H-D Attic Treasure

Discussion in 'General Harley Davidson Topic' started by Randall K. Wilson, Sep 5, 2008.

  1. Randall K. Wilson

    Randall K. Wilson Junior Member

    H-D Attic Treasure

    Jim Kersting a long time H-D dealer in North Judson Indiana has a nice 40,000 square foot museum behind his dealership…which is open to the public. Last year I had the pleasure of visiting the museum and Jim shared with me an interesting story about I think the oldest H-D cycle in his collection. From the best of my memory the story goes like this.

    It seems his mailman heard of a lady in that area who had a very old Harley Davidson in the attic of her home. This Harley had been in this attic for decades. Also the elderly lady was wanting to sell it. Being a serious collector of all sorts of motorcycles, especially Harleys, Jim thought he would check this rumor out.

    He approached the owner of the old Harley, and she invited him to the attic to take a peek. What Jim found was a (I’m nearly certain) 1910 Harley which had been disassembled. The bike showed signs of normal wear and tear, but seemed to be all there. One oddity about it was that only the front fender had been stripped of all of its paint. The rest of the old scoot still had the original paint on it. She advised Jim that her father had bought it new and it had been stored in the attic for many decades.

    Jim advised her that he was interested in buying it. She told Jim that she had talked to a party in North Carolina over the phone and this party had offered her $650.00. She had not made any commitment to sell it to the party in North Carolina, but told him that she would think about it. Jim made her an offer as such: “Ma’m, I won’t give you six hundred fifty dollars for the bike, but I will give you six thousand five hundred dollars for it.” The lady was quite please with this new offer. :newsmile093: However out of fairness she ask Jim to talk to the gent in North Carolina and give him a chance to offer more or decline from buying it.

    The Lady called this party in North Carolina and handed Jim the phone to talk to him. Jim told him he was making a higher offer of $6,500.00 and ask him if he desired to make a higher offer than that. This party said he may want to come to Indiana and look at it the old cycle first. Jim told him that was fine as he was the first to take an interest. The man never came to look at the old Harley nor did he ever make a higher offer, but during several conversations he led Jim to think that he might.

    After realizing that the party in North Carolina was becoming very unfair about all of this, and furthermore it appeared that he was playing “mind games”, :newsmile055:Jim went ahead and bought the cycle for the offered amount of $6,500.00 The seller was very please with this transaction.:small3d026:

    Jim took the cycle back to his dealership, it was re-assembled cleaned up and a very talented craftsman/artist painted the formerly stripped front fender to match the distressed old original paint job. You have to look very close to see the difference…amazing! Jim and his staff had a little problems getting the old bike to run properly so they had to approach the Harley Headquarters in Milwaukee for technical advice which they received. It had something to do with the ignition spark? The engine did not have to be rebuilt. This old dude runs like a top and Jim on occasion takes in out in the Parking Lot and zips around during special events at the dealership.

    This old Harley has an interesting accessory. It is a vintage old rear seat. It is bolted to the frame and has the appearance in some ways of a little chair which sits behind the person who is at the controls.

    Some time later after Jim had gotten the cycle put together and running, the gent from North Carolina called and said he was going to come up to Indiana and get that old Harley. Jim advised this goober “Hey, you better bring an Army with ya.”:small3d023:

    A visit to Jim Kersting’s motorcycle dealership and museum at North Judson, Indiana would be a treat for anyone interested in old motorcycles. I seen some motorcycles in the museum that I had never heard of.