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Author Topic: 59 chief (I think)  (Read 479 times)

Night

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59 chief (I think)
« on: January 04, 2014, 02:27:20 PM »
I still trying to positively identify the year of this Chief. The tool box is kidney shaped and has the ignition switch attached. I am starting a resoration on it as it is a compete bike. Does anyone know where I can heve the speedometer redone. It's complete, however the painted numbers have worn off the glass.

RE_Chief

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2014, 10:16:44 PM »
What's the engine number? On the left hand side of the crank case just below the barrels and above primary cover.

Regards Charles

Night

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 05:44:48 PM »
The engine number is 50328.

barenekd

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 12:10:21 PM »
the only year Chiefs were built was 1958 as 1959 models as far as I have been able to remember. There were some that were left over at dealers that assigned the current year that they were sold as a model 1960-62.
Bare
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RE_Chief

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 03:34:47 PM »
The engine number is 50328.

Hi Night, the kidney shaped tool box indicates your motorcycle to have been sold when Matchless (AMC) had taken over the Indian marque in 1960.  Barenekd is not quite right, RE Indian Chiefs were made from 1958 to 1960, 800 in total.  My Chief was supplied to AMC (in the US) on the 20th of Dec 1960.  Your engine number is a little below mine (50417) but definitely a 1960 build, the last engine built was 50500.  The date on the title of your Chief was entered when it was first registered and based on the sale date and not the manufacture date, as Barenekd points out some Chiefs are identified as being from 1961.  I have not seen any Chiefs identified as being from 1962 but it is certainly possible.  I don't have a title for my Chief so I can't tell you when mine was dated.

Here is a handy chart for you to look at, it clearly identifies your engine as 1960.  http://www.ozemate.com/interceptor/k_baseIndian1.htm

If you need a new decal for your Stewart Warner speedo try http://re-indian.com/chiefparts.html

Also if your original speedo was numbered up to 150mph then it was most likely a Police Chief, whether it originally sold as one I can not say but all Chiefs with 150mph marked speedos we designated as Police Chiefs.

I hope this helps.

Regards Charles
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 03:37:59 PM by RE_Chief »

rotorwrench

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2014, 12:14:15 PM »
The kidney shaped box was common to the Chief models due to the big battery behind the carb. All of the Trailblazer and Chief twins from late 57 (1958 models) had the 150MPH SW speedo. They use an 8:3 ratio Smiths drive gearbox to turn them and as far as I know, the 120 MPH and 150 MPH use the same drive gearbox. I made a roller tool to fold the bezels down on the SW speedos since the glass & bezels are still available for that size SW. A lot of Harleys and trucks used the same size speedo as the Indian Enfields did. They just had different retaining clip locations on the outer can.

Most Police bikes had the special floor boards and solo saddle but were pretty much the same as the civilian models all in all.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2014, 12:21:20 PM by rotorwrench »

gunnerasch

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2014, 04:29:02 PM »
My "1961" Chief has engine number 50263,  so its a bit "older" than the above scooters and my tool box/ignition is also kidney shaped.

Gunner

barenekd

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2014, 02:23:28 PM »
I don't think those numbers are actually indicating build dates, particularly the PC one. rth actual contract with Enfield was completed in 1959. I think the actual build date was probably earlier, as in '58. I know the export engines for the Chiefs were actually built before the Brits got the Connies which was in April '58. Some of the bikes were shipped in '59, but I doubt that any were shipped in '60. I think those PC***** serial numbers were probably put on by Indian, as they certainly don't follow the standard RE numbers. The shipping dates to the US were probably doled put ever several months even though production had been over for months. By 1960 the numbers and dates were assigned by sale dates, not build dates. As for the kidney shaped side cover, I think that was a distinctly Connie Chiefs that was on all of them that I've seen, as they had a different battery than the Brit ones. Did any of the Chiefs actually have the TT carb on them? All I've seen were Monoblocs. The Brit '58s had TT Carbs.
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High On Octane

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2014, 02:43:45 PM »
As far as I know all the Indian models came with Monoblocks.  I think the only bikes that got the TT carbs were Interceptors and Constellations.

Scottie


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rotorwrench

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2014, 09:58:34 AM »
Apache models had the 10TT9 and a K2F magneto and was very much like a Constellation. Chiefs had the battery ignition and a 389 Monoblock. The Trailblazer had the SR2 magneto with a 389 Monoblock carb.

Some Connies had the twin carb Y manifold with two Monoblocks and some had the 10TT9 Amal carb.

The Chief models were made originally to Indian Sales Corp specs while still owned by Brockhouse. In September of 1959 John Brockhouse sold Indian Sales Corp to AMC. AMC continued to purchase the Chief models only up to November of 1960. Brockhouse may have had a contract with Royal Enfield that had to be fulfilled for Indian Sales Corp but I'm not certain of that. AMC wanted the sales arm of Indian to market their own products in the USA. The Chief was well regarded by the police departments that used them and AMC didn't make a machine bigger than a 650 at the time so they may have purchased Chiefs from Royal Enfield just for that purpose.

99% of the Chief machines were made in the UK. Only the big General electric headlamp, Stewart Warner Speedos, and Kelsey Hays 16" wheels were made here in the USA. Add ons like the solo saddle may have been manufactured here in the states but I haven't seen one yet to find out for sure. The OEM solo saddles and the police foot boards are hard to find now. Other add ons like passing lamps & windshields were aftermarket products that date back to the Springfield Indian days and were still available in the USA well after Indian Springfield went into receivership in 1953.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2014, 10:09:57 AM by rotorwrench »

ERC

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2014, 02:06:57 PM »
Rotor nailed it exactly.  ERC
2-57 Apaches, 2-57 Trailblazers, 60 Chief, 65 Interceptor, 2004 Bullet, 612 Bullet chopped.

Tom 60 Chief

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #11 on: January 14, 2014, 04:18:22 PM »
One difference between the 1959 and 1960 Chiefs was the toolbox (no side cover), which coincided with the transfer of ownership to AMC (Matchless,AJS etc.).  The 1959 had a period Enfield battery box/toolbox and the 1960 and up had the left hand tool box from 1948 to 1955 Matchless/AJS.  Google these AMC bikes to see them on the original machines.  The pictures show my 60 Chief and a right hand box from my 18CS AJS for comparison.  Regards. Tom   

barenekd

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #12 on: January 14, 2014, 04:21:39 PM »
Quote
I think the only bikes that got the TT carbs were Interceptors and Constellations.

Intercepters never had the TT carbs. The end of TT carbs on the Connies was '58, then they went to single or one and a half monoblocs, like the first Triumph 500 Daytonas. The Connie Engine in the Berkeley cars had a TT carb in '59.
Bare
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Tom 60 Chief

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #13 on: January 14, 2014, 04:37:10 PM »
I have seen other sites claim that Indian used a GE headlight, however, the Lucas manual for 1958-1962 lists it as a Lucas MCH60, shell part number 58383.  The pictures show my assembled headlight with a spare shell and a close up of the Lucas part number on the spare.  The headlight on the bike also has this number.  My wheel rims are stamped 'Made in England' but could have been changed before I got the bike in 1978 and I cannot find any definitive information that confirms who supplied the rims.

High On Octane

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #14 on: January 14, 2014, 06:01:21 PM »
Intercepters never had the TT carbs. The end of TT carbs on the Connies was '58, then they went to single or one and a half monoblocs, like the first Triumph 500 Daytonas. The Connie Engine in the Berkeley cars had a TT carb in '59.
Bare

You're right bare, I must have been having a dumb moment.  LOL    :-\


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1958 RE/Indian Trailblazer 711cc

rotorwrench

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2014, 12:56:04 PM »
That MCH 60 headlight looks like the ones used on the last of the 58 Trailblazers except I'm pretty sure that the blazer used an MCH52 since it had the amp meter in it. The Chief already had a place for an amp meter. The tool box on the 58/59 Chief was just one of the ones used on the early Bullets. AMC did have some influence on the late Chiefs and I'm glad you mentioned that tool/switch box since it didn't look like anything Royal Enfield ever made and I've always wonder about that.

Many of the 16 inch wheel rims could have been replaced with KH rims as replacements here in the states so that might be why the ones I've seen were KH. The GE headlamps might also have been replacements to get the sealed beam lamp instead of the small bulb reflector types made by Joltin Joe Lucas.

The Supplement to the Trailblazer part manual for the Chiefs leaves a lot to be desired. It's too bad that it was never properly updated with at least some basic drawings. It made us Indian-Enfield owners have to do a lot of reasearch and asking around to find answers to all the questions that come up for a proper restoration.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2014, 01:08:58 PM by rotorwrench »

Tom 60 Chief

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2014, 08:04:29 PM »
Hi Rotor.  The only other bikes I am sure the MCH60 headlight was used were the late fifties Ariels, but pictures seem to show they had side mounts not pedestal mount like our Chiefs.  There is a pedestal for sale on ebay now if anyone is interested.  Even though it is Lucas it came with a sealed beam headlight and I have used a normal six volt car headlight with no problems.  The parts manual is indeed a pitiful excuse for information.  It appears to have been poorly typed and with someones hand drawn front cover.  The numbers given seem to be accurate however.  I think the 1960+ AMC connection just adds more confusion. We have a mostly English Enfield machine, sold in America with an old established American motorcycle name and then the added AMC input.  The lack of definitive written information often leaves enthusiasts with 'best guesses' and assumptions.  My Washington State Vehicle title lists my bikes make as MATIN which I assume stands for Matchless Indian.  One could argue that there are no 'true' Indian pieces on it and only one Matchless part.  This forum has been very useful and informative for me and an excellent place to bounce ideas and info off people with similar interest in these unusual motorcycles. Regards.  Tom

rotorwrench

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #17 on: January 16, 2014, 01:21:44 PM »
I saw that light pedestal since I still monitor the Enfield stuff. Most of my old Enfield Indian bike parts are Trailblazer or Apache on the big twin side and one old Tomahawk 500. I've been collecting parts for these since the early 80s so I've run into a few of the folks that have played with them over the years. I've delt with a few that have already gone to the happy hunting ground. If I can help, just ask. I monitor this site and the britbike site too. I try to help others when I can. I have enough information from Royal Enfield, Pashley, and Indian Sale Corp plus the REOC/NA news letters that I can help some. These old bikes were pretty special in there day. It's just a shame that Major Walker Smith died and it all slipped away into obscurity. If it weren't for Hitchcock's & a few others hanging in there, most of the REs would be non-running museum pieces. Kerby

PS I still learn new things on these machines. Thanks for the tool box and headlamp info. It looks like it was more like 99.9% of the Chiefs were from Redditch.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2014, 01:31:50 PM by rotorwrench »

barenekd

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #18 on: January 17, 2014, 02:50:05 PM »
The Chiefs were 100% from Reddich. The importers (Indian Sales Company) who were an English could've changed a couple of things on them, but they were definitely manufactured in Reddich. The Indian Sales Company sold out to AMC, who were the AJS/Matchless manufacturer in the fall of '59.
The Indian dealers received some Matchless that were referred to as Matchless/Indians, but there was nothing on the bikes to indicate the Indian connection. There were some leftover Chiefs that were delivered to the old Indian dealers, too. Most of the dealers just became the Matchless dealers.
Bare
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Tom 60 Chief

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #19 on: January 17, 2014, 07:14:30 PM »
Sucher's book 'The Iron Redskin' states " Associated Motorcycles Ltd., continued to operate the Indian Sales Corp. after 1959, during which time they marketed AJS and Matchless machines in the U.S.  A somewhat confusing situation existed during this period in that when AMC took control of Indian Sales, there was outstanding a separate contract with Royal Enfield for five hundred 700cc vertical twin machines that had to be fulfilled as a part of the transaction.  Therefore, for a part of the 1960-1961 selling season, Matchless and AJS motorcycles were sold alongside Royal Enfield machines, which were painted Indian red and were designated as 'Chief's'.  After these machines were sold, Enfield machines were then handled under their own colors and name, by independent distributors."

Tom 60 Chief

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #20 on: January 17, 2014, 07:36:52 PM »
As to the 100% Reddich; as Kerby noted, the big speedometer was made in America by Stewart Warner and I am positive the tool box on the 1960-61s was made at Plumstead London.  The handlebar is one inch diameter (unlike the normal 7/8" british) and quite possibly made here along with the fender and dash emblems.  I have read online (totally unconfirmed) that only the frame, forks and drive train were made by Enfield.  I can't completely believe that without definitive proof.     Just as an aside, AMC didn't manufacture anything, they were just the the parent company formed in the late 30's by the Collier brothers for AJS/Matchless and later Francis Barnett, James, Sunbeam and Norton.  Regards.  Tom

rotorwrench

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #21 on: January 18, 2014, 10:42:43 AM »
Correction 99.9%, the speedos were definitely USA made!

Phil over in Oz has found a lot of stuff on the late Indian Enfields and answered several of my questions about this stuff. He has the RE-Indian site. I had always thought the T-Blazers used the SSU700 Lucas Headlamp through to the end of production but he sent me pictures of a 58 Blazer at Redditch that had the later lamp with the light switch moved down to the tool box. Just stuff like that and the sheet metal craftwork. RE made all of the sheet metal with the exception of that AMC type tool/switch box that Tom covered previously. After seeing a lot of the sheet metal over the years, you can tell if it was made by RE by the quality of it. That's why no one reproduces it these days because it would be too expensive to make a profit from it. 1-inch bars were not common in the UK but nothing RE made was common. They were a cut above the others till Major Smith died and the company was sold. There is a possibility that the bikes were shipped without bars to fit better in a crate but the bars could very well have been made in the UK like those 16-inch UK rims Tom posted a pic of. They weren't common in the UK either. The Pashley 3-wheelers used the same front fender, suspension, and wheel as the Chief models and they were entirely built in the UK. They were marketed by Indian Sales Corp here in the USA but they were also marketed in the UK as well with several different models available and under the Pashley name. Lucas made the electrics, Dunlop made rims & tyres, and Smiths made most speedometer components other than Stewart Warner et cetera so not all was made at Redditch but it was mostly assembled there till 1967. Royal Enfield was starting to feel the pain so they were very accommodating to anyone with an interest to purchase their wares.

USA incorporation rules are such that foreign owners can only own a part of the company. Granted, they can run it however they choose but they have to have officers or at least a registered agent that is usually a US citizen. They have to partner with the USA or the state they operate from in order to be granted a corporate charter and pay their fair share of taxes. The same thing was involved with Indian Sales Corp. If they had contracts with customers or suppliers at the time of the sale to AMC, those contracts had to be honored or a lawsuit could have been filed against them. International rules can also apply the same way. Brockhouse had a UK corporation dealing with a UK supplier in order to purchase for export to a US dealer network. It just depends on which corporate names or personal names (for a non-corporate individual) were involved in the contractual transactions as to who was liable for the contract specifics. International agreements for import and export can complicate matters as well.

I've read the horror stories from previous Indian dealers about what happened after ISC sold to AMC and it wasn't good. Many lost their franchise if they didn't already market AMC products. Motorcycle dealers in the same locations that sold AMC products usually got preferential treatmant in these cases and a lot of the old established Indian dealers either sold out or started selling Royal Enfield products since that was what they were tooled up for. This travesty further alienated dealers and customers alike from AMC and a chapter of a book could be writen about it. It truely was a mess that was never cleaned up well. All the old dealers I ever talked too raged about that situation.
Kerby
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 03:25:20 PM by rotorwrench »

barenekd

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #22 on: January 19, 2014, 05:42:16 PM »
AMC, AKA Berliner, didn't do Matchless dealers much good either, I had a '61 Matchless 250 that spent six months in a shop waiting for an alternator.Made me go out and buy a BSA Spitfire when I got tired of waiting. I guess I wasn't counting the accessory stuff when I said 10o% Enfield. I did note that some of that stuff could've been made elsewhere. Semantics, I guess.
Bare 
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Grabof54

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Re: 59 chief (I think)
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2014, 03:14:18 PM »
The last 200 RE Indian Chief machines were supplied to Associated Motorcycles in London in either December 1960 or January 1961.
The bike fitted with engine # 50328 was despatched from the Royal Enfield factory at Redditch on the 23rd January 1961
Graham Scarth