. Very unusual for a restoration. I thought perhaps it was due to the sidecar location, but from pictures, I don’t believe that is an issue. So I cant tell which side the throttle is on. With shifter on the left, it follows that the throttle would be on right. Is that the case? Also, you discuss engine upgrades, but don’t really identify the engine. I’m not certain, but I believe a ’47 Chief had a 74 CI motor. Is it a Chief motor?

    • From what I’ve seen, the shifter can be located on either side. If you look at this bike, the linkage passes under the tank to the other side. Possibly on the left because of the sidecar, but looking at a bunch of photos of 47 Indian Chiefs online, I see shifters on both the left and right sides. Not really sure why. Throttle and other hand controls would be the same, with the foot-operated clutch still on the left. And yes, the engine is the original 74 cid V-twin but with mechanical upgrades inside, according to the seller.

  2. Thank you for your timely response. It must be awkward operating throttle and shifter with the left hand, but I
    suppose the builder had his reasons


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