Indian Big Chief

   The Art deco sports type all-stell sidecars SC for Indian Chief, Indian Sport Scout and Indian Four with a rakish automotive body lines, full skirted fender, roomy luggage compartment, low seating position, full length body springs, original fender step with Indian trademark and a luxurious pleated and piped upholstery had been produced since late 1939 probably till 1953.

Sidecar was also equipped with an internal expanding brake operated from the motorcycle floor pedal (left sidecar in lend -lease 344 Chief has no brake)

Indian Motor Company hacked own produced SC sidecars only to 45 cu in, 74 (80)and 78 Four motorcycles listed below:

Indian Chief 74 ( 80 ci ) civil models: 340, 341, 342, 343, 345, 346, 347, 348, (349), 350, 351, 352 and 353

Indian Chief military 74 ci models: 340, 340B, 344,

Indian Sport Scout 45 ci civil models: 640, 641 and 642

Indian Sport Scout military 45 ci models: 640, 640B

Indian Four 78 ci: 440 and 441 (442)

There were few versions of the Indian SC sidecars for 45 ci, 74 ci and 78 ci Four motorcycles;

- a rich De Luxe with deep skirted fender,18''(4.0 or 4.50 x 18") and 16" (after  war) wheel, a fender step-plate for greater convenience, a luxurious upholstery, a body lines (multi-step chrome trims), backrest opened forward for large luggage comparment and sidecar wheel brake (also for 348 Roadmaster);

- Standard with single strip chrome trim (also for 348 Clubman)

- a plain military close to Standard version but with shallow fender, 18" wheel, simple black plain uphostery, backrest also opened forward and without gondola front trims  (340, 340B, 344 models)

- a military CAV 1939-1940 (information strait from Martin Martinski” Bogaert www.indian-model340.be)

"The abbreviation "CAV" (which stands for Continental Army Version) is an exclusive batch of 5000 Indian Chief Model 340's with sidecars, made especially for the French Army. They were produced from October 1939 until June 1940 and shipped.  CAV is only used for the French version of Chief. To make matters worse, this version had a regular sidecar as the 1940 civilian models with few exceptions:

- the open sidecar fender, opposed to the valanced civil one;

-  a spare wheel bracket and spare wheel (size: 4.00 x 18 "), opposed to the civil and US military wheels with size 4.50 x 18" ;

- the military sidecars had no small frame step;

- the standard sidecars for the 1940 models (74 cu in, and Four) were named correctly SC 30 based on original INDIAN books - this denomination can be found in the publication M635 - 1941)"

The Indian SC sidecar replica produced in my workshop was based on a few different original complete SC sidecars  and frames.

First postwar, with a skirted fender and a short frame, I bought few years ago in America. 

Second, the military version with a long sidecar frame, I found at the beginning of 90's in Eastern Europe. It was probably an Army Indian Chief sidecar (CAV?)abandoned somewhere in Soviet Russia lowlands. 

The left side frame is reproducted based on original military long frame from Sweden.

There were two  types of sidecar SC frames (right or left):

  • a long one (39 3/4") produced between 1940 and 1945 (and also 1939 -40 military CAV version)
  • a postwar short one (37 7/16") produced from 1946 till the end of Indian production in 1953

There were also two different front connection brackets for Indian Chief model:

  • a 1940-1945 front bracket for long frame was bent towards front wheel side
  • a 1946 up front bracket for short frame was bent towards rear wheel

There were two types of mudguards:

  • a deep skirted fender well-known from Indian motorcycles for 16" and 18" wheel pressed from steel sheet of 1,2 mm thickness
  • a simple military shallow mudguard without side covers built for 18" wheel

There were also few types of hubs; first used between 1940-45  and more difficult to reproduce used in postwar 1946-53 models (also availible now on  Indian Web Shop).

The Indian SC sidecar replica produced in my workshop is completely steel made. The gondola is professionally shaped from sheet of steel (thickness 1 mm) on a 160 ton press (see pictures below).

The frame is made from the best quality seamless tubular steel.

All cast steel details are moulded with a precise lost-wax technique.

Different versions of sidecar frames  (long and short left or right), two types of fenders, different colours of upholstery, trims, spare wheel bracket, gondola cover and both size of wheels are availible.

See all Indian sidecar spare parts and different details produced in my workshop at my Indian Web Shop.

Please check scanned original Indian factory leaflet from 1940 (attached in gallery below).

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