Cars from the Ron Pratte Collection
Editor’s note: This is the ninth in a 30-day series featuring cars from the Ron Pratte Collection that will be sold at Barrett-Jackson’s Scottsdale auction in January.
1907 Harley-Davidson ‘strap tank’
Commonly referred to as a “strap tank” because of how the oil tank is secured to the gas tank with nickel-plated steel straps, this 1907 Harley-Davidson Strap Tank motorcycle (Lot #2506) was produced during the famed Milwaukee firm’s third year in volume production.
It is one of 150 ’07 motorcycles built and is powered by a correct 27-cubic-inch single-cylinder engine.
Originally delivered new to Los Angeles for use by the city police department, it spent much of its life in California except for a stint in the hands of a New York collector some 30 years ago. Like most machines of its vintage, it has some stories to tell.
In particular, it was stolen in the mid-‘70s when it was in pieces awaiting a previous restoration. Justice prevailed. The cycle was subsequently purchased by Otis Chandler, who set things right by obtaining many of its misplaced original parts with help from early Harley-Davidson specialist Stu Munger. No expense was spared, and the results speak for themselves.
The leather belt drive pulleys, crankcase handlebars and idler/tensioner brackets are chrome plated and complement the Renault gray frame with red pin striping while the gas tank bears the Harley-Davidson logo in real gold leaf foil.
This 1907 Harley-Davidson (Lot #2506) is scheduled to cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Saturday, January 17.
1929 Indian 401
Perhaps the ultimate expression of the American inline four-cylinder motorcycle, Indian’s 401 would define the smooth, quiet ride for nearly a generation of riders. Formerly of the Otis Chandler Collection, this 1929 Indian 401 (Lot #2058) has been restored to as-new condition.
Powered by a 77.2-cubic-inch F-head inline four with a three-speed gearbox and kick starter, the symmetry of the streamlined 4-port exhaust manifold and finned cylinder barrels elevates this stunning early luxury motorcycle into the realm of art.
In keeping with Indian’s legacy, shifts are accomplished via a chromed shift lever capped by a black ball positioned at the rider’s right knee.
Brakes are drum at the rear and enclosed, expanding drum at the front.
This 1929 Indian 401 motorcycle is scheduled to cross the auction block in Scottsdale on Tuesday, January 13.
The Ron Pratte Collection will begin being auctioned with automobilia from Saturday, January 10 at 9 a.m. (MST) through Tuesday, January 13 at 1 p.m. Pratte’s vehicles first cross the block at 4 p.m. on Tuesday with lot numbers 2000 through 2109 and continue with lot numbers 2500 through 2530 Saturday, January 17.