Harley-Davidson Archive CollectionWed, 07 Jan 2009
Harley-Davidson has been building motorcycles for a long time. Over 105 years in fact, according to the summer celebration I attended in Milwaukee last summer. Who could have guessed over a century ago that the company would be alive and thriving today? Fortunately someone at the organization had the foresight to store examples of the bikes being manufactured over the years within the HD facility.
As one could easily imagine, it has become quite the collection over the last century. This unparalleled collection not only contains at least one bike from each model year since 1903, it also contains a number of bikes that never even saw production.
Housing one-off creations, prototypes and many models that haven’t seen the light of day since before the Great War, this vast collection could easily be considered the holy land of Hogs. While few fortunate eyes have ever been fortunate enough to gaze upon the collection, Randy Leffingwell and Darwin Holmstrom were granted access in order to photograph and document this vast assortment of historical Harleys.
The result of this enviable project is The Harley-Davidson Motor Co. Archive Collection, a fascinating book that is as interesting to look at, as it is to read. The Archive Collection is a book so considerable in size and scope my own coffee table could hardly support its vast proportions.
Read about Serial Number One, the first known Harley-Davidson model in existence, which now sits majestically encased in glass at the Harley Museum, or the 1942 Model XA, a bike ordered by the US Army to assist in the war effort, which also happened to boast the company’s first foot-shift transmission. From the first known Harley to the latest Rocker, this comprehensive book will not disappoint any Harley enthusiast. Large, glossy photographs accompany endless fascinating facts and stories about carefully chosen examples from the most famous motorcycle brand in the world.
By Dustin Woods
See also: Top Motorcycle News Stories of 2008, Holmgren’s Harley-Davidson, Harley-Davidson Christmas Commercial.