BMW Motorrad Spezial

1930 Indian Four

1930 Indian Four
This beautiful vintage Indian is owned by Buzz Kanter, publisher of the Harley magazine American Iron. During the hard times of the Great Depression and the war years, the Four was a luxurious anomaly. But Indian stuck with it, and today it’s a machine highly prized by collectors. Even more surprising is the purposeful, single-minded styling: it still has massive appeal seventy years later, and belies the remarkably convoluted history of the Four. It first appeared as the Indian Ace, after Indian bought the Ace Motor Corporation in 1927. The Ace was heavily modified to become the Indian 401, which then became the 402 after adopting the frame from the Indian Scout. Many drivetrain modifications followed—some disastrous—but the mighty 77-ci Four soldiered on until 1942. Today, there’s a thriving Indian Four club scene and you’ll need US$50-60,000 to buy a Four on the open market. If I had that kind of money to spend on a vintage motorcycle, this would be at the top of my shopping list. [Via Classic American Iron, spotted by Glenn Edley of stylish auto blog car137.]

  • Wow I knew you would find out some great stuff about this bike. Thanks Chris.

  • Tin Man 2

    I like the way the Bike looks Purposefull or maybe Industrial. Nothing extra just everything you need to go down the road.

  • Michael W.

    Buzz used to publish a great (but unfortunately moribund) magazine called “Indian Illustrated” in the 1990s. If you can score some old issues through Ebay/swap meets/etc., they’re excellent sources of information not only on the bikes themselves, but on the history of the company that made them.

    Apparently Buzz still has some back issues available at his site,

    direct link

  • Allan Lobdell

    Nice Indian. There is a really nice Indian four at The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Mi if you are ever in the area.

  • Mart

    Thanks for your great work!

    When I saw this Indian, it reminded me of a bike I saw some years ago. It was a Henderson with a four cylinder engine. And there was also one with a six cylinder engine:

    Thanks again

  • Mart – thanks, I never saw a six put this way. The description hints that these were not production, but individuals doing some major fabrication.

  • Mart

    Thats what i heard too. These six cylinder where semiprofessional Handmade.
    There was an Artikle about them in a German Magazine in 1997 i think.
    A friend of mine was once doing a restauration on a four cilynder engine and i really loved to look at this piece of beauty.

  • Glad you all like the photo of my 1930 Indian Four. It runs great and is a real gentleman’s sporting ride. We feature a lot of great classic Harley and Indian motorcycles on our web site which is free to join and enjoy. Sorry I didn’t get you a better photo to us. Let me know next time as we have lots of great machines to share.
    Buzz Kanter

  • duc mad

    I’m not particular lover of cruiser bikes but I like Indian, Unspoiled, raw and absolutelly beautifull motorcycle Buzz. Here in Scotland isnt so many available e.i. none, so for us here only way getting hands on one would be import from US. Grrr. Lovely picture of a beautifull bike

  • Sparky Sparks

    I test flew a Heath parasol airplane with a Henderson motorcycle engine.
    It is a 1927 which is on display at Experimental Aircraft Assn. Chapter 14 at Brown field San Diego, Ca. Sparky