Butch is an Indian Motorcycle historian, collector and son of Frank (Fritzie) Bare of the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.
The Indian Motorcycle Company was started in Springfield in 1901, making it America's oldest motorcycle brand.
Harley-Davidson didn't present its' first prototype until 1904.
In 1902, the Indian Motorcycle set a speed record...56 mph.
By 1910, Indian was the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world.
Their most popular models were the Scout (1920-1946) and the Chief (1922-1953).
With the start of World War I, they over-sold their Powerplus line to the US Government.
This depleted domestic availability, which lead to the loss of dealers, from which they never recovered.
This faux pas, lead to Harley-Davidson becoming the number one brand during the post war business boom of the 1920's.
In 1930 they merged with Du Pont Motors.
Du Pont stopped making cars and concentrated on Indian.
In 1934, 24 color options were offered.
The Indian head dress logo was featured on the gas tank.
By 1940, they were nearly back to matching their major rival (Harley-Davidson) in sales.
However, the company was also manufacturing aircraft engines, bicycles, motor boats and air conditioners.
By World War II, the US Army was using mainly Harley-Davidson.
In 1945, Ralph Rogers purchased controlling interest in the company and began making lightweight motorcycles such as the Arrow and Super Scout.
The company went bankrupt in 1953.In 2011, Polaris Industries purchased the Indian Motorcycle.
Today they are back in business with three models: Chief Classic, Chief Vintage and the Chieftain.
2014 Indian Chief